Canada Pension Plan Overview Citizens for Public Justice April 2012

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1 Canada Pension Plan Overview Citizens for Public Justice April 2012 Chris Roberts Canadian Labour Congress

2 Three Pillars of Canada s Retirement Income System Basic pension Old Age Security and Guaranteed Income Supplement Earnings-related pension Canada Pension Plan/Quebec Pension Plan Private savings Workplace pension plans and Registered Retirement Savings Plans

3 Some Significant Problems 12 million workers have no workplace pension plan 30% of Canadian families have no pension beyond CPP and OAS Half of baby boomers with career earnings of $35,000 - $80,000 can expect at least a 25% drop in living standards at retirement

4 Income Replacement or Poverty Reduction? Gross Income Replacement Rates from Publicly Administered Pension Programs, Canada and OECD, x 1 x 1.5 x Average Average Average Wage Wage Wage Canada s rank in OECD Canada s replacement rate (%) OECD average replacement rate (%) OECD highest replacement rate (%) OECD lowest replacement rate (%) Source: Baldwin 2010

5 Canada Pension Plan Compulsory earnings-based pension plan Contributions made on earnings between Year s Basic Exemption ($3,500) and Yearly Maximum Pensionable Earnings ($50,100 in 2012)

6 CPP: Contributions Workers and employers: 4.95% of employment earnings up to YMPE, in excess of YBE Maximum contribution in 2012: $2, Self-employed: 9.9% of pensionable earnings QPP: Workers and employers: 5.025% of pensionable earnings (maximum contribution in 2012: $2,341.65) Self-employed: 10.05% of pensionable earnings

7 Contributions Federal non-refundable tax credit of 15% of contribution to a maximum of $ in 2012 Provincial and territorial non-refundable tax credits (except Quebec) Range from $92 in Nunavut to $254 in Saskatchewan

8 Benefits Defined-benefit pension designed to replace 25% of average pensionable earnings Retirement pension monthly benefit available to contributors from age 60 New post-retirement benefit Disability benefit Disabled Contributor Child s benefit Survivor benefits Death benefit Survivor s benefit Surviving Child s benefit

9 Canada Pension Plan Maximum monthly retirement benefit (2012): $ Average benefit (Jan 2012): CPP $ QPP - $ Average new benefit at age 65 (Dec 2011): Men: $ Women: $476.87

10 Amendments to the CPP 1. Additional year of low earnings excluded from benefit calculation. Drop out years: Periods of CPP disability Periods over age 65 Child-rearing for children up to age 7 15% of lowest earning years in the contributory period (calculated on remaining years) 2012: 16% 2014: 17%

11 Amendments to the CPP 2. Work cessation test eliminated January Actuarial adjustment factors for retirement pension taken before and after 65 Current factors: Age 60: reduced by 30% Age 70: increased by 30% New factors: Age 60: reduced by 36% (2016) Age 70: increased by 42% (2012)

12 Amendments to the CPP 4. CPP contributions mandatory where worker is under 65 and receiving CPP retirement benefits Voluntary from 65 to 70

13 Limitations of the Canada Pension Plan Benefit levels too low YBE frozen at $3,500 Doesn t work for older immigrants CPP benefits included in income for purposes of calculating GIS GIS benefits reduced 50 cents for every dollar of additional income

14 Recommendation: Doubling CPP Benefits Fully-funded doubling of future CPP/QPP retirement benefits Employer and employee contribution rate would rise from 4.95% to 7.95% (15.9% combined) Phased-in evenly over seven years 0.43% increase per year All age groups would benefit, with young workers benefiting most

15 Increase in CPP Contributions Increase in CPP contributions, each year for seven years Salary % increase $ increase cost/week cost/hour $47, % $ $ $41, % $ $ $30, % $ $ $20, % $78.57 $ $10, % $ Source: CLC

16 CPP Expansion and Low- Income Workers Options for GIS clawback: Increase the $3,500 basic exemption on additional income for GIS Lower the 50% GIS clawback to 35% Combination of higher exemption and lower clawback rate Exclude CPP earnings from income for GIS purposes

17 CPP Expansion and Low- Income Workers Options for CPP contribution rate increase: Increase the $3,500 YBE Increase federal/provincial/territorial non-refundable tax credits

18 CPP Expansion and Low- Income Workers Options for enriching CPP: YBE to half of YMPE: 25% replacement rate Half of YMPE to YMPE: 40-50% replacement rate YMPE to 2x YMPE: 25-40% replacement rate

19 Summary Expand CPP benefits to counteract likely future increase in old-age poverty Increase CPP disability and survivor s benefits in the process CR:ah:cope225

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