By Jessica Murphy, Parliamentary Bureau, Toronto Sun
March 30 2011
VANCOUVER — Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff has proposed three new measures to boost Canadian pensions.
On Wednesday, he said a Liberal government would expand the benefits provided under the Canada Pension Plan and offer Canadians a new voluntary, tax-deductible retirement savings option backed by the CPP.
“One of the most important things (families) need is security in retirement,” he told reporters jammed tightly into a pharmacy.
The proposed gradual increase in CPP premiums and benefits would have to be negotiated with the provinces and territories, two-thirds of which would have to be on board.
But there’s no guarantee the provinces will comply — and Ignatieff skirted the issue at the morning news conference.
“The federal government has to step up and provide leadership on pensions,” he said in response to a reporter’s question about provincial involvement.
Along with the CPP reform, the Grits propose a second voluntary contribution — the Secure Retirement Option — that would give workers the choice to save an extra 5-10% of their pay in a CPP-backed retirement fund. Employers would also have the option to contribute.
The party says the proposal is a low-cost and secure way to help Canadians save for retirement. Some 75% of Canadians who work in the private sector have no private pension plan.
The Liberals would also give a $700-million annual boost to guaranteed income supplements.
Also see Michael Ignatieff’s video