Ontario Premier Wynne to Share Pension Research with Counterparts

Addressing her provincial and territorial counterparts gathered for the annual Council of the Federation, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne discussed Pension reform and called it a smart public policy and perceptive electoral politics. Encouraged by her unexpected majority election victory on June 12, Wynne is expected to present her Ontario government’s research, including an internal poll, on the importance of improving retirement security.

During the election campaign period, the Liberals’ primary campaign promise was a new Ontario Retirement Pension Plan, which will complement the Canada Pension Plan, since Prime Minister Stephen Harper has straightforwardly refused to amend the CPP even though‎ the maximum annual benefit is only about $12,000. By sharing the information, Wynne is hopeful that her recent electoral success will encourage other premiers to launch their own provincial schemes or perhaps increase the pressure on Harper to boost CPP. Currently, Quebec is the only province that has its own pension plan and now Ontario’s plan is scheduled to be phased in as of 2017.

The internal polling conducted by the Ontario government is expected to be shared with the other 12 provincial and territorial leaders. The nationwide EKOS survey, called “Canadian Perceptions of Pension Reform and Retirement Security,” shows that 15 per cent of respondents were sure that they will have enough to retire on, while 50 per cent said they are “concerned” they won’t. The survey was conducted through live interview telephone calls from 2,060 people on Aug. 8-15 and is considered accurate to within 2.16 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

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