Federal Government's Failure to Act on CPP a Terrible Mistake, says CAW President

December 20, 2010, 11:00 AM EST

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CAW National President Ken Lewenza expressed disappointment and frustration at the federal government's failure come to the necessary consensus to improve the Canada Pension Plan, at today's meeting of the provincial and federal finance ministers in Kananaskis, Alberta.

"Enough provinces were in favour of improving the CPP in order for legislation to be passed to increase it -the real weakness came from the federal government," said Lewenza. Despite previously claiming to support CPP improvements, the federal government sided once again with the financial and insurance sectors who will be the primary beneficiaries of private sector pooled pension plans, said Lewenza.

Lewenza questioned why the federal government would favour the pooled pension plan option when it has already been proven through the lack of participation in RRSPs that far too many Canadians simply do not have the money to save for retirement.

"Finance Minister Jim Flaherty is failing to appreciate that many Canadians do not have money to save -period," said Lewenza. "How then will they have money to save in a pooled pension plan? We are setting ourselves up to fail and in the process let down hundreds of thousands of Canadians who will not have enough to live on in retirement.

Improving the CPP is the best method of looking out for the largest number of Canadians. The CPP covers 93 per cent of all working Canadians, no other pension plan can claim this, said Lewenza. "I commend the provinces that supported improving the CPP and challenged the federal government to make the necessary changes. The push to change the CPP is far from over and I urge Jim Flaherty to recognize that CPP is the best way to ensure real retirement security for the largest number of Canadians." 

Lewenza pledged that the union will continue to work with provincial governments in Ontario, British Columbia, Manitoba, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick as they push for CPP improvements next year.

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