Pension commission recommendations – Opinion – Pension commission recommendations
November 21, 2008

The Expert Commission on Pensions has made a number of “broad recommendations” to the provincial government for reinvigorating Ontario’s pension system. These include:

A “pension champion,” an agency that would assume responsibility for collecting and disseminating reliable information about the pension system.

Facilitating the development of large plans, to encourage co-operation among small- and medium-sized plans, and to promote target benefit plans that might be affordable for Ontarians who do not now have pension coverage.

Investigating the advantages and disadvantages of expanding the Canada Pension Plan, or creating a comparable provincial plan, in order to enhance pension coverage, control costs and improve benefit portability. Ontario also should support the call for a national pension summit.

A new Pension Community Advisory Council, representing stakeholder, professional and academic users. All these groups should be invited to advise government on all significant policy initiatives.

Pension legislation should be reviewed every eight years.

Ontario should support efforts to avoid further divergence in pension policy, legislation and regulation among Canadian jurisdictions; seek co-operation with other provinces to secure necessary changes in federal tax and insolvency legislation; and attempt to secure greater standardization of technical and procedural requirements among pension regulators.

While arguments in favour of phased implementation of the recommendations are justified in many instances, the government should ensure these arguments are not used to obstruct necessary and appropriate reforms.

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