Pension crisis by the numbers

Updated Dec. 16, 2013.

Crisis? What crisis? That pretty much sums up the position of conservative groups in their campaign against any expansion of the Canada Pension Plan.

"Call me naive, but I think people advocating big 'solutions' to problems have an obligation to establish the problem actually exists," wrote Brian Lee Crowley, managing director of the Macdonald-Laurier Institute, just before Sunday's meeting of Canada’s federal and provincial finance ministers to talk pensions.

Here are 5 facts that explain why it’s time to expand CPP to address retirement insecurity:

1. Only 24% of tax filers contribute to RRSPs.

2. The amount of unused RRSP contribution room is up 35% in just four years, to $772.5 billion.

3. More than 11 million Canadians have no workplace pension plan.

4. Canada has the highest private investment fees in the developed world, on average five times those of the CPP costs.

5. We can double CPP pension benefits by saving less than 3% more of our salaries because the CPP structure is cost-efficient.

Too bad Finance Minister decided Monday to side with those private investment funds and high fees. After a day-long meeting with his provincial counterpart, he said now isn't the time to expand the CPP.

People just need to start saving more, Conservatives say. See #1 and #2 above.

Photo: teegardin. Used under a Creative Commons BY-ND 2.0 licence. 


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