TORONTO, May 16, 2016 /CNW/ - Unifor commends the Ontario government for the significant contribution the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan will make to the retirement income security of Ontarians. Ontario is introducing the only major social program in Canada in many years. Unifor, representing more than 160,000 members in Ontario, believes that in absence of CPP reform, the ORPP is an essential step in addressing the looming retirement crisis facing workers today.
"Workers can no longer rely on employers for retirement security," said Unifor Ontario Regional Director Katha Fortier. "In the private sector less than 25 per cent of Canadians have a workplace pension plan. Additionally the growth in precarious work means no pension for far too many, especially young workers and immigrant workers. "
That's the message Fortier delivered today at the Standing Committee on Social Policy hearings on Bill 186: An Act to establish the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan.
The workplace is changing. Fewer Ontarians can expect to stay with one employer and collect a pension from that employer at the end of their work career. Most Canadians struggle to save sufficiently for retirement and the result is that today's workers will face a significant decline in their standard of living in retirement.
"Many young people will have a worse pension than their parents or grandparents," said Fortier. "The Ontario government has recognized the retirement income problem and is proposing a sensible solution."
Public pensions are necessary to fill the gap in workplace pensions. The CPP has been extremely successful at providing retirement income for Canadians, but the benefits are set too low with an average 2015 CPP benefit of $550. The situation is particularly grim for women as they receive just two-thirds of the benefit for men.
In the absence of an enhanced CPP, the ORPP in Canada's largest province is critical in addressing workers' need for decent pensions.
Unifor is Canada's largest union in the private sector, representing more than 310,000 members.
For further information: please contact Unifor Communications National Representative Kathleen O'Keefe at Kathleen.OKeefe@unifor.org or 416-896-3303 (cell)