• Sears shows us the wisdom of defined-contribution pensions

    Critics of defined-contribution plans dislike the non-specific dollar amounts that would accrue to retirees – again, contributions plus investment returns determine eventual pension paycheques. But… defined-contribution plans are more realistic given they are linked with market returns. Also… defined-contribution plans belong to individual employees from the start.

  • Cancel the panic: Canadians have been borrowing like crazy for good reason

    … even with any small forecast increases, interest rates remain low and the Canadian economy has performed adequately in terms of employment with relatively low unemployment rates. Moreover, while these macroeconomic factors are of concern, they should also be kept in context. Despite record high levels of household-sector debt, there are also record high levels of net worth.

  • Kathleen Wynne’s modest blueprint for attacking precarious work

    Precarious work makes life chaotic. It also contributes to income inequality. While the ultimate cause of precarious work lies in the globalized economy, governments can take mitigating measures to ease the pain… the report recommends that those allegedly self-employed persons who rely on one firm for their livelihood be granted all employee benefits… Some of the report’s recommendations, such as requiring employers to pay equivalent full- and part-time workers the same wage, reflect basic notions of fairness.

  • Impacts of income volatility should be wake up call for policy-makers

    The median household that suffered a loss saw its income decrease by 49 per cent year over year. That’s almost beyond comprehension… The main causes of income fluctuation… include ebbing and flowing work hours, self-employment and multiple sources of income. In other words, the new world of work. The main effects are obvious: financial stress, the inability to plan and save for emergencies let alone retirement, the relentless reality of falling further and further behind.

  • Encourage seniors to keeping working

    For seniors, for the economy, for all of us, the government must adapt its policies to the changing demographic reality. The steps government has already taken, both by rolling back the age of eligibility for Old Age Security and beginning to expand public pension coverage, are a good start – but only a start – toward ensuring that older workers who want to retire can.

  • It’s Time to Stop Subsidizing Canada’s Seniors

    … the days of this country’s senior citizens living in penury is over, and it has been for quite some time. The poverty rate for seniors in Canada is just 6.7 percent, a figure that’s lower than just about every other demographic—most of whom are asked to subsidize said seniors with their own tax dollars… One particularly ripe piece of low-hanging fruit is the age tax credit, which was established in 1972 to help low-income seniors pay their bills but now amounts to little more than a $3.4 billion annual giveaway.

  • Why the talk of saving the middle class has a sadly familiar ring to it

    … this is not about entitlement. It’s about an expectation that used to be born from healthy economies that spur job growth and offer benefits to boot. By this I mean the “sustained, inclusive economic growth” … On-call shift work, precarious employment, depleting health care benefits from those employers who still offer them. Pensions? … The trickle-down economics argument didn’t hold water. Financialization won… Instead of reinforcing the idea of aspiration, we have gifted to the next generation uncertainty.

  • Baby Boomers, please don’t retire just yet

    … An across-the-board increase in the age of eligibility for government retirement programs will hit hardest at poor Canadians and Canadians in physically demanding occupations that aren’t easy to carry on beyond age 65… A better strategy is to make CPP and OAS far more flexible – so that the later you retire, the greater the benefits… All kinds of experienced people in their 60s and 70s want to keep working, whether part-time or full-time.

  • How Canada could actually become a world leader in pension innovation

    Bill C-27, legislation to facilitate the offering of target-benefit (TB) pension plans… [which] integrates the best elements of the traditional DB and DC plans: an explicit target pension benefit; a recognition that long-term compounding of investment returns makes the target benefit affordable; and it offers fair and sustainable risk-pooling and clearly spelled-out property rights and obligations among the employer, employees, pensioners and the pension-management organization.

  • Canada’s younger generation needs a new pension tool

    Ottawa recently introduced proposed changes that would amend federal pension laws to permit federally regulated employers to provide a pension plan with a target-benefit design… the proposed changes would make it easier for employers to offer another registered pension option beyond the usual defined-benefit (DB) or defined-contribution (DC) models.