FREDERICTON—The national president of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) says contributions to the Canada Pension Plan should be doubled to help Canadians who don’t have a workplace pension plan.
Paul Moist said the CPP needs to be improved at a forum in Fredricton. The CPP is a good plan but it only replaces 25% of a worker’s income, so contributions should be increased, he added.
“Sixty-five per cent of the workforce has no pension plan and CPP expansion is the most viable alternative,” Moist said.
Moist believes the pension plan should be treated the same as health care.
“We should all have to pay, no choice, employers should have to contribute and we prepare ourselves for retirement where we’re not a burden on one another.”
But Ted Menzies, the federal minister of state for finance, said increasing CPP contributions will require support froma majority of the provinces, which is not the case right now. He said government must be careful not to do anything that could hurt the integrity of the pension plan.
Increasing CPP contributions would be particularly hard on self-employed individuals who pay both the employer and employee contribution. He is encouraging the provinces to move ahead with legislation that allows for registered pooled pension plans, Menzies added.
That’s a voluntary system that allows workers to contribute but doesn’t require employers to chip in. The federal government has passed legislation for the registered pooled pension plan concept.
Moist said the federal plan would be a failure from the start.
“The so-called pooled retirement pension plan is not compulsory for employers, they don’t have to put a nickel in, and employees can opt out,” Moist said. “It can’t work and it won’t work.”
©The Canadian Press