Time Is Now for Meaningful CPP/QPP Expansion: Steelworkers

TORONTO, June 19, 2016 /CNW/ - The United Steelworkers (USW) is urging the country's finance ministers to overcome nearly a decade of failure and finally implement a meaningful expansion of the Canada Pension Plan (CPP).

"Failure is no longer an option. Millions of Canadians are counting on our federal and provincial leaders to end years of neglect and take decisive action to improve retirement security for all," said USW National Director Ken Neumann.

"This week's meeting of federal and provincial finance ministers must produce an agreement to move forward with a long-overdue, meaningful expansion of our public pension system," Neumann said.

Canada's finance ministers are meeting in Vancouver to discuss an expansion of the CPP and Quebec Pension Plan.

The USW supports the Canadian Labour Congress proposal that calls for doubling the CPP/QPP over a period of several years, as the most-efficient method of ensuring Canadians can count on decent retirement security.

Ontario recognized the problem of a lack of retirement security and took a small step for Ontario workers with the recent introduction of the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan (ORPP) that calls for a 15% increase in retirement benefits.

"Settling for anything less would be a sellout for millions of workers whom the Ontario Liberals estimate would be covered by the ORPP," Neumann said.

After a decade of stalling, bickering and indifference from federal and provincial leaders, the evidence is overwhelming in favour of a significant expansion of the CPP/QPP, he said.

"The average CPP/QPP benefit currently received by Canadian pensioners is a paltry $618 a month. There are 600,000 Canadian seniors who are living in poverty and 11 million workers who don't have a workplace pension plan. The outlook is very bleak for our younger generations," said Neumann.

"For years, Canada's spending on public pensions has remained much lower – almost 60% lower – than most other wealthy nations," he added.

"How much more evidence do our political leaders need? It's time to take meaningful action. It's what Canadians need and it's what Canadians want."

SOURCE United Steelworkers (USW)

For further information: Ken Neumann, USW National Director, 416-544-5951; Bob Gallagher, USW Communications, 416-544-5966, 416-434 2221, bgallagher@usw.ca


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