At a meeting of all provincial Finance Ministers with Jim Flaherty last December, improvements to the Canada Pension Plan and Quebec Pension Plan were delayed until June. This is when Finance Minister Flaherty promised a meeting to finally make a long awaited decision on expansion of the CPP.
Well June is over and there still has been no meeting between the Finance Ministers. There is no sign of a meeting on the horizon either.
“The federal government’s lack of leadership on this issue has gone on long enough,” wrote CUPE national president Paul Moist in a letter to all provincial finance ministers. “After years of discussion and delay, Canada’s finance ministers have an opportunity right now to make a significant positive difference to the lives of tens of millions of Canadians by committing to an expansion of the Canada and Quebec Pension Plans.”
The cost of inaction on CPP expansion is growing. Study after study shows that Canadians are not saving enough for retirement, and that this problem will only get worse as future generations retire. Polling data also shows that 75 per cent of Canadians support CPP expansion, even when they are presented with figures on the increased contributions required from them to double CPP benefits.
“If the federal government still refuses to act, CUPE urges provincial leaders to meet on their own to achieve an agreement on improving the CPP with the required two-thirds majority – and then challenge the federal government to act,” added Moist. “A gradual and modest expansion of the Canada Pension Plan is the best way to ensure retirement security for each and every Canadian and it is time we act to make this happen.”