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Unifor supports call for CPP reform and improvement

TORONTO, Oct. 4, 2013 /CNW/ - Unifor is commending Prince Edward Island Finance Minister Wes Sheridan for taking the lead among the Canadian provinces on reform of the Canada Pension Plan (CPP).

In a September 24 speech to the Atlantic Provinces Economic Council (APEC) AGM, Minister Sheridan proposed increasing the CPP benefit maximum for Canadians in the $25,000 to $102,000 income range.

Unifor supports doubling the CPP and QPP for Canadians.  Unifor Atlantic Regional Director Lana Payne said that the union is pleased that Minister Sheridan has identified the CPP as the vehicle for pension reform.  "Minister Sheridan made an important point stating that PEI will only support Pooled Registered Pension Plans when the 'provinces and the federal government take concrete steps to strengthen the Canada Pension Plan.'"

"That Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa also supports CPP improvements is a positive indicator that the provinces can work together on this issue," said Payne.  "I hope all the provinces and the federal government come together to make this happen as an expanded CPP is the best way to ensure retirement security for working Canadians." She noted that Federal Finance Minister, Jim Flaherty's proposal which would see Canadian workers relying on PRPPs is totally inadequate and simply hands Canadians' hard earned savings to the financial industry with no assurance of an adequate retirement income.

Unifor National President Jerry Dias raised concerns that so far the federal government has refused to acknowledge the critical financial problems facing Canadians today.  "The problem is immediate for Canadians in the age 50 - 65 range, but there is also a need to put a plan in place for today's young workers."

According to a growing group of labour union organizations and financial experts, the CPP and QPP are the best pension plans to guarantee all Canadian workers a secure retirement.  The plans are secure and have the economies of scale to make them cost effective.   "As the financial industry continually fails Canadians with their RRSPs and TFSA and PRPPs, more and more experts are recognizing the C/QPP as the sensible and secure approach to providing Canadians with retirement income," said Dias. 

In February 2013, Gerald McCaughey, CIBC president, publicly recommended the CPP as the best vehicle for ensuring decent pensions for Canadians.

Unifor, Canada's largest union in the private sector, formed this past Labour Day weekend with the joining together of the Canadian Auto Workers union and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union. Unifor represents 300,000 workers across the country.

SOURCE Unifor the union