CANADA - Labour unions in Canada are calling on the federal government to double the benefits paid to retired workers.
The Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) said it is the "obvious" solution to ease the country's pension crisis.
The union, which has more than three million members, also called for an increase in the Guaranteed Income Supplement for low income seniors, and a federal pension insurance plan to protect workers' pension benefits.
The comments were made after a one-day pensions' summit at the weekend, convened by the CLC and Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL) where a number of pensions experts debated solutions to reform Canada's pension system.
Over the next few weeks, Government representatives will be meeting with Canadians around the country at a series of local events to discuss the best options to improve the country's retirement system. (Global Pensions; March 25, 2010)
"This is the defining issues of the decade," said Sid Ryan, president of the OFL.
One third of Canadians have no retirement savings beyond what is offered through the Canada Pension Plan (CPP), Old Age Security and the Guaranteed Income Supplement, data cited by the opposition Liberal party has shown.
Meanwhile, the same data shows one third of the population does not have enough retirement savings to maintain their current standard of living. (Global Pensions; December 9, 2009)
"An enhanced CPP should form the cornerstone of pension reform and retirement security," Ryan added.
"We've been saying this for years. It's time to act. This summit is the catalyst to ensure all stakeholders are part of a public process."
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