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.