November 17th, 2011

Don’t leave families to roll the dice on their retirement: Turmel

Conservative PRPPs tie savings to tumbling stock markets, leaving families vulnerable

OTTAWA- Today New Democrat Leader Nycole Turmel blasted Stephen Harper’s Pooled Registered Pension Plan (PRPP), saying it fails to protect retirement security by encouraging families to gamble even more of their retirement savings on failing stock markets.

“The Conservative plan amounts to playing retirement roulette on a tumbling TSX,” said Turmel. “Anyone who has watched their RRSP plummet over the past year knows how risky savings tied to the stock market can be. Telling families to double-down on the same system that is already failing them shows how out-of-touch the Conservatives are.”

Turmel said the Conservative PRPP doesn’t help families drowning in debt, and fails because it is a voluntary defined-contribution plan—run by wealthy financial institutions investing in tumbling markets. That uncertainty and volatility leaves families without any guarantees that their savings will be there for them when they retire.

“We’ve seen too many families lose their nest eggs on the stock market,” Turmel said. “Some 11 million Canadians have no workplace pension at all, and millions more are living paycheque-to-paycheque. They shouldn’t have to gamble with their retirement.”

New Democrats want to strengthen the Canada Pension Plan/Quebec Pension Plan, with the aim of doubling benefits over time. The CPP/QPP is low-cost, low-risk, and 93 per cent of Canadians are already a member.

New Democrats also want to put pensioners at the front of the line of creditors when companies go bankrupt and invest an additional $700 million annually in the Guaranteed Income Supplement—lifting every senior out of poverty.

“With the economy on such shaky ground, families don’t need more risk,” Turmel said. “They need the stability of the CPP/QPP. Economists and provincial leaders have said so for years, but this out-of-touch government has turned its back on families.”