- Thomas Walkom rightly points out that the voters most affected by the Cons' push for privatized pensions are the ones paying the least attention to the issue:
For workers over 50, the pension reforms introduced by Canada’s Conservative government on Thursday mean virtually nothing.- Jeffrey Simpson slams the Harper Cons for being missing in action when it comes to international climate change talks.
Such workers have relatively little time to save before they retire even if, as Ottawa’s proposed legislation contemplates, their voluntary savings are pooled into group RRSPs.
Similarly, the counterproposal suggested by the New Democratic Party opposition — an expansion of the existing, public Canada Pension Plan — would offer little benefit to today’s older workers.
The CPP, too, is based on an employee’s contribution history. For baby boomers, the youngest of whom were born in 1964, there’s not that much working time left.
Yet those whom pension reform would help — the young — appear to have no interest in the topic.
This may help explain why serious workplace pension reform has been so easily derailed: those who pay attention don’t benefit; those who would benefit don’t pay attention.
Real pension plans (unlike bogus schemes known as defined contribution plans) offer a relative amount of certainty: People know what they’ll get at retirement.
And the best real pension plan going is the CPP. It is solvent, big enough to remain that way and relatively cheap to operate.
It is also compulsory, which prevents free riders — either employees or their bosses — from gaming the system.
Certainly, an expansion of the CPP is the best way to deal with the 60 per cent of workers — particularly younger workers in non-union shops — who have no other pension plan.
It doesn’t rely on the good intentions of employers (which appeals to labour unions). And by taking the strain from programs like Old Age Security, it saves taxpayers money — which appeals to fiscal conservatives.
- Steve takes up the cause of authenticity in politics.
- And finally, Mark Sumner serves up a graphic representation as to how the voice of the 99% is dwarfed by the uber-rich when it comes to being able to influence policy with wealth.
[Edit: fixed links.]