• 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.

  • It’s time trade tycoons address the dark reality of globalization

    Acknowledging that modern free trade produces losers as well as winners allows us to start developing and implementing policies to moderate those downsides – and purposely share the upsides. This means actively managing trade flows, limiting beggar-thy-neighbour trade surpluses, supporting incomes for all workers, ensuring sensible and fair exchange rates, and actively fostering domestic investment in desirable, trade-intensive industries.

  • More Wealth, More Jobs, but Not for Everyone

    In China, farmers whose land has been turned into factories are making more steel than the world needs. In America, idled steelworkers are contemplating how to live off the land… Trade deals, immigrant labor, automation: As Mr. Arkenbout sees it, these are all just instruments wielded in pursuit of the same goal — paying him less so corporations can keep more. “When they don’t need me anymore,” he said, “I’m nothing.”

  • It turns out shockingly few workers will benefit from the steeper CPP we’re all forced to pay

    The whole “crisis” really centred around a subgroup of a subgroup: those middle-class Canadians without workplace pensions who were supposedly failing to save enough in RRSPs and other vehicles to keep their existing lifestyle after retirement… Before the CPP enhancements, 11.4 per cent of middle-class Canadians were over-prepared for retirement. Now, more than 16 per cent will be over-prepared…

  • Liberals are ignoring the changing realities of the retirement age

    The main fiscal problem with OAS is that its cost is projected to grow faster than the economy – and therefore faster than tax revenues – as a consequence of the baby boom. This will make balancing the books in the future that much more difficult. If tax rates do not increase, then the growth of other federal expenditures will need to be kept in check – including social, health and infrastructure transfers to provincial governments.

  • Liberals defied global trend in reversing OAS age eligibility

    The Liberal government reversed a policy to raise the eligibility age for Old Age Security to 67 in spite of arguments from bureaucrats that the move would be bucking a trend among developed countries. Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Britain and the United States are among the countries that plan to raise their equivalent pension ages to 67 or higher… The government has not yet produced a report outlining the long-term fiscal consequences of its recent policy changes, but it has promised to release one later this year.