Latest Pension Issues
Election Survey Response - Canadian Federation of Pensioners
Thank you for sharing your question and making pensions protection a crucial issue for this election campaign. Yes, the NDP is committed to passing legislation to strengthen our pension regime.
Retirement should be a time of new opportunities and new experiences not worry and stress. We all want to retire with security and maintain our standard of living. And we want to live our retired years with dignity and comfort. But for more and more Canadians, the prospect of retirement is a cause for anxiety. As costs keep rising and wages don’t keep up, people are struggling to save for retirement during their working years. And many retirees, who paid to have a secure pension, have been let down by governments that protected investors, not pensioners when big companies went bankrupt. Instead of strengthening support for Canadian workers and retirees, the Liberals have sided with rich corporations to undermine retirement benefits.
New Democrats believe that every Canadian should be able to count on a dignified, secure retirement – and we’ll fight hard to protect pensions that workers have earned. To that end, we will make sure that pensioners are at the front of the line when a company goes bankrupt – making sure unfunded pension liabilities owed to workers, and employees’ severance pay, are the top priority for repayment. We’ll stop companies from paying out dividends and bonuses when pensions are under-funded. And we’ll create a mandatory, industry-financed pension insurance program to make sure that no worker is deprived of the retirement benefits they’ve earned.
The federal government has a critical role to play in protecting defined benefit pensions across the country. The Liberals’ openness to target benefit plans in the public sector, which don’t guarantee stable benefits for retirees, puts defined benefits at risk for all Canadians – and we will immediately put a stop to this chipping away of retirement security. We are committed to strengthening public pensions and improving retirement security for all Canadians.
GEEN PARTY RESPONSE
The Green National Seniors Strategy will enhance and protect the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) and introduce pension reform to keep the elderly out of poverty. The Green Party is also committed to a Guaranteed Livable Income for all.
Pension reforms must build on the system that will ensure stable retirement income for seniors to keep the elderly out of poverty, and will have low administrative and investment costs. The only system capable of meeting these goals is CPP – a proven system that is the envy of many countries. All Canadians are familiar with CPP, which is in sound financial health, and is estimated to be able to meet Canadians’ needs for at least the next 70 years.
The CPP can easily be modified to offer enhanced benefits. The Green Party will: ? Phase in the doubling of the target income replacement rate from 25 to 50 per cent. Approximately 35 percent of seniors rely on the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS). Doubling the replacement rate would keep the elderly out of poverty and reduce the cost of GIS by billions annually. ? Raise the Year’s Maximum Pensionable Earnings (YMPE) to at least $90,000 over several decades. ? The Green Party will give pension debts priority during insolvency proceedings by a company, making cash owed to the pension fund and existing pensioners the first to be paid out over other creditors. ? Ensure that surviving spouses of plan sponsors who have married after age 60 or after retiring are no longer prevented from accessing the pension benefits to which they are entitled.
- Resist the shift to voluntary defined contribution plans with inefficient and expensive fees for a myriad of market-driven plans.
- Ensure all seniors who qualify are made aware of available federal income supplements and instructed on how to apply for them.
Finally, in order to eradicate poverty among seniors and others, the Green Party of Canada believes it is time to revisit a major policy initiative − the use of a negative income tax, or Guaranteed Livable Income (GLI) for all. The use of a GLI would eliminate poverty and free up social services to concentrate on problems such as poverty among seniors. It would save us money and simultaneously improve the living conditions of millions of Canadians living in poverty.
The principle of the GLI is simple: to establish an income floor below which no Canadian could fall, but with incentives for recipients to continue working and to earn more. A GLI would provide a regular payment to every Canadian, at a level above the poverty line, to meet Canadians' basic food and other needs and ensure that no person’s income falls below what is necessary for health, life, and dignity.
Through a Council of Canadian Governments, we will work with the other levels of government whose inadequate poverty band-aid solutions can be rolled up in order to fund the GLI.
Dear Mr. Cooper:
On behalf of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, I would like to acknowledge receipt of your correspondence. I sincerely regret the delay in replying.
Please be assured that your comments, offered on behalf of the CCRetirees Organization, have been carefully reviewed. As you may know, the issue you raise falls within the portfolio of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, to whom I note you have also sent your correspondence. While the Prime Minister appreciates being made aware of your correspondence, he will leave the matter to be considered by Minster Bains.
Thank you for taking the time to write.
Executive Correspondence Officer
Agent de correspondance
de la haute direction