Canadians say CPP/QPP hikes are not the answer

Proposals on the table at finance ministers' meeting not supported by the public.

TORONTO — A new public opinion poll reveals that a vast majority of working Canadians prefer other options to help boost retirement savings than increasing mandatory CPP and QPP premiums.

As federal and provincial finance ministers prepare to discuss proposals for increasing mandatory premiums this weekend, results of the survey conducted by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) show that only 18% of working Canadians see CPP/QPP increases as one of the best ways for government to help Canadians save for retirement. This is well behind other choices such as tax cuts (54%), incentives (47%) and improved voluntary options to save (35%).

“Finance ministers should be asking IF mandatory CPP/QPP hikes are a good idea, not just WHEN is the right time to introduce them,” said CFIB president Dan Kelly.

Governments in Ontario, PEI, Newfoundland and Labrador and Manitoba have come out in favour of increasing CPP/QPP, while Saskatchewan and other western provinces have expressed reservations about mandatory increases. Yet in the public poll, support for mandatory increases was low in every region of the country.

“Canadians and their employers are not saving more for retirement because they simply can’t afford to,” said Laura Jones, CFIB executive vice-president. “In the public poll, and a similar survey of CFIB members, 65% of Canadians, and 61% of small business owners, said so.”

The public poll shows that if working Canadians are forced to pay more for CPP/QPP, 45% would have a reduced ability to spend on essentials like food, rent and mortgage payments and 42% would have a reduced ability to take advantage of other forms of savings.

A survey of CFIB member businesses was also conducted, with similar questions. In that survey, three-quarters of business owners said they would be under pressure to freeze or cut salaries if faced with a CPP/QPP hike.

CFIB represents small and medium-sized businesses in every sector and region.

Click here for the results.