Canadian Social Research Links

Pooled Registered Pension Plans

Updated April 29, 2015
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[ Ontario ] Pooled Registered Pension Plans
http://news.ontario.ca/mof/en/2014/12/pooled-registered-pension-plans.html
December 8, 2014
Ontario is introducing legislation to allow Ontario businesses to offer Pooled Registered Pension Plans (PRPPs) to their employees, as well as to make PRPPs available to the self-employed. PRPPs would offer Ontario employees and the self-employed a voluntary, low-cost, tax-assisted option to increase retirement savings.

Source:
Ontario Ministry of Finance

http://www.fin.gov.on.ca/en/

Federally Registered Pooled Registered Pension Plans Now Available:
New federal retirement savings option available to businesses and individuals working in federally regulated industries as well as residents of the territories
http://www.fin.gc.ca/n14/14-133-eng.asp
October 7, 2014
Minister of State (Finance) Kevin Sorenson today announced that the five insurance companies that have federal Pooled Registered Pension Plan (PRPP) licences (Sun Life, Great West Life, Manulife, Standard Life and Industrial-Alliance) have been registered with the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions and the Canada Revenue Agency. This was the final step necessary for the plan administrators to make federal PRPPs available to Canadians.

Source:
Department of Finance
http://www.fin.gc.ca/

Minister of State (Finance) Hails Pooled Registered Pension Plans as an Idea Whose Time Has Come
http://www.fin.gc.ca/n13/13-026-eng.asp
February 20, 2013
The Honourable Ted Menzies, Minister of State (Finance), today highlighted the strong potential of the Harper Government’s Pooled Registered Pension Plan (PRPP) initiative to provide a low-cost private pension option for small and medium-sized businesses and their employees, while calling on provinces and territories to introduce legislation to make PRPPs a reality.

Source:
Finance Canada:
http://www.fin.gc.ca/fin-eng.asp

-------------------------------

Comment by Gilles:
Gee, I guess the folks at Finance Canada
haven't read this C.D. Howe report from last August:

Pooled Registered Pension Plans: Pension Savior — or a New Tax on the Poor? (PDF - 1MB, 24 pages)
http://www.cdhowe.org/pdf/Commentary_359.pdf
August 23, 2012
By James Pierlot and Alexandre Laurin
Ottawa needs to rethink the tax rules for Pooled Registered Pension Plans (PRPPs) to realize their potential. As it is, many low- to middle-income Canadians should avoid this new retirement saving vehicle.
Source:
C.D. Howe Institute
http://www.cdhowe.org

Coming into force of the Pooled Registered Pension Plans Act - December 14

From
Finance Canada:

Harper Government Takes Final Step in Development of Pooled Registered Pension Plans
http://www.fin.gc.ca/n12/12-165-eng.asp
December 14, 2012
News Release
The Honourable Ted Menzies, Minister of State (Finance), today announced the coming into force of the second and final tranche of regulatory proposals to address provisions of the Pooled Registered Pension Plans Act. These regulations were pre-published in the Canada Gazette on October 27, 2012 for a 15-day public comment period, prior to final approval by the Government.

“This is the last package of regulations needed to complete the federal Pooled Registered Pension Plan (PRPP) framework, and it marks a significant milestone for Canada’s retirement income system,” said Minister Menzies. “With the federal framework now fully in force, our Government's efforts can serve as a model for provinces to implement their respective sides of the framework. I encourage them to do so, so PRPPs will become available to the millions of Canadians without access to a workplace pension option.”

The federal regulatory regime, which comes into force today, addresses various provisions of the PRPP Act.
Click the link above for a summary of those provisions.

Related Documents:

* Pooled Registered Pension Plans Regulations (PDF 76.20 Kb)
http://www.fin.gc.ca/drleg-apl/PRPP_Dec.14-e.pdf

* Regulatory Impact Analysis Statement
http://www.fin.gc.ca/n12/data/12-165_1-eng.asp

Source:
Finance Canada
http://www.fin.gc.ca/fin-eng.asp

----------------------------------------------------

From the
Toronto Star:

Time to put Flaherty on the spot
http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/article/1302903
December 15, 2012
By Martin Regg Cohn
When Finance Minister Jim Flaherty debates pension reform with the provinces Monday, he’ll be counting on Canadians to tune it out so he can wait it out — yet again. We will all pay a price for his inertia and our indifference: The day of reckoning for retirement incomes is coming, and Flaherty’s shameful procrastination on pensions won’t prepare us for what must inevitably be done — sooner rather than later. The real scandal is that, after two years of delay, concrete reforms are finally within reach. Yet Flaherty seems determined to sabotage the process.

