Retirement Security for Everyone!
Stephen Harper's announcement to raise the age for Old Age Security (OAS) from age 65 to 67 is a giant step backwards.
The Conservative government never announced such a proposal during the May 2011 election.
It's revealing that Harper goes to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland to tell Canadians about his plans to change the eligibility age for the OAS.
Harper used the European economic crisis as his backdrop in hopes that Canadians will be lured into thinking that our retirement savings programs are somehow a danger to the economy.
Don't be fooled.
Recent reports for the OAS and the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) tell us that these public programs are secure well into the future. The OAS is funded through Canadian tax dollars and covers almost every Canadian resident. The program has been extremely effective in reducing poverty among seniors from a shameful high of 18% in 1980 to the current level of 5%.
Hiking up the age for OAS from 65 to 67 will have the greatest hardship on seniors with low incomes or unable to work due to poor health or disability.
Harper is using scare tactics saying that the number Canadian seniors will double by 2035. While this is true, what he does not say is that the economy will also grow over the next 20 years and as a percentage of GDP, the OAS cost to Canadians will only increase from 2.2% to 3.2%. A modest price to pay to ensure dignity for seniors.
The CPP is funded with employer and employee contributions and publicly administered by the federal government. The recent actuarial valuation for the CPP also reports that the plan is securely funded well into the future.
Harper's vision for Canadians is a grim one. His government stands by, (or sometimes even colludes) as corporations cut our wages and pensions. His government does nothing to stop the slide toward precarious jobs. After working a lifetime in poorly paid jobs without a decent employer pension plan, Canadians, in Harper's vision, can just keep on working.
Send a letter to your MP and ask them to reject a cut to the OAS and instead support a doubling of the CPP.
Send your letter now!
The CAW, along with the Canadian Labour Congress and other labour unions across the country, have a plan to rebuild and reform Canada's pension system that has three key proposals:
. Expand the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) working towards doubling the benefits.
A gradual increase of CPP earnings to a maximum of $1,635 per month would improve pension security and leave a better pension system for our children.
. Increase the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) to Old Age Security pensions
No senior in Canada should live in poverty. A $682 million boost in GIS spending would help ensure no senior does. Increasing the income of Canada's seniors will also help provide much-needed consumer spending at a time when our economy is struggling.
. Introduce a federal system of pension insurance.
This would protect pensions to a maximum of $2,500 a month when an employer enters bankruptcy proceedings and cannot pay out pension benefits. The insurance system would also adopt pension plans when an employer declares bankruptcy and shuts down permanently. It would require Ottawa's new securities regulator to levy a small tax on stock market trades to make speculators pay for large pension insurance claims. With this protection in place, workers wouldn't fear losing their entire pensions due to employer mismanagement or bankruptcy.
It's time to raise the floor in our pension system!
Follow the links below for more information. Bookmark this page and check back often for information on how you can take action to support this national campaign!
- List of premiers and provincial finance ministers
- ContentBody.placeholder.campaignsIssues.pdf 9628
- Special: Ontario Pension Consultation - Find out how you can get involved!
- Tips for Lobbying Elected Officials
- Retirement Security Campaign - Dignity in Retirement for All
- Retired Workers Speak out on Why Pension Reform is Necessary!
- Pension Reform Community Forums
- Retirement Security Campaign - Let's Expand the Canada Pension Plan
- Retirement Security Campaign - We Need Pension Reform - CAW leaflet
- Retirement Security Campaign - Fact Sheet (Women & Pensions)
- Retirement Security Campaign - Metal Detector Ads (Downloadable)
- Retirement Security Campaign - Piggybank Ads (Downloadable)
- Retirement Security Campaign - Booklet
- Retirement Security Campaign - Activist Workbook
Free trade with the European Union is a bad idea for Canada
The Harper government's relentless push to sign a new Canada-EU free trade deal would undermine the rights of federal, provincial and municipal governments to manage public spending over goods and services; it would privatize public services like drinking water, prevent us from adopting strong measures to combat climate change and wipe out up to 150,000 Canadian jobs, among a long list of additional concerns. CAW President Ken Lewenza says: