Ottawa caved in to provinces on CPP – opinion/letters – Re: How pension reform was sandbagged, Column, Dec. 23
Published On Tue Dec 28 2010.   Bruce Rogers

Perhaps it’s easy for right-wing ideologues in Alberta and for the federal finance minister to say, “I’m all right Jack” about the Canada Pension Plan and that this is not the time to start enhancing the CPP. They think the RRSP alternative is plausible for Canadians who do not have any other livable pension prospects.

Proponents of the private approach are not ignorant of reality. They just don’t care that most Canadians have trouble making ends meet and few are able to make substantial contributions to RRSPs. They don’t care that future retirees will not have enough pension dollars to make ends meet.

Clearly, the best way for most Canadians to improve their prospects in retirement is through improvement of the CPP. But that agenda has been hijacked by Alberta and Quebec. And the federal government has caved on the issue. So much for political leadership in the broad public interest. Ideology and partisanship promote a canard, a pension plan that’s nothing but smoke.

Investment in an improved CPP offers greater rewards than investment in RRSPs. Individual pension accounts will mean retirees well get much less than what they could count on from CPP. And the CPP is a much lower risk investment. But the biggest flaw is that only the reasonably well off can afford to invest regularly in their retirement now. What makes anyone think that the individual pension account will change that?

Let’s hope Canadians send a strong message in their own interest to provincial and federal governments. Fix the CPP!

Bruce Rogers, Seagrave (King’s Bay)

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