CURC

Minister urges CURC to lobby provinces on pension reforms

Federal Minister of State for Finance Ted Menzies (l) and CURC President Pat Kerwin discuss issues at their meeting in June.

Federal Minister of State for Finance Ted Menzies (l) and CURC President Pat Kerwin discuss issues at their meeting in June.

During a meeting in June, CURC Executive members reminded Minister of State for Finance Ted Menzies that they had appeared before him when he did his cross-country tour on pensions and appreciated his willingness to hear everyone’s point of view. He acknowledged that he was constantly learning more information about the issue. He had been struck to learn how many people have not made adequate savings for retirement.

Minister Menzies outlined the government’s interest in increasing financial literacy among young people as a way to encourage them to save for retirement. Executive members expressed the view that many young people are facing high student debts and are struggling to pay for the basics, and therefore don’t have money left over for to save for retirement through mechanisms like RRSP and the Pooled Retirement Pension Plans ( PRPPs ). There was a difference of opinion with the Minister on whether PRPPs were a solution to the inadequate savings for retirement faced by many people. We repeated our support of an increase in CPP & QPP as the best way to tackle the pension crisis.

We informed the Minister that we would like an opportunity to comment on whatever proposal emerges from Canada’s finance ministers’ consultation on what would constitute a modest increase in CPP & QPP. A report is expected to be released later this year. Minister Menzies urged us to lobby the provinces to get them on side with our proposals.

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