Sep 16, 2010

Increased CPP benefits backed by 75% of British Columbians

British Columbians are firmly behind a raise in Canada Pension Plan (CPP) benefits for retirees, according to a recent opinion survey carried out for the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE).

Three out of four respondents would support federal and provincial governments implementing an increase in CPP benefits. Only 20 per cent would be opposed, while four per cent don’t know.

“This widespread support for increasing CPP benefits sends a strong signal that British Columbians want their government to be part of the solution to solve the pension and retirement income crisis faced by so many Canadians,” said CUPE National President Paul Moist.

Moist says more than 11 million Canadians do not have workplace pension plans, and more and more seniors are working low-wage jobs to make ends meet.

Meanwhile, CUPE will share the poll findings with the provincial government on September 15, when the union’s B.C. division president Barry O’Neill will meet with Finance Minister Colin Hansen. The two will talk about increasing the CPP, and raising the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) to help lift hundreds of thousands of seniors out of poverty.

“All of us should have the right to a decent, secure income in retirement,” said O’Neill. “And increasing the CPP is viewed by many experts as the most cost effective, secure way to help Canadians save more for their retirement.”

Earlier this summer, federal and provincial finance ministers agreed to consider a modest, phased-in and fully-funded enhancement of CPP benefits. To date, the B.C. government has spoken favourably of such a move. Changing the CPP will require the support of at least two-thirds of the provincial legislative assemblies representing not less than two-thirds of the population.

The Viewpoints Research Ltd. survey of 1,001 B.C. residents was fielded August 17 to August 24. It has an error margin of +/-3.1 per cent. For a copy of the results go to the electronic version of this release at

Canada’s largest union, CUPE represents 120,000 workers in B.C. and has more than 600,000 members across the country.

Pension Polling - BC

COPE 491