Dec 05, 2013
By Jane Brown
Prime Minister Stephen Harper likely won’t be receptive to the idea of expanding the Canada Pension Plan when he meets in Ottawa this afternoon with Ontario’s premier. Kathleen Wynne is expected to bring up the issue of pension reform, which she says is one of her priorities. But Minister of State for Finance Kevin Sorenson is rejecting the suggestions from both Ontario and PEI saying it would be a huge cost to Canadians. Sorenson and Finance Minister Jim Flaherty are scheduled to meet with their provincial and territorial counterparts for a dinner on December 15th, followed by a day of meetings at Meech Lake, in Quebec’s Gatineau Park. Ottawa’s preference for pension reform is to encourage more savings through voluntary pooled registered pension plans, which are similar to RRSPs. A CIBC Economics report warns that middle income Canadians are not saving enough for retirement. The report says the situation will be at its worst decades from now when people born in the 70s and 80s retire and face a drop of 20 percent or more in living standards.