OCC Leads Employer Coalition Urging Government to Protect the Economy and Jobs Under New Pension Plan

TORONTO, June 2, 2015 /CNW/ - The Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) and a coalition of major Ontario employers are calling on the provincial government to broaden its definition of a comparable pension plan under the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan (ORPP). In a letter addressed to Premier Kathleen Wynne, a coalition of more than 150 organizations are today urging the government to expand its definition of pension plan comparability to include capital accumulation plans, including (but not limited to) Defined Contribution plans. This move would ensure that companies in the province that have an existing pension plan for their employees would not be forced to incur this new cost of doing business.

The coalition includes employers of all sizes, including some of Ontario's largest and most established employers such as Magna International, Fiat Chrysler, General Motors, Ford, Canadian Tire, GE Canada, Walmart and Maple Leaf Foods, in addition to companies across a diverse range of sectors, including insurance, automotive, manufacturing, tourism, retail, and entertainment. More than 50 organizations across the Chamber Network have also signed on, in addition to industry and trade associations as well as several major universities.

"The Chamber Network and major employers have come together to advocate for a solution that will protect vulnerable Ontarians while ensuring that we sustain a business climate that fosters growth and job creation," said Allan O'Dette, President and CEO of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce. "Rising interest in the design of the government's new pension plan from such a diverse coalition underscores the impact that this policy will have. There is strong support for our message: the Ontario government must work to protect employers and jobs under the new pension plan."

With the provincial government set to clarify details of the ORPP in the coming weeks, the OCC has consulted with its network of business leaders to provide recommendations that will balance the government's policy objectives with the concerns of employers. The Ontario employer community supports the government's policy objective -- to tackle the undersaving challenge and help all Ontario workers save for retirement. However, a narrow definition of comparability will penalize employers that are currently contributing to their employees' retirement savings through a variety of other plans.

"This letter presents an opportunity for government to better understand the concerns of Ontario's business community," said O'Dette. "It is important to recognize the contributions that many employers have already made, and continue to make, to their employees' retirement savings."

The OCC and local chambers will continue to work with the provincial government in the design of the ORPP and in managing its impact on the broader economy.

For a copy of the full letter, visit the OCC website.

About the Ontario Chamber of Commerce

The Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) is an independent, non-partisan business network. Our mission is to support economic growth in Ontario by advocating for pro-business policies and defending business priorities at Queen's Park. For more than a century, the OCC has been providing our members with practical supports, advantageous network opportunities, and access to innovative insight and analysis. We represent local chambers of commerce and boards of trade from communities across Ontario. Through this network, we are the voice of 60,000 members that range from small businesses to major corporations and industry associations. Together, our members employ two million people and produce nearly 17 percent of Ontario's GDP.

SOURCE Ontario Chamber of Commerce

For further information: Media Contact: Michelle Kelly, Senior Communications Advisor, Ontario Chamber of Commerce, E: michellekelly@occ.ca, T: 416-482-5222 x2410

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