CFN – NDP Deputy Leader Thomas Mulcair was joined by Vancouver MP Don Davies today to announce a new retirement security proposal aimed at giving every Canadian access to a guaranteed benefit pension plan. Davies, the two-term MP for Vancouver—Kingsway, is the latest Member of Parliament to endorse Mulcair’s candidacy. Art Kube, former President of the British Columbia Federation of Labour and leading BC seniors advocate, joined Mulcair and Davies to support the plan.
“We have to move our party forward, not backward,” said Davies. “This is the kind of exciting idea that can help us do that. I’m proud to endorse Tom’s candidacy.”
Mulcair’s plan combines reforms to both the public and private pension systems. Under the plan, an NDP government would work with the provinces to double the maximum benefit under the Canada Pension Plan, lift seniors out of poverty by increasing the Guaranteed Income Supplement and create a new pension exchange called “CPP+”/”QPP+”.
“The Conservatives’ hollow collection of private savings plans has failed to provide Canadians with what they need—a guaranteed benefit pension,” Mulcair said. “This plan will give every Canadian the opportunity to invest their money in a pension plan that’s insured, portable and can never be taken away.”
The proposed pension exchange would be operated by CPP and consist of a payroll deduction system, a selection of investment funds including a public plan offered by the CPP Investment Board and regulatory requirements to both guarantee and insure benefits.
“Canadians who choose to participate will be able have their pension contributions deducted directly from their pay cheque and invested through the exchange in one of several investment funds including a public plan offered by the CPP Investment Board. This will force large financial institutions to compete for our investment dollars and guarantee both lower management fees and higher rates of return.”
Kube also spoke in support of the plan
“This plan harkens back to some of the most successful NDP policies from the days of Tommy Douglas, but this is built for the 21st century. It’s the kind of bold, but practical idea that we need more of these days.”
Today’s retirement security announcement was the first major policy announcement of the New Year during Thomas Mulcair’s campaign tour. It follows a major climate change policy announcement last year in Vancouver that was endorsed by Nobel Prize-winning climate scientist Andrew Weaver.
Art Kube is one of four major national labour leaders who have endorsed Mulcair’s campaign including former President of the Ontario Federation of Labour Wayne Samuelson, former President of the Alberta Federation of Labour Reg Basken and former Vice-President of the Canadian Labour Congress and National Director of one of Canada’s largest unions Michael Fraser.