BC Confirms Support to Expand Canada Pension Plan

Province’s approval critical to federal expansion plans moving forward.

By Andrew MacLeod 4 Oct 2016 |

Andrew MacLeod is The Tyee’s Legislative Bureau Chief in Victoria and the author of A Better Place on Earth: The Search for Fairness in Super Unequal British Columbia (Harbour Publishing, 2015). Find him on Twitter or reach him here.

The British Columbia government confirmed today that it supports a deal to expand the Canada Pension Plan.

The Tyee reported Saturday that after missing the July deadline so that it could consult the public, the province was on the verge of approving the plan that Canada’s finance ministers agreed to in June.

B.C.’s approval, given at an Oct. 3 cabinet meeting in Vancouver, is critical as the plan requires the support of two-thirds of the provinces representing two-thirds of Canada’s population.

“It was important that we take the time to talk to British Columbians about the Canada Pension Plan enhancement, to make sure both employers and employees understand what the proposal means in terms of contributions and benefits,” B.C. Finance Minister Michael de Jong said in a prepared statement.

“After hearing from thousands of British Columbians and Canadians, I’m confident the changes will have a meaningful impact on retirement income security at an affordable contribution rate,” he said.

Under the deal, the CPP would increase gradually over seven years to replace one-third of pensionable earnings, an increase from the current one-quarter. The increase would be phased in over seven years, starting in 2019.

Once the change is fully implemented, a person making $55,000 per year would pay about $7 more a month, and employers would match that. In retirement, the person would receive about $4,300 more a year in pension.

The Canadian Labour Congress has campaigned for an expansion to the CPP since at least 2007.

The province received almost 2,500 submissions with about 65 per cent of them supporting the proposal.  [Tyee]

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