July 14th, 2015

NDP REALITY CHECK: Retirement security gets the Conservative pre-election treatment

After ignoring the growing retirement security crisis for nearly a decade, the Conservatives have launched public consultations on voluntary Canada Pension Plan expansion with just weeks to go before the election.

It’s easy to understand why Canadians would be cynical about this so-called consultation – they have no faith that the Conservatives have any interest in strengthening public pensions.

Just look at what they’ve done to retirement security since they took power:

  • Raised the age of eligibility for OAS and GIS from 65 to 67, which will force Canadians to work longer, take more than $13,000 out of the pockets of every senior, and risk doubling poverty among 65 to 67-year olds.
  • Scuttled efforts to boost CPP/QPP benefits at the 2012 meeting of provincial Finance Minister in spite of overwhelming support from Canadians and provincial leaders. As a result, the average CPP payment is stuck at just $600 per month.
  • Weakened workplace pension plans by allowing for the retroactive conversion of defined benefits into riskier target benefit plans – leaving retirees at risk of their earned benefits being cut.

But since the Conservatives are looking for input on voluntary CPP – here are some words of wisdom from their former Finance Minister:

"We reject a voluntary plan because that would very much disturb the work of the Canada Pension Plan which operates on a different basis, but the plan can administer a modest, phased-in increase on the mandatory side."
  • Hon. Jim Flaherty, June 13, 2010

The Conservative plan isn’t working, and Canadians can’t afford to gamble their retirement security on it.

New Democrats have a concrete plan to restore the age of retirement to 65 and strengthen real CPP benefits to ensure all Canadian seniors can retire in dignity.