Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Government That Works: CPP is Healthy Say Actuaries

Every 3 years the Canada Pension Plan is analyzed by professional actuaries (with peer review by independent actuaries picked by the UK government) to analyze its financies against the best practice means of assessing likely future pay outs and revenue.  Once again, the 26th such report finds the CPP is healthy over the "long term" at current contribution rates.  In fact, since the 25th report, the CPP has become mildly healthier in that the minimum contribution rate needed to support it has dropped slightly.

This is government working, and succeeding where markets are generally failing: Some people do very well saving for their own retirements but more do not, and rely either on work provided defined benefit plans (which fewer and fewer employers offer) or the government programs of CPP/OAS and GIS.  Very few people manage to put enough into RRSPs and TFSAs to retire with security, and rather than cluck at them about "personal responsibility" while leaving them to choose between starving or freezing in gutters, we should just acknowledge that this is not about individual irresponsibility but another symptom of growing inequality and accept the public responsibility to ensure retirement security for all.

The only problem with CPP is that it is too small and meagre a program on which to retire.  I hope Premier Wynne manages to get support for increases to CPP's scope and failing that, Ontario should set up a provincial supplimentary pension plan as her government suggests it is considering.