The following letter, written by CUPE National President Paul Moist, is a response to a recent opinion piece by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business in the Vancouver Province entitled “Mandatory CPP tax boost no solution for Canadians.”
It is a simple fact - Canada is facing a retirement income security crisis. The evidence is so overwhelming the CFIB’s denials borders on the ridiculous.
Today, over 11-million Canadians are without a workplace pension plan. Only around 25 per cent of Canadians contribute to RSPs, which have proven to be an ineffective way for most to save for a decent retirement income anyway.
Nearly half of Canadians born in the 1960’s will end up with a retirement income below 80 per cent of what they earned while working, according to a recent report from the CIBC. Six in ten of Canadians born between 1985 and 1989 will have the same fate. In contrast, only a quarter of Canadians born during or shortly after World War II faced a similar income drop after retiring.
We need to build on the success of the CPP to address this obvious crisis. Canada’s CPP system is well run, fully portable and fully paid for by employees and employers. The CPP is funded sufficiently for the next 70 years.
There is not a shred of credible empirical evidence to support assertions that CPP contributions amount to a payroll tax and a job killer. Calling an employer’s pension contribution a payroll tax is disingenuous, and perpetuating these myths is an outright deception.
Expanding CPP benefits through gradual increases to contributions is the most efficient, effective, and affordable way to ensure as many Canadians as possible can retire with dignity and a decent income.
National President, Canadian Union of Public Employees