TORONTO, Aug. 11, 2015 /CNW/ - While it is a positive step that the Ontario government is moving ahead with pensions for the two-thirds of Ontarians with no workplace pension, it is disappointing that there will be so many exemptions to the new provincial plan, Unifor says.
"A universal and mandatory plan is the best solution for all working people in this province, and Unifor will continue to push for that," said Unifor Ontario Regional Director Katha Fortier.
"This new Ontario pension should model the successful Canada Pension Plan."
Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne this morning announced that the Ontario Registered Pension Plan, promised in last year's provincial election, will be phased in over several years, and will exclude employers with minimal pension plans.
"For those with no workplace pension at all, this is a positive step, but it could be so much more," Fortier said.
The threshold for the minimum income for the plan to kick in has not been set. Fortier said the plan needs to include low-income workers, who face the most difficult time in retirement.
The majority of Canadians are not prepared for retirement, Fortier said. Voluntary savings plans do not work: Ontarians have more than $300 billion in unused RRSP contribution room and few have opened up Tax Free Savings Accounts. That's why a universal and mandatory ORPP is the best solution, Fortier said.
As well, a targeted ORPP will be administratively complicated and more costly to run, Fortier said, while a universal and mandatory plan would be much more efficient and could be folded in the CPP in the future, Fortier said.
Fortier pointed out that with a federal election in two months, there was no need to rush on plans for the ORPP. Both the NDP and the Liberals support and enhanced CPP, which would eliminate the need for an Ontario plan. Wynne has joined with other first ministers to support an enhanced CPP.
To read more about Unifor's position on the ORPP and an expanded CPP, go to: www.unifor.org/pensionscampaign
Unifor is Canada's largest union in the private sector, representing more than 305,000 workers. It was formed Labour Day weekend 2013 when the Canadian Auto Workers and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers union merged.