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June 21, 2016

Canadian unions celebrate announcement of universal CPP expansion


VANCOUVER – The Canadian Labour Congress is celebrating today’s announcement by the Finance Ministers that they have agreed to a modest universal expansion of the CPP. The CLC and its member unions have supported an expanded CPP for more than 50 years and have been actively campaigning
on this issue since 2009.

“Too many Canadians today are struggling in retirement and change is long overdue. Even though we had asked that the CPP be doubled, we appreciate that this will be the first increase in the plan’s history, and one that will benefit all Canadians,” said Canadian Labour Congress President Hassan Yussuff.

“We look forward to working with the provincial, territorial and federal governments to move the process forward quickly,” Yussuff added.

“It’s important to remember that this expansion of the Canada Pension Plan comes out of the federal government’s election commitment to address seniors’ poverty,” Yussuff said. He noted that in their spring budget, the federal government increased the Guaranteed Income Supplement for
low-income seniors and returned the Old Age Security eligibility age to 65.

Yussuff added that this issue is important for union and non-union workers, because even those employees with a workplace pension plan or alternate savings are vulnerable to financial insecurity in retirement. Fewer employers are offering workplace pensions, and more workplace pensions are seeing reduced benefits. By contrast, the CPP follows workers from job to job, keeps up with the cost of living, and pays out benefits for life, regardless of how the stock market performs.

“Canadian unions believe we all have a responsibility to work to end seniors’ poverty. We know that pensions are crucially important, not just to the well-being of workers and their families, but to the economic health and vitality of our cities and communities,” Yussuff said