by Philip Cross
April 30, 2014
The 2008 financial crisis reminded Canadians about the uncertainty of asset values in homes and financial markets and the vulnerability of pension benefits, provoking angst about the adequacy of Canada’s retirement income system. Some provinces now want to undertake an expansion of the Canada Pension Plan (CPP). However, the current retirement income system serves the vast majority of Canadians very well. The problem of poverty among the elderly has largely been eliminated. Yet, the improved outcomes for older Canadians resulted from far more than government policymaking. Canadians, as individuals, have shown good judgment in managing their retirement, drawing on resources both inside and outside the formal pension system. Rather than expanding the Canada Pension Plan as Ontario and other provincial governments propose, governments would better serve Canadians by addressing gaps in the current system of pension support and the pockets of poverty among single elderly individuals who never worked.