Pension plan must be compulsory
Re Your vote: A better CPP or bigger TFSA, not both, Sept. 29 Adam Mayers is right on the money with his comments that “the CPP works because it is not voluntary” and voluntary savings plans like the RRSP and the TFSA usually don’t work because we do “not have the discipline to contribute.”
In my lengthy career as a chartered accountant and certified financial planner, I have met with many people who indicated that they simply cannot afford to contribute to a long-term savings plan such as the RRSP or TFSA. Curiously, I have never met a single person who indicated that they could not afford to pay their CPP premiums. Why do you suppose that is?
I suspect it is because they have no choice in the matter. CPP premiums are either collected sight unseen by the employer, or buried in the complex income tax forms of the self-employed. Ignorance is bliss. All of the successful pension plans — CPP, OMERS, teachers, police, firefighters, civil servants — all have a common thread: participation is compulsory, and premiums are hidden.
If Canadians need a better pension plan, the best bet is an enhanced CPP or a provincial plan as proposed by Kathleen Wynne. There is no need to add another voluntary plan to the existing RRSP and TFSA options. Voluntary plans as proposed by the federal Conservatives are doomed because of the weakness of human nature.
To be as successful as the existing CPP, any new plan must be compulsory.
Are you listening, Stephen Harper?
H. Paul Rastas, Orillia, Ont.