Expanded access to pensions and high-quality retirement plans will provide more retirement security
After a lifetime of hard work, people deserve to have a secure retirement. But many people are worried about being able to sustain their quality of life in retirement. Workplace pension coverage is declining and people are living longer.
In 2014, you elected us to build Ontario up. That’s why the Ontario Liberal government played a leading role in achieving enhancements to the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) to improve the retirement security of workers. These historic changes, which enhanced CPP benefits, are especially important to the future quality of life for the two-thirds of workers without workplace pension plans. Enhancements to the CPP include:
- Increasing the maximum CPP retirement benefit by about 50 per cent
- Making employees’ CPP contribution tax deductible
- Protecting the value of retirement benefits for workers, including women who leave the work force to raise children and people who can’t work because of a disability
- Ensuring the CPP remains funded and well managed
To improve benefit security for defined benefit pension plan members and retirees, we also passed legislation to increase Pension Benefits Guarantee Fund (PBGF) guarantee by 50 per cent, from $1,000 to $1,500 a month and to eliminate the age and service eligibility requirements for PBGF coverage. We have committed to make these changes retroactive to plans with a wind-up date on or after May 19, 2017. As a result, pension benefits from these plans would be covered under the increased $1,500 per month PBGF guarantee. This amendment is intended to apply to pension benefits provided to former employees of Sears Canada.
But we are hearing from people that we need to do more to enhance retirement security. It is clear that people are able to save more, and earlier, when they have access to high-quality pension plans, rather than relying on private investment mechanisms that charge high fees.
That’s why the Ontario Liberals will expand access to pensions and other high-quality retirement plans and make sure retirees receive the benefits that they are promised. We will support innovative retirement security solutions from the public, private and non-profit sectors, with a goal of giving all Ontarians access to the quality plans that have made Ontario a worldwide leader in pension innovation. Our plan will:
Broaden access to effective retirement savings opportunities by:
- Supporting the creation of portable retirement plans that stay with a worker from job to job; these plans could be sponsored by unions, associations, multiple employers, or multiple stakeholders within a sector where access to high-quality retirement plans is a challenge
- Giving the new Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario an explicit mandate to expand access to high-quality retirement plans
- Removing barriers that prevent existing successful public-sector pension plans from offering their services to more people
- Piloting a three-year, $65 million program to encourage Personal Support Workers who work in publicly funded home care to save for retirement through a group Tax-Free Savings Account; if successful, this approach could be expanded to other publicly funded sectors with modest-earning, precarious workforces
Implement a comprehensive plan to ensure that retirees receive the benefits that they are promised, including:
- Strengthening the ability of the pension regulator to intervene in cases where pensioners are treated unfairly
- Calling on the federal government to revise existing bankruptcy and insolvency laws to provide pension obligations with super-priority status
Improve the quality of existing retirement arrangements through greater consumer protection, including:
- Working with pensions, securities, financial planners and insurance regulators to improve fee transparency and to protect the best interests of investors
- Encouraging the development of retirement security solutions to help seniors in the post-retirement phase, including new ways for seniors to protect themselves against outliving their money