Unifor welcomes the opportunity for our local unions and members to participate in public consultations and to express their support for the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan and ideas for improving it, Unifor National President Jerry Dias says. “While the Harper government turns its back on the 11 million working Canadians without a workplace pension plan, public consultations on the ORPP will breathe new life into labour’s campaign for a strong retirement security program in Canada,” said Dias.
“Hopefully, our message will carry into the upcoming federal election campaign.”
The Ontario government released a consultation paper on the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan (ORPP) on Thursday, ahead of its upcoming public consultations on the key design issues in the ORPP.
Unifor, like the Ontario government, supports expanding the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) as the best approach to strengthening the retirement income system. Unfortunately, the Harper government continues to block any expansion to the CPP. Unifor views the ORPP as a positive step in addressing workers’ need for decent pensions and moving toward an enhanced CPP.
“We are encouraged by the fact that the consultation paper acknowledges the importance of designing an ORPP that mirrors the CPP, so that it could be folded into the CPP in the future,” said Unifor’s Director of Pensions and Benefits, Jo-Ann Hannah.
“We are also pleased that the consultation paper recognizes the importance of universality in the ORPP. To ensure stability and fairness for all Ontarians, the ORPP must be mandatory for all employers, and include the self-employed and low-income workers,” said Hannah.
“While Unifor would prefer that all employers participate in the ORPP, the Ontario government does recognize that employers with groups savings plans or Pooled Registered Pension Plans (PRPPs) do not provide an adequate retirement plan and would participate in the ORPP.”
Ontario has called on the federal government to co-operate and enable Ontario to open the ORPP to the self-employed and low-income workers.
“We will continue to push the Ontario government to create a public pension plan that features universal coverage, mandatory participation, shared contributions from employers and employees, and predictable defined benefit pensions indexed to inflation,” Dias said.
Unifor is Canada’s largest union in the private sector, representing more than 305,000 workers. It was formed Labour Day weekend 2013 when the Canadian Auto Workers and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers union merged.