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WINNIPEG – At a roundtable discussion on pensions with Finance Minister Jim Flaherty today, CUPE National President Paul Moist will call for reforms to Canada’s pension system so that more Canadians can retire with an adequate pension.

More than 11 million Canadian workers have no workplace pension plan. Over 200,000 seniors continue to struggle in poverty, and some 1.6 million have such low incomes that they are eligible for the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS). And in the absence of tougher laws to protect workplace pensions, people are learning that their pensions are not as secure as they once thought,” said Moist.

In Canada, we have a great tradition of taking care of each other. Now is the time to honour that tradition, and reform our retirement income system so that more Canadians can retire with dignity.”

Moist says Canada’s pension system can be fixed with an expansion of the Canada Pension Plan (CPP), an increase to the guaranteed income supplement (GIS), and stricter laws to protect workplace pensions from bankruptcy, high-risk investments and employer underfunding.

Last year’s market meltdown only emphasized what many of us have known for years - individualized private investments like RRSPs can’t provide adequate retirement security. The CPP, which requires mandatory contributions, is a proven success story. Unfortunately, current CPP benefits are not enough. By doubling the CPP, we could improve retirement security for the 93 per cent of working Canadians who contribute to the plan.”

Moist is also asking for the government to amend the federal Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act so that employers and pensioners are better protected when a company fails.

What Nortel workers and pensioners have gone through is devastating. Workers should not have to pay for employer bankruptcies with their pensions.”

To learn more about CUPE’s plan for fixing Canada’s pension crisis, visit: www.cupe.ca/pensions/campaign

For more information, contact: CUPE Media Relations – 613-852-1494