OTTAWA – “The climbing number of seniors entering the labour force out of financial need only drives home the urgency for meaningful pension reform in our country,” said CUPE National President Paul Moist.
Statistics Canada today released new information on labour market activity among seniors. The report shows that while some seniors remain in the workforce by choice, an increasing number are working out of financial necessity.
“The higher proportion of low income seniors who have to keep working at full-time jobs shows that not enough Canadians have adequate public or private pensions,” said Moist.
A high share of working seniors are densely concentrated in consumer retail positions – lower wage jobs that were once dismissed by Gen X-ers as “McJobs.”
While labour force participation rates among seniors aged 65-69 has more than doubled during the past decade, it was largely flat and declining over the previous quarter century.
“Canada’s retirement income system should not rely on the continuation of paid work,” said Moist. “Nobody wants to be part of a Freedom 95 retirement plan.”
As Canada’s premiers prepare to meet in Winnipeg next month for the Council of the Federation, Moist urges the leaders to keep pension reform on the front burner.
“We need buy-in from the provinces and a commitment to expand the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) so that more seniors can have a decent retirement income.”
CUPE supports a phased-in expansion to double CPP benefits to a maximum of about $23,000 a year. This would offer secure and enhanced pension benefits for all Canadians who make CPP contributions, including the self-employed.
For more information:
CUPE Media Relations
Tel: (613) 852-1494