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OTTAWA, ON The Conservatives’ announced planned consultations on allowing for voluntary individual contributions to the Canada Pension Plan will not lead to any real help for workers worried about having a secure retirement income, says Canada’s largest union, the Canadian Union of Public Employees.

“Another ineffective voluntary retirement saving scheme is not a solution for the over 11 million Canadians without a workplace pension,” says Paul Moist, national president of CUPE. “The Conservatives’ scheme is nothing more than an election sideshow, meant to distract Canadians from what is really needed – a doubling of CPP benefits through modest, but mandatory increases in the contributions paid by both workers and employers.”

There is overwhelming consensus among provincial and territorial leaders, pensions experts, and stakeholders that an expanded CPP is the most effective, efficient and affordable way improve the retirement income security of Canadians.  It is unclear how voluntary contributions to the CPP, possibly without any matching employer contributions, would make any impact on keeping seniors out of poverty in retirement.

“This is nothing more than a cynical attempt by the Conservatives to look like they are finally addressing the retirement income needs of Canadian workers after years of inaction, stalling and excuses,” says Moist. “The CPP was built on mandatory contributions from both workers and employers. This is the foundation of what’s allowed the CPP to deliver secure pensions and what’s made it a great Canadian success story. Tacking on a voluntary saving scheme only lets employers off the hook and leaves workers without any real help in retirement.”

For more information:

Greg Taylor
CUPE Media Relations
613 818-0067