With finance ministers meeting to discuss issues including the Canada Pension Plan (CPP), Saskatchewan NDP leadership candidate Erin Weir is proposing to strengthen retirement security.
“The Government of Saskatchewan should join other provinces in pushing for a significant expansion of CPP rather than dragging its feet,” said Weir. “Expanding CPP is the most efficient way to extend reliable, portable and indexed defined-benefit pension coverage for all Saskatchewan workers.”
Weir is also proposing a provincial benefit equivalent to Old Age Security and the Guaranteed Income Supplement for Saskatchewan seniors aged 65 and 66 if the federal government proceeds with hiking the age of eligibility to 67. As outlined in the accompanying backgrounder, this measure’s peak cost in 2030 would equal the ongoing annual revenue loss from the Sask. Party’s proposed corporate tax cut.
“Plan A is to elect a federal NDP government that would reverse Conservative cuts to Old Age Security. But if the Government of Canada does phase out benefits for seniors aged 65 and 66, we should be prepared to phase in an equivalent provincial benefit,” said Weir. “A provincial NDP government could pay for these pension benefits by reversing the Sask. Party’s no-strings-attached corporate tax break.”
To receive Old Age Security, one must have lived in Canada for at least 10 years. The equivalent provincial benefit could require 10 years of Saskatchewan residency to prevent people from relocating here simply to collect it.
“As well as improving universal public pensions, we must better protect workplace pensions in the public and private sectors,” said Weir. “Saskatchewan legislation should require immediate vesting, terminal funding and no reductions in defined benefits for retirees as long as the employer remains a going concern. To safeguard pensions in the event of bankruptcy, Saskatchewan should initiate discussions with other western provinces about establishing a regional pension benefits guarantee fund.”
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