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Improve and protect group retirement plans – starting with the RRQ!

Mar 1, 2013 03:30 PM
 

Public campaign: Cestnotreretraite.com

Future retirees’ quality of life risks being significantly impacted. To raise awareness among Quebecers and to encourage action on this issue, CUPE is launching a  public campaign using television and the internet regarding financing retirement.

Why now?

“Now that RRSP season is over, we need to talk about real issues!” said Denis Bolduc, CUPE’s Secretary General. “RRSPs only make up a negligible percentage of retirees’ incomes. If we don’t do something drastic now, a large part of the population will find themselves in poverty upon retirement. No one wants that. We must act collectively to ensure a stable financial future for everyone and to quickly improve public plans.”

“Unions recognize the problem,” he said. “CUPE, in particular, is making this issue a priority. It is high time that elected representatives, both federal and provincial, deal with this matter in a serious way. In launching this campaign, we hope to spark some serious reflection among our society’s decision-makers and opinion leaders.”

A campaign for people

In addition to a television ad, CUPE has also launched a website.  As well as explaining the complex realities of pension plans in language people can understand, the website also has a petition in the form of postcard that can be sent directly to elected representatives. If they choose to do so, each citizen will be able to indicate their support for the following demands: enhance the Régime de rentes du Québec (RRQ) and protect workers’ supplementary pension plans.

“The postcards represent the dreams and aspirations that we all cherish for our families,” Mr. Bolduc said. “Everyone dreams of a happy retirement, but the reality is often something else. Many seniors often find themselves living in poverty. The first priority is to improve the RRQ in order to ensure a decent retirement for all: women, men, unionized or non-unionized. It is the RRQ that offers the best investment at the best price.”

Supplementary plans

Insofar as the union movement goes, CUPE has taken the lead in recognizing the difficulties faced by supplementary plans and in suggesting solutions. Many of these plans have capitalization problems and have suffered losses due to the financial crisis and the fact that interest rates have never been lower. As well, employers are now demanding deep cuts to plans or even want to liquidate them, even though viable solutions exist for everyone. “At CUPE, we have sought to find responsible grounds for agreement. A few examples of this include, among others, the issue of Radio-Canada employees, as well as blue-collar workers in Montreal and Laval,” Mr. Bolduc concluded.