Apr 16, 2011

CLC pushes for pension security

VANCOUVER—The Canadian Labour Congress has set its sights on retirement income. CLC Pacific Regional Director Amber Hockin dropped by the CUPE Convention to let delegates know about the ambitious plan.

The CLC’s goal, said Hockin, “is to dramatically improve retirement security for every worker in Canada – both union and non-union.”  Calling the 1.6 million seniors living in poverty “shameful,” Hockin said the CLC wants to double Canada Pension Plan benefits for all workers.

“The 38.5 per cent of workers who actually have a pension – like people in this room – are increasingly under attack. At bargaining table after bargaining table, we are fending off employer proposals to scrap defined benefits plans and replace them with defined contribution plans or RRSPs,” said Hockin. The problem is that only one in four Canadians can afford to buy RRSPs every year. 

“The answer is not RRSPs or the pooled registered retirement plans (PRRPs) proposed by the Conservatives,” said Hockin, the answer is to phase in small premium increases in the Canada Pension Plan over the next seven years.

“Addressing pension security for all Canadians through the Canada Pension Plan just makes sense – the CPP is universal, it’s portable and it covers 93 per cent of Canadian workers.”

Hockin called on the CUPE members to make a difference in this election in part by calling for the CLC pension security plan and pointing out to candidates that “84 per cent of Canadians support increasing CPP in order to increase retirement security.”

COPE 491