May 26, 2015

Conservatives open to voluntary CPP increase

Brian LilleyArchive

Finance Minister Joe Oliver says if people want to voluntarily put more money into the CPP system, he's open to the idea.

Oliver announced that the Conseratives will begin consultations on allowing people to opt-in to higher CPP payments.

"Building on our record of creating options for Canadians to save, like the tax-free savings account, I am pleased to inform the House that we are open to giving Canadians the option to voluntarily contribute more to the Canada pension plan to supplement their current CPP retirement savings," Oliver said during Question Period on Tuesday.

Few details have been released, outside the Commons, Oliver's Parliamentary Secretary Kevin Sorenson would only tell reporters that the government will seek advice from the public this summer.

"I think it’s going to be an exciting summer as we go into the consultations on this. I’ll tell you what we know. We know that Canadians do not want to be taxed more. We know that Canadians want the freedom to make their own financial decisions, and we know that this will not be a mandatory CPP increase," Sorenson said.

The New Democrats and the Liberals have been calling for an expansion of the CPP, meaning a mandatory expansion which would require higher payroll taxes to offset the higher payments, something the Conservatives say they will not impose on Canadians or their employers.

New Democrat Nathan Cullen said the announcement amounts to little since there is nothing concrete to judge other than the Conservative's past actions of refusing to expand the government pension system.

"Now, a few months from an election, they’re getting religion on this. So know them by their actions, not by their words. Some vague consultation process that may or may not lead to something is meaningless compared to a strong and long-held commitment by the NDP to expand contributions to the CPP," Cullen said.

Ontario's Liberal government has promised to go it alone, creating a provincial pension plan to suplement CPP by 2017, still the Liberals put out a statement from Associate Finance Minister Mitzie Hunter.

"Once again the federal government has made it clear they have no real interest in enhancing CPP. It’s disappointing that the federal government is only concerned with their short-term election prospects instead of providing a secure retirement for millions of Canadians," Hunter said.

Currently Canadians can pay into CPP or save for retirment via RRSPs or Tax Free Savings Accounts. There are also programs such as Old Age Security or the Guaranteed Income Supplement for low income seniors.

Under the CPP every employee pays into the plan, as does their employer.

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commented 2015-05-28 09:50:13 -0400
In response to MICHAEL CASSELMAN “The CPP is well funded and more than solvent”. While this may be true in nominal terms a closer look at the actual financials – – shows a much more disturbing picture. Fully half the funds’ assets are in the Equity and Foreign exchange markets, the exposure is massive. With equities in bubble like territory and a global recession currently percolating away current valuations have only one way to go – Down. Solvent… hardly. The difference is that I never asked anyone to gamble with my money (which it is regardless of the current socialist nonsense being spewed non stop). All I ask is for the freedom to chart my own course with my own human capital and my own accrued wealth and not be forced to have someone else do it for me and to which I have zero input as to how it is being ‘invested’.
commented 2015-05-27 13:41:04 -0400
Why would you want to? How do we know the government won’t cheat us by raising the minimum age to 67 like they did with OAP?
commented 2015-05-27 10:34:13 -0400
Did nobody get that this is a concept, an idea that hasn’t even been made policy yet? This is not a done deal! This is “thinking out loud”. This minister is trying to find out if Canadians even want to do this…

Personally, being self-employed, I’ve opted out of CPP and haven’t made payments for nearly 10 years. I won’t see a dime from CPP. That’s okay — private investment is much more lucrative, and relying on Government is not always the wisest…
commented 2015-05-27 08:56:07 -0400
The Canada Pension Plan operates at arm’s length from government. Currently, its assets total 264.6 billion dollars. Working Canadians pay into the plan through payroll deductions. The money amassed in the CPP CANNOT be used by the federal government for any other purpose. That is, this federal government. What will happen to the plan if Mr. Trudeau or Mr. Mulcair form government is a matter of concern for all Canadians. Mr. Oliver’s plan to allow Canadians to pay into the plan on a voluntary basis seems to make sense at the moment. If it will assist Canadians to save for retirement, and, if it will provide Canadians with increased benefits, it may be an option. Anything would be better than what Ms. “Tax-Me” Wynne is proposing. Do the people of Ontario actually believe there will be any money in her scheme when they retire?
commented 2015-05-27 07:49:50 -0400
Gee, Joe, I’m at a loss to find this voluntary contribution money to top off my CPP after I’ve paid my weekly tax bill which you extract from my pay check in order to sustain the unsustainable welfare state and grow government – can you lend me some money to put in my CPP?

