Opposition white paper on sustainable retirement security to reintroduce fairness, affordability to provincial pensions – Barrett

November 20, 2012

Queens Park: Haldimand-Norfolk MPP Toby Barrett says new plans for pension reform announced by the Official Opposition will take significant steps to remedy pension unfairness and concerns over growing unfunded liability for the province of Ontario.

Barrett made the comments following the release of Paths to Prosperity: Sustainable Retirement Security – the fifth in a series of policy white papers. To read a copy, visit: www.ontariopc.com/paths-to-prosperity

“When it comes to public sector pensions, I’ve long been concerned over issues of fairness and affordability,” Barrett said. “Bottom line, the majority of taxpayers have no access to a workplace pension plan, and yet they are the same people government asks to pay more to bail out overly generous pensions for government employees.

“That’s why I attempted to introduce defined contribution pensions for public sector workers in my Private Members Bill 94, Addressing Ontario’s Debt Through Alternatives to Public Sector Layoffs and Program Cuts Act, 2012.”

Yesterday’s white paper proposes that new government employees should only be offered defined contribution pension plans, which can’t run deficits or lead to costly shortfalls that taxpayers are expected to top-up. Employers as diverse as Manulife, Air Canada and the Big Three automakers have taken this more affordable approach.

All told, Sustainable Retirement Security features six transformative ideas to address the problems facing Ontario’s pension system, including a proposal to introduce a new, portable pension option called Pooled Registered Pension Plans (PRPPs) for Ontarians who do not have access to a workplace plan.

“We think everyone in government and the broader economy should have a chance at a pension. But Ontario’s pension system needs to be fair for everyone, not gold-plated for some and non-existent for others,” noted Barrett. “Big promises with multi-billion shortfalls and insufficient money behind them won’t pay for our retirement. They just create a false sense of security, which is not fair to anyone – employers, employees or taxpayers.”
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For more information please contact MPP Toby Barrett at 519-428-0446, 416-325-8404 or 1-800-903-8629