Saturday, April 10, 2010

Changes coming to pensions in Canada

Pension Envy and the huge problems with public sector pensions - Report from New Jersey

Across Canada there is a rising cry about pensions. Everyone sees huge problems that need to be addressed.

Next week the University of Calgary, will host Canada's premier conference on public policy related to retirement income in Calgary on April 12 and 13. The federal finance minister along with the finance ministers of Ontario and Alberta will be addressing the conference. There is a stellar list of other retirement experts who will be in attendance.

The conference is a group of officials getting together from across Canada attempting to tackle the challenges facing a large generation of retiring Canadians.

There will certainly be lots of interesting news from the event but don't expect any changes.

I have been watching pensions for several years now. One of the first reports I noticed on pensions was a Business Week cover story called Sinkhole! Or another favorite was a Forbes magazine cover story. Called The $366 Billion Outrage, the story started off: 
 The $366 Billion Outrage All across America, state and city workers are retiring early with unthinkably rich pay packages. Guess who's paying for them? You are.
Unfortunately policy makers and politicians have been aware of the problems for years, but  are not prepared to make reforms. The reforms necessary for all Canadians. It has been a frustrating 6 years watching as taxpayer money has been pumped into pensions and at the same time most taxpayers are falling further behind. 

Politicians and other policy makers all have a vested interest in the status quo. Usually this interest takes the forms of a personal juicy gold-plated pension.

Despite the fact the problems have been known for a long time,  American government and policy makers have only recently started to deal with them.  Canadian policy makers are terrified of the issue!

The main problem with pensions in Canada is that taxpayers fund huge dollars into the pensions of public sector employees and relatively little into their own.

Many Canadians will never be able to save enough to afford a comfortable retirement yet are forced to contribute into the pensions of the public sector. Most public sector employees will retire at a young age with gold-plated pensions far in excess of most Canadians' retirement savings. We cannot let this pension apartheid continue.  

CFIB states ....
The unfairness has gone on long enough

1 comment:

  1. We can start to fix the crisis through a balanced approach that combines strong workplace pensions with public pension plans that cover all working people.