Canada's actuaries applaud premiers' announcement on a National Summit on Retirement Income



    OTTAWA, Aug. 7 /CNW Telbec/ - The Canadian Institute of Actuaries (CIA)
is pleased to see the provincial and territorial premiers call on the federal
government to host a National Summit on Retirement Income, formally taking
action to address critical long-term pension and retirement savings issues.
    Canada's actuaries have been promoting such a summit for several years.
"This announcement clearly demonstrates that finance ministers, pension
ministers and premiers are in agreement that the challenges that have
afflicted the country's ailing pension system for many years, need to be
addressed on a national basis, and not in a jurisdiction-by-jurisdiction,
piecemeal way. Canadians should feel pleased that the country's leaders have
gotten the message. It will be a great opportunity to focus on delivering
practical solutions," says CIA President Robert Howard.
    "The timing couldn't be better for such a meeting. Many provinces and the
federal government have conducted reviews of pension regulation and
legislation. Rather than continue the process where each jurisdiction
implements its own changes, a Summit can open doors to the development of
appropriate national solutions to retirement savings problems, and help the
country increase its competitiveness in a global environment," added Mr.
Howard.
    There are many issues to resolve, each of which has a negative impact on
the retirement saving system. For example,

    
    1. Canadians are not saving enough for their independent retirement.
       According to a study conducted by the University of Waterloo in 2007,
       of those Canadians who plan to retire in 2030, two-thirds are not
       saving at levels required to meet necessary living expenses, and half
       of this group have no retirement savings at all.

    2. The present global economic crisis will have a serious and deep effect
       on the pension system.

    3. The coverage of the private sector defined benefit pension plan is
       eroding.

    4. The current retirement system contains disincentives for pension plan
       sponsors to adopt stronger funding beyond the minimum statutory
       requirements.

    5. Plan members and retirees want assurances that their benefits are
       secure.

    6. Pension legislation and regulation is not harmonized from province to
       province.
    

    The outcomes of the Summit should include an agreement on a timetable and
roadmap to extend defined benefit pension plan coverage in the private sector,
as well as a timeframe for harmonizing pension laws and regulations across the
country.
    "The Canadian Institute of Actuaries looks forward to working with
Canada's governments to deliver practical solutions," said Mr. Howard.

    The Canadian Institute of Actuaries is the national organization of the
actuarial profession. The Institute is dedicated to serving the public through
the provision, by the profession, of actuarial services and advice of the
highest quality. In fact, the Institute holds the duty of the profession to
the public above the needs of the profession and its members. Actuaries employ
their specialized knowledge of the mathematics of finance, statistics and risk
theory on problems faced by pension plans, government regulators, insurance
companies (both Life and Property/Casualty), social programs and individuals.
    actuaries.ca





For further information:

For further information: Roxanne Vezina, (613) 236-8196, ext. 101

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Canadian Institute of Actuaries

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