November 15th, 2016

How a mistake in Ottawa’s new CPP law will penalize women and people living with disabilities

New Democrats call for action to protect working families and the most vulnerable

Women and people living with disabilities will be penalized under the planned expansion of Canada Pension Plan benefits if the Liberals don’t fix serious omissions in proposed legislation.

“Women already receive lower average CPP benefits than men, and if this problem isn’t fixed this gender inequality will only get worse,” said NDP Pensions Critic Scott Duvall. “The Liberals, who regularly talk about gender equality, must immediately recognize their mistake and take action to fix it.”

The NDP has pointed to a flaw in the Liberals legislation on CPP expansion, Bill C-26, which does not contain the Child Rearing Drop-out Provision. This provision exists in the current CPP so that parents, mostly women, are not penalized for time taken out of the workforce to raise children. The Liberal bill also fails to replicate a similar existing drop out provision for people that have received CPP disability benefits.

“Canadians living with disabilities already face major financial challenges. They must not be overlooked,” added NDP Critic for Persons Living with Disabilities, Cheryl Hardcastle. “This gap needs to be fixed so that the most vulnerable seniors will not be disadvantaged under the new expanded CPP benefits.”

In the 1970s, the federal government under Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau introduced the drop-out provision as an important measure to protect the pension benefits of parents who stay home to raise children.