May 19, 2012
TORONTO - A group of leaders of major Canadian pension organizations sent a letter (96 KB PDF) to Canada's Ministers of Finance yesterday, in anticipation of the Ministers' next meeting on pension reform, to be held in PEI on June 13-14. The letter notes that the public component of Canada's pension system is in good shape, but that the supplementary component is not serving Canadian workers as well as it could. For example, depending on the definition used, between half and three-quarters of Canada's private sector workers do not have access to collective workplace pension arrangements that are well-managed, and operate at low cost. This raises serious questions about whether millions of Canadian workers will save enough on their own to maintain their post-work standard of living, and also about the level of fees they may incur attempting to do so.
The letter urges the Ministers to acknowledge that the noted pension coverage and management cost problems are real, and that they must be addressed. Considerable research has already been conducted on these issues, and a number of possible solutions have been proposed. The letter also urges the Ministers to create an impartial Federal-Provincial Task Force of officials to now pull this work together, and to create a practical implementation plan within a short, preset timeframe (e.g., six months). Such a task force played an important role in the design and implementation of the successful CPP/QPP reforms in the 1990s. The authors of the letter believe it can do so again now.
The authors have designated Mr. James Leech, President and CEO of Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan, as their spokesperson.
Director, Communications and Media Relations
Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan