Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Editorial Exchange: Wynne's Pitiful Pension Plans

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Editorial Exchange: Wynne's Pitiful Pension Plans

Article excerpt

Editorial Exchange: Wynne's pitiful pension plans

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An editorial from the Waterloo Region Record, published Oct. 18:

The prospect of retiring on a meagre pension may worry some Ontarians. The prospect of their provincial government starting its own mandatory Ontario Pension Plan should terrify them all.

Any benefit such a payout might bring years in the future would pale beside the serious harm it would do here and now to an economy still shaking in recessionary aftershocks.

Premier Kathleen Wynne is pushing a bad idea -- and doing so at the worst possible time. What is she thinking?

Let's agree there are legitimate concerns that at least some Canadians face bleak times when they stop working unless something is done to boost their retirement incomes.

But how many need extra help? Four years ago, federal, provincial and territorial finance ministers agreed the federal pension system was not facing a crisis. They concluded 80 per cent of Canadians have been saving enough, through their pensions, savings programs, homes and investments.

It makes sense to push pension reform -- though even modest changes will be costly and hard to achieve. But direct the reforms to help the 20 per cent of the population that really needs it.

Wynne's proposal is different and, frankly, bizarre. It would create a new pension plan for everyone. And it would operate independently from the Canada Pension Plan, which already takes vast sums of money from businesses and their employees.

The new pension plan would demand massive contributions from Ontario workers, many of whom have endured years of stagnant wages and are already feeling strapped when it comes to paying mortgages, bills and to raise families.

Ontario employers would pay out more, too. Unless the other provinces followed Wynne's lead, Ontario businesses, with their higher costs, would be at a disadvantage when it came to competing with firms in other parts of the country. Some Ontario businesses would cope by cutting jobs. …

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