Ontario Delay Clears Path for Joint Reform of Canada Pensions

Ontario is pushing back the introduction of its provincial pension plan by one year as it works with the federal government on an enhancement of the Canada Pension Plan.

Contributions to the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan now won’t begin before January 2018, as the province agrees to “explore a range of potential CPP enhancements designed to improve Canadians’ retirement income security” with its federal counterpart, according to a statement released by Canadian Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s department.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government won power last year while pledging to “work with the provinces and territories, workers, employers, and retiree organizations to enhance the Canada Pension Plan.” The pledge overlapped with work by Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne to introduce an auxiliary provincial plan to boost mandatory retirement saving in the country’s most populous province.

The two governments will now spearhead the gathering of pension reform “options” ahead of a meeting of federal, provincial and territorial finance ministers in June, the federal finance department said.

If no agreement is reached on an overarching increase to CPP, Canada “acknowledges the Government of Ontario’s objective to move forward” with its own plan.

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