Public sector compensation robbing Canadians of retirement savings

Typical family losing out on $3,110 per year, further undermining push for CPP/QPP premium hike ahead of tomorrow's Premiers' meeting

TORONTO, Nov. 14, 2013 /CNW/ - If government workers were compensated at private sector norms, Canadian families would have an extra $3,110 per year to put towards their own retirement, according to analysis released today by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB).

These findings come in advance of tomorrow's meeting of Canada's Premiers in Toronto, where hiking Canada Pension Plan and Quebec Pension Plan premiums is expected to be discussed. Taking into account wages and benefits, federal, provincial, and municipal government employees are compensated between 25 to 42 per cent above the private sector. If they were compensated at private sector norms, Canadians could save $27 billion annually or $3,110 per family (where both parents are working) or $1,555 per worker.

"It's hard for Canadians to buy the argument for higher payroll taxes, when our governments have created a two-tiered pension system, where the majority subsidize the nest eggs of the minority," said CFIB's executive vice-president Laura Jones. "While small business owners agree on the need to help Canadians to save for their retirement, they reject the argument that the only solution is to hike payroll taxes on employers and their employees."

There is growing evidence of the negative impact that an increase in mandatory CPP/QPP premiums would have on Canadians, including:

  • Respondents to a recent CFIB member survey in Ontario rejected the idea of a separate mandatory Ontario Pension Plan. 65% said such a move would force them to freeze or cut salaries, and 42% said they would have to reduce staff; and
  • CFIB analysis of the model being proposed by PEI Finance Minister Wes Sheridan for a mandatory CPP/QPP hike premium suggests it would result in loss of 500,000 person years of employment and a 1% drop in wages.

"Even polling done by public sector unions tells us that a majority of Canadians who are struggling to save for their retirement simply can't afford to," added Jones. "Hiking payroll taxes won't help them, but give government a pass on addressing overly generous public sector wages and benefits."

CFIB is Canada's largest association of small and medium-sized businesses with 109,000 members across every sector and region of the country.

SOURCE: Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB)

For further information:

To arrange an interview with Laura Jones, please contact Gisele Lumsden at 416-222-8022 or and visit CFIB All signs point to trouble campaign site

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Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB)

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