Letter: CPP reforms aim to support seniors in need, encourage workers to save

Planned expansion of the Canada Pension Plan is about improving retirement outcomes for today’s and tomorrow’s workers

Re: The state rescues your retirement, Tom Fletcher, Oak Bay News, Sept. 14

The planned expansion of the Canada Pension Plan (CPP), taking effect in 2019, is about improving retirement outcomes for today’s and tomorrow’s workers.

So, too, is the Trudeau government’s decision to restore the eligibility ages of the Old Age Security programs to 65 from age 67 that was to take place in a decade or more from now.

For current retirees, the 2016 federal budget commits to increase the value of the Guaranteed Income Supplement for low-income single seniors; to increase the income support for senior couples living apart; and to develop a new Seniors Price Index so that federal income benefits to the elderly keep pace with the costs of living they face.

Contrary to what the column said, registered retirement savings plans and tax-free savings accounts were not curtailed by the federal budget.

Expansion of the CPP will be relatively modest, the result of much discussion and study by governments of all political stripes and by think tanks and other groups over the last several years.

After the changes are phased-in over the next 10 years, the retirement benefit will replace one-third of a person’s earnings rather than existing rate of one-quarter of earnings.

The ideas behind these reforms are to support those current seniors in need of income assistance and to encourage working Canadians to save for their retirement through this federal-provincial public plan and by other means beside.

Michael J. Prince

Oak Bay