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