CANADA - The Canadian government will go on road show to get feedback from individuals, and have commissioned a series of reports on how to improve the country's pension system.
Finance minister Jim Flaherty, parliamentary secretary Ted Menzies and minister of state for Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec Denis Lebel announced yesterday the government would launch online consultations and a series of cross-country roundtable discussions addressing potential reforms to the pension system.
Lebel said: "This is a complex issue with a lot of moving parts. These consultations will ensure that we proceed in a considered and informed way, rather than risking unintended consequences."
In a press release, Flaherty added: "The minister of finance has also asked the Senate Standing Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce and the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance to help inform the government's efforts through their own studies of the government-supported retirement income system."
Ministers of finance at the federal, provincial and territorial level throughout Canada established a working group in May 2009, chaired by Menzies, to research the strength of the retirement income system. At the time it was decided they would hear from the public on retirement issues.
Calls for reform have been shouted across Canada since the financial crisis struck.
In December, the opposition Liberal party called for the government to launch a supplementary pension plan to encourage Canadians to save more for retirement. (Global Pensions, December 9, 2009)
In October, the Union of Public Employees said it would lobby for mandatory pension participation, a national system of pension insurance and expanding the mandate of the Canada Pension Plan, which is responsible for providing a replacement income of 25% of the national wage. (Global Pensions, October 12, 2009)
David Dennison, head of the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board also said the government should create a mandatory supplemental plan, uniform federal and provincial regulations and regional defined contribution plans. (Global Pensions; September 18, 2009)
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