Ottawa to ex­plore ways to give peo­ple op­tion to boost Canada Pen­sion Plan

Asian Journal - - Nation - By Andy Blatch­ford, The Canadian Press

Ottawa: In a sud­den about-face, the Harper gov­ern­ment said Tues­day it’s think­ing about giv­ing Cana­di­ans the op­tion of hik­ing their con­tri­bu­tions to the Canada Pen­sion Plan, a mea­sure that would help them boost their re­tire­ment sav­ings. With an elec­tion date less than five months away, the move looked like a sur­prise ef­fort by the Con­ser­va­tives to wres­tle some ground away from their po­lit­i­cal foes. The Tories have long op­posed ex­pand­ing the gov­ern­ment-man­aged pen­sion plan, an idea sup­ported by the NDP, but Fi­nance Min­is­ter Joe Oliver told the House of Com­mons that they in­tend to con­sult ex­perts and stake­hold­ers on the mat­ter this sum­mer. The gov­ern­ment’s goal: ex­plore ways that would al­low Cana­di­ans to make vol­un­tary add-on con­tri­bu­tions to the CPP. “We are open to giv­ing Cana­di­ans the op­tion to vol­un­tar­ily con­trib­ute more to the Canada Pen­sion Plan to sup­ple­ment their cur­rent CPP re­tire­ment sav­ings,’’ said Oliver, who of­fered few de­tails and did not speak to re­porters af­ter ques­tion pe­riod. Peo­ple need choices when it comes to their re­tire­ment sav­ings, rather than be­ing forced to make manda­tory pay­ments, Oliver said. The gov­ern­ment, he added, aims to build on other vol­un­tary sav­ings op­tions al­ready avail­able, such as pooled, reg­is­tered pen­sion plans and tax-free sav­ings ac­counts.

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