• Federal government can and must put pensioners first

    The federal government can and must ensure bankruptcy laws put pensioners at the front of the line. And it can go one very important step further: working with the provinces and territories to create Canada-wide mandatory pension insurance. Such a system would guarantee monthly pensions up to $2,500 whenever an employer with an underfunded pension plan… It would be paid for by pension funds, a fair trade-off, given their tax-exempt status.

  • The era of big government isn’t over. It may be about to start

    The mystery is why anyone ever thought private companies were the way to cover huge costs like health or pensions. It’s costly and patchwork; public programs make far more sense. They’re stabler, better funded and include some democratic oversight. But before the economy got financialized, and mighty companies turned into hedgies’ playthings, they could at least pretend to fill the need. Public programs, however, mean you need revenues to fund them.

  • Canada needs a bigger change in pension system

    Defined benefit pension plans like the one at Sears have been declining for many years, at least in the private sector… part of the problem is greedy corporations… But… private pension plans are struggling because of more fundamental issues. Retirees are living much longer and interest rates have been at record lows for years. That forces companies to make up the shortfall at a time when they may be fighting for their very survival.

  • Expanding CPP is best way to protect pensions

    In a targeted benefit plan, the employer agrees only to try to provide predictable pensions. If it can’t, pensioners will get less than they were promised… outside of the public sector, there is little hope for real company pension plans. Their time has come and gone… Changing the bankruptcy laws to put pensioners at the front of the queue, as both the New Democrats and Bloc Québécois suggest, is a fine idea. But it doesn’t deal with the fact that the company pension plan such a move would protect is a thing of the past.

  • Demise of Sears Canada should be catalyst for change

    … to prevent this sort of fiasco… chang[e] our corporate laws so that those controlling corporations can be held personally liable for money owed to their employees… Wealthy capitalists used to be personally responsible for unpaid wages when their businesses went under. But capitalists fought hard in the late 19th and early 20th century to win the right to limit their liability. At first they won only a partial limit, but over the years U.S. and Canadian courts have extended that limit.

  • CPP, subsidizing survivor pensions, not fair — to a point

    The fundamental problem with CPP is that it serves two masters: it’s designed to serve as a self-funding aid to financial security in retirement and to alleviate the plight of impoverished single seniors, most of whom are women… Is CPP fair? No. But it’s also not fair that far too many older single women live in poverty. Subsidizing child-rearing years and paying survivors’ pensions may not be fair, but it’s the right thing to do.

  • Why millennials are lapping up every tweet and podcast from 94-year-old agitator Harry Leslie Smith

    Smith preaches about preserving democracy and the welfare state, creating a just society and living a life of compassion… he isn’t a politician or political theorist, instead he “speaks from experience in his bones” and delivers life lessons “with moral clarity.” Smith’s message — about how they should expect fair wages, pensions and workplace benefits — is not one that today’s younger generation is accustomed to hearing.

  • Good jobs improve health and profits

    Bill 148 plans to increase the minimum wage to $15/hour and guarantees 10 personal emergency leave days a year (of which two are paid) for all Ontario workers, among other measures. These are exactly the types of policies we need to start seeing more of, and it is wonderful to see businesses also advocating for a healthy workforce and a healthier Ontario.

  • The missing middle

    Since the Great Recession, temp work has grown 12 times faster than permanent employment for so-called prime-age workers, or those between the ages of 25 and 54… prime-age workers are finding it increasingly difficult to secure permanent jobs – there were 52,000 fewer of them working in permanent positions last year than there were in 2008… The cohort with the highest skills, meanwhile, are enjoying the biggest pay raises.

  • CPP changes will disqualify 243,000 from Guaranteed Income Supplement: report

    Higher CPP benefits mean some low income seniors will no longer qualify for the GIS, a component of the Old Age Security program… unlike CPP, OAS spending must be found from government revenues at a time when demographic change will mean less tax revenue as a share of GDP. “This is going to be a real problem,” he said. “The governments in the future are going to be facing more and more of a constraint.”