Members Lobby for CPP Expansion

December 5, 2013

On Tuesday, December 3, MoveUP members took part in a Canadian Labour Congress-led day on Parliament Hill to lobby MPs and Senators about the need to expand the Canada Pension Plan (CPP).

“It’s clear that we have a crisis in this country with more and more seniors living in poverty, and reason to worry that we aren’t giving younger workers the tools they need now to avoid being in the same situation when they retire,” said MoveUP President David Black.

The Canadian Labour Congress are amplifying the public call for the federal government to take leadership on expanding the CPP. The CPP covers over 90% of Canadians with jobs – almost the entire work force, including non-union workers. The CPP follows you from job to job across all the provinces and territories, and it keeps up with the cost of living. Your benefits are paid out right up until your death. Even self-employed people can get CPP. It’s a defined benefit so you know what you will get when you retire, no guesswork or worrying about the performance of the stock market, unlike with RRSPs.

The CPP is financed exclusively by workers and their employers, not by taxes,  and it is run independently from the government. This means seniors in the future won’t have to depend on government tax revenues or their company’s stability to pay for their pension. Best of all, the CPP’s management costs are vastly lower than those charged by the banking and mutual fund industries.

This reform will benefit young workers the most, as they would pay higher CPP contributions over the rest of their worklives and therefore be prepared for a future that includes a dignified retirement.

“The best way to alleviate seniors’ poverty and help today’s workers save enough money for tomorrow is increasing what everybody gets from the CPP. This is about preparing for the future and leaving behind a system that’s better for our kids,” Black added.

MoveUP members Bruce Sarvis (BC Hydro) and Laurie Kirk (Coastal Community Credit Union) travelled out for the day to meet with their Conservative MP for Vancouver Island North, John Duncan. Also in attendance was MoveUP Communications Officer Jarrah Hodge. The group made the case that the only way to deal with the retirement income crisis we’re facing is to expand the Canada Pension Plan, instead of having to raise taxes and fees for everyone to subsidize having more and more seniors living in poverty.

Duncan stated he believes his government has already done many things to help seniors, but listened to the presentation and acknowledged much more needs to be done.

The same day, President David Black attended meetings on other key labour issues. He first met with Conservative Senator Hugh Segal, whose amendment to the anti-union Bill C-377 had a nearly unprecedented result of sending the bill back to the House of Commons with significant changes.

Later he met with Deputy Labour Minister Kin Choi to discuss two current pieces of legislation that will negatively impact federally-regulated workers: changes in the budget bill C-4 that attacks the right for workers to refuse unsafe work, and private member’s bill C-525, which unbalances the federal Labour Code by making it significantly more difficult for federal public sector workers to join a union.