Thursday, January 26, 2012

Does Canada Need Pension Reform?

Today's poll question; does the Canadian pension system need to be reformed? Do we need major changes, minor tweaking, or no change at all? There are several options on the table, like bumping back the age of eligibility, reducing public sector pensions (which should include members of parliament), even making a major overhaul of CPP. Prime Minister Stephen Harper today addressed world leaders at Davos Switzerland and announced that there would be "major transformations" in the Canadian system coming soon. With any luck the world will take notice, as European financial collapse could be avoided if they follow Harper's leadership and "Canadianize" their own finances.

Wouldn't it be great if Stephen Harper were Prime Minister of the World? We are truly blessed to have him in control right now, and we've got him for at least 3 more years, regardless of the *bleep* complaining that comes from the opposition. Regarding pensions, one of the best things we can do is develop our resource infrastructure, where the CPP undoubtedly has an equity position. It will increase our national wealth by bringing in trillions of dollars in foreign money over the next 30 years. Filibustering the oil sands might be popular with the NDP, but it would have a serious negative impact on our country's financial future. If Meghan Leslie gets her way, we'll be unlikely to meet our existing pension obligations. Personally I don't think bumping back the age of eligibility is going to be very popular.

I asked this question in Oct 2010:


70+ (23%)
55 (16%)
60 (15%)
30 (9%)
64 (8%)
68 (7%)
62 (5%)
66 (5%)
50 (4%)
40 (2%)


  1. Yes, the corporate executive model needs to go away. ("Four Canada Pension Plan Investment Board executives were paid nearly $7 million in bonuses for the 2008-09 fiscal year, ended March 31. Their investments lost 18.6 per cent of their value during that period.")

  2. The biggest change should be in parliamentary and civil service pensions. Let them lead by example.

    1. I agree wholeheartedly. Start with the people who can most afford a cut in their pensions.

      I read that Chretien gets $360,000 a year in pensions,Chuck Strahl $108,000,and there was a large number of other MP's and civil servants getting similar amounts. Some,such as Paul Martin, a multimillionaire whose business was moved to a tax haven,should have his entire MP's pension clawed back.

      Start with them, not the ex-postal worker with 35 years service who makes under $30,000 a year in pensions, or like one of my former colleagues in the Forest service who has a $18,000 a year pension after 30 years service.

      This is one case where I DO agree with taxing the "rich",when it means taxing the unearned pensions of the ruling elite.

    2. This may be true and the guaranteed return is expensive and perhaps even unfair. but, for the civil service and mp's there is ALSO a hefty contribution to federal taxes over years, which shouldn't be forgotten.

      that is the power of the middle class.

  3. Harper has no election mandate for this.

    Harper ran record deficits and now he is looking for a way to pay for it. This disgusting mismanagement.

    1. So do we need to call a new election anytime the government wants to pass legislation that was not in their campaign platform?

    2. This is a structural change to a long term program. This problem didn't suddenly emerge after May 2011. This was obviously kept quiet to not lose votes. There was no need for this nasty surprise. Harper is not honest and is self-absorbed in trying to get votes.

    3. The record deficit was in 1984 at 9% GDP.
      for the year 2009-2010 $55.6B 3.6% GDP
      for the year 2010-2011 $33.6B 2.1% GDP

      even in raw numbers only one year a record so even by your standards your assertion is a lie

      Rob West

    4. It goes to transparency. Harper goes for blitzkrieg tactics on national issues, and those issues can't then be considered by the electorate, beforehand. If I were nearing retirement age right now, I'd be VERY upset. It takes planning.


  4. You can't change the rules without grandfathering them in. I say revamp Old Age Security but allow the changes to occur over a fifteen year period.
    BTW, I turned 65 last month and just today received my very first OAS payment. I worked close to 50 years for this pension and I'll be pretty pissed if anyone starts to tinker with it unless it's to give me more.

  5. I see no reason not to reform it now.Seriously, an active life will stave off a myriad of health issues by keeping the mind sharp.

    I still say politicians lead by example and reform from the top down.

    On a side not, when was the last time a mayor visited public housing complex/buildings like Mayor Ford did yesterday?yeah i thought so.Good for Ford.

  6. With the number of retirees set to double within just twenty years, there is truly no other option but to revamp OAS. Ignoring the demographics only ensures a catastophic failure. We all have to face this sooner rather than later.


  7. To those who cry out that OAS is not currently a problem and we should leave it alone; We need to deal with these programs BEFORE THEY BECOME A PROBLEM. It's about bending that cost curve before it becomes impossible. I'm 30 and anyone my age should bank on it not even being there when they get to retirement. There's a good chance that it's going to get clawed back to nothing at incomes levels above the average. If you live in a major city (Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary, and others we are likely screwed).

  8. The best way to deal with the issue is to open up more options for people to save monies outside of government plans.

    RRSPs with higher limits, tax free savings accounts, Registered Medical Savings Plans, or for that matter reducing the current tax burden (41% of the income of the average Canadian family) would allow people to prepare themselves for their own retirements.

    So the current gravy train to the bureaucrats who run CPP would end? Too bad.

    Grandfathering current pensions is fine so long as the new rules are phased in quickly so the young are not being crushed with ever increasing tax burdens.

  9. So the idea is to let old people to work more years.
    I have few questions:
    1. What kind of job a person can find at age 66/67
    competing with the younger people taking in account 8-9 % of unemployment.
    2. What effect the latter reirement will have on person's health ?
    Will the Canada loose all the saved on latter pension money to the health care expences?
    May be we need to eliminate the public health system as well ?
    That will work better.

    3. How those 2 extra years will effect the unemployment numbers ?

  10. hello everyone i recently visited greece and when talking to the people on the street the unrest over there is alot like what is starting to arise here in canada. please check it out for yourself like i did. do not trust the media it is not a fair source of information anymore. what i am told by people on the streets in greece, is they will change there pension and reform to fix the problems in greece, if the greece goverment workers have to as well. the government of greece will not conform to this but the people must. to me this sounds like whats starting to happen in canada. you the people must conform and here is what is going to happen and we the government will look at our pensions and decide at a latter date if we are going to make reforms to our pensions. come on i can tell you the answer the government is going to come up with with there pensions i dont need to wait, but ours have no choice this is the way it shall be signed your canadian government. me myself feel we should all as canadians no matter what standing in life be responsible and we should all have to change to meet the troubling time ahead. we as canadians without standing must find a way like they did in british columbia to reverse this action through signatures and complaints to our mps to get this reversed. and have all the people of canada treated equally under this reform to the pension and put in writing for all not just the few that can least afford it .this sounds alot like greece without saying directly to the people of canada we are not going to do anything with the goverment pensions in canada. if anyone knows a way to stop this from happening please let us poor people know so we can stop this from happening.and we can get ALL canadians to chip in so it will not cost us poor people so much