Joe, If I didn’t have the tax burden I have I would not need CPP and would gladly volunteer to be dropped from the CPP rolls.
commented 2015-05-26 22:54:08 -0400
What Gord said.
commented 2015-05-26 20:34:37 -0400
The CPP is well funded and more than solvent. If excess contributions would count against any Ontario pension plan mandatory deductions I think it would be well received, especially by small business and the self employed. I would rather give an extra amount to an established CPP than a fund set up by a corrupt provincial government with a poor track record of fiscal management.
commented 2015-05-26 20:22:33 -0400
Here’s a better idea, how about giving me all my money back that has been forcibly taken from me. Just give me all my contributions plus the 30 year average return on a Canada Savings Bond compounded annually. A lump sum payout directly into the RRSP account of my choice or into a segregated TFSA that can only be drawn out after my 60th birthday. All this concern about me saving enough yet the CPP is essentially insolvent with a massive unfunded liability baked in. We will be experiencing a demographic time bomb that will drain the fund dry before I even see a dime. Whether any PM or MP likes it or not there are only 2 choices, a massive cut in benefits or massive payroll taxes being foisted on a shrinking number of working age Canadians. Yeah, politicians are sooooooooo concerned about my retirement they take an ever increasing amount through taxation and maintain inflationary monetary policies that will eliminate 95% of the current value of our ‘dollar’ by the time any of us actually retire. I’d gladly sign a binding contract stating I will never ask the Government for a dime, just return all my CPP and EI contributions. I never signed on or agreed to either of these programs and I will never see a benefit from either. Legislated thievery, plain and simple.
commented 2015-05-26 20:09:31 -0400
Rick said, “You gets what you pays for!”

Well, as long as you do get what you paid for. There is always a question whether the money will be there when you need it, especially if you are on the younger end of the baby boom. Paying into it more may just be money down the toilet.
commented 2015-05-26 19:17:08 -0400
As long as the extra contribution is employee only and not employer I have no problem. I wouldn’t do ti since my private investments did better than the return for CCP, But if the suckling progressives want to suck the hind tit all their lives they can go to it.
commented 2015-05-26 19:12:29 -0400
CPP. Voluntary is the operative word here. You gets what you pays for! All stakeholders need to be absolutely clear on that.
commented 2015-05-26 19:10:49 -0400
If someone wants to contribute more on a voluntay basis for a higher pay out later on, that is a choice that they shold be allowed to make, I am not i favor of arbitrary gouging

I am a little cautious about Governments as when I look south I see a corrupt Democrat/Republican ( either ) Government setting themselves up to steal American citizens’ 401 K pensions’ and I certainly would not want to allow that type of manipulation here in Canada – as I noticed Trudeau licking his chops in effort to get his little grubbies on Canadian Pensions and invest them in infrastructure….. I see a huge danger there, especially when you know this Liberal Party is coached by the likes of Gerald Butts who is very much associated with the Democrat American party, who have literally become what people define as Communist and Marxist!
Government is not your friend, they are to be voted and managed by us to run our countries business and we should hold their feet to the fire!
There is nothing worse or bigger Traitor than a Government who has turned on it’s people by infiltration of Corporate Oligarchs’ as is presently the case in America!
commented 2015-05-26 18:43:06 -0400
Beautiful move again Prime Minister Harper.

Give the communist/socialist/liberal/marxist pigs their chance to pry their wallets open and use their own money for a change. The rest of us will use the TFSA for our retirement.
commented 2015-05-26 18:12:12 -0400
“the Conservative’s past actions of refusing to expand the government pension system”

Don’tcha just love NDP Nathan Cullen’s politician speak? Such a benign word to say take more money from us.
commented 2015-05-26 18:08:34 -0400
A tax break for Albertans?

I am just as interested, maybe more so because it gives even the poorest Canadan a break, in the idea of reducing the GST.
commented 2015-05-26 17:49:19 -0400
That’s a great idea. Make it a mandatory minimum, but allow higher deposits. That’s smart. Sure beats Wynne’s idea.