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For many pensioners, the economic crisis exposed the inability of our current pension system to protect their retirement savings. And as governments look for ways to eradicate post-recovery debt, workers’ pensions are at risk of becoming even less secure.


At CUPE’s 2009 national convention, the union voted overwhelmingly to develop a strategy to protect and improve pensions. By passing the 2009-2011 Strategic Directions document, CUPE has committed to work with members, employers and governments to strengthen pensions for all working Canadians.

CUPE will devote resources to lobbying for a number of pension initiatives and reforms, including:

  • Establishing a national system of pension insurance which is modeled on the principles and values of our universal health care system.
  • A doubling of CPP benefits so that it provides up to 50 per cent of the average wage.
  • Increasing thresholds for surpluses, tighter restrictions of contribution holidays, and stronger solvency funding rules.
  • Continuing our campaigns to secure pensions for those who don’t have them and create a pension insurance fund to protect pensions.
  • Strong and visible participation in the national debate on pensions
  • Defending pensions from dismantling efforts by corporations and/or governments
  • Lobbying and negotiating a living wage and pension entitlement for all Canadians
  • Continuing to promote defined-benefit pension plans as the best plans for CUPE members.

To learn more about the major pension issues facing workers, and to find out what you can do to protect and promote quality pensions, visit the Canadian Labour Congress’ “Retirement Security for Everyone” campaign. The CLC is also hosting pension forums in Sudbury, Oshawa, Brandon and Winnipeg.

You can also find all sorts of resources, including a series of recent presentations from CUPE’s national pension trustees meeting, at cupe.ca/pensions

In the coming months, CUPE will unveil its own pension campaign aimed at mobilizing and raising awareness among our membership. Keep watching cupe.ca for updates.