Source:
Toronto Star
http://www.thestar.com/

----------------------------------------------------

Two articles by Bill Currie of the Globe and Mail (both dated December 14)
regarding Canada Pension Plan reform:

Canada Pension Plan reform back on the national agenda
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/cpp-reform-back-on-the-national-agenda/article6345274/
Canada’s finance ministers are reopening the debate on reforms to the Canada Pension Plan with an aim to increase benefits as governments come to grips with the reality that Canadians are not saving enough for retirement. (...) Federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty remains reluctant to approve CPP reforms, however, and is expected to try to focus the discussion on Ottawa’s preferred option, which is voluntary pooled registered pension plans (PRPPs) that would be privately managed.

54 comments about this article:
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/cpp-reform-back-on-the-national-agenda/article6345274/comments/

---

Flaherty seeks unity on pension reform
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/flaherty-seeks-unity-on-pension-reform/article6404747/
Jim Flaherty is setting a high bar for boosting the Canada Pension Plan, saying any move to increase benefits and premiums must have the unanimous support of provinces and territories given the importance of the program.
The Finance Minister’s position goes beyond the rules for amending the CPP, which mirror the formula for constitutional amendments and require the support of two-thirds of the provinces representing two-thirds of Canada’s population.

14 comments about this article:
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/flaherty-seeks-unity-on-pension-reform/article6404747/comments/

Source:
The Globe and Mail

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/

---

COMMENT by Gilles:
Hey, Finance Canada --- give your heads a shake!

Didn't you folks read this recent C.D. Howe commentary on PRPPs?

Pooled Registered Pension Plans: Pension Savior — or a New Tax on the Poor? (PDF - 1MB, 24 pages)
http://www.cdhowe.org/pdf/Commentary_359.pdf
August 23, 2012
By James Pierlot and Alexandre Laurin
Ottawa needs to rethink the tax rules for Pooled Registered Pension Plans (PRPPs) to realize their potential. As it is, many low- to middle-income Canadians should avoid this new retirement saving vehicle.

Source:
C.D. Howe Institute
http://www.cdhowe.org/

...or this article in the Financial Post?

Tax rules make pooled pensions a bad choice for many Canadians: C.D. Howe
http://business.financialpost.com/2012/08/23/tax-rules-make-pooled-pensions-a-bad-choice-for-most-canadians-c-d-howe/
By Barbara Shecter and Gordon Isfeld
August 23, 2012
The federal government’s proposed new pension system, mainly aimed at self-employed Canadians, is no more than an RRSP program with a “new coat of paint,” according to the C.D. Howe Institute. The Ottawa-based public-policy group also warned the pooled registered pension plan would do little to help mid- to low-income earnings save for retirement. The report, titled Pooled Registered Pension Plans: Pension Savior — or a New Tax on the Poor?, concludes that PRPPs could be “vastly improved” by changes to proposed tax rules.

Source:
Financial Post

http://www.financialpost.com/

---

- Go to the Pension Reforms Links page:
http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/pensions.htm

Pooled pension plans become the latest retirement planning option
http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/taxseason/story/2011/11/17/f-prpp-details.html
November 17, 2012

Harper Government touts progress on new pension plan and fiscal literacy
http://www.fin.gc.ca/n12/12-144-eng.asp
November 14, 2012
News Release

The Honourable Ted Menzies, Minister of State (Finance), today spoke to the Greater Kitchener-Waterloo Chamber of Commerce about the role of private sector pension innovation in supporting a strong retirement income system for Canadians and highlighted the importance of financial literacy.
“Our Government is committed to ensuring that Canada’s retirement income system remains effective and well-balanced in an ever-changing world that is full of challenges,” said Minister Menzies. “These challenges are real. It is estimated that more than 60 per cent of Canadians do not have access to a workplace pension plan.”

The recent passage by the House of Commons of the federal Pooled Registered Pension Plan (PRPP) framework is an important step towards offering an innovative, new, low-cost private pension option to the millions of Canadians currently without access to a workplace pension plan, including employers, employees and the self-employed. Once operational, PRPPs will allow many small business owners and their employees to have access to such a plan for the very first time.

Related Document:

Backgrounder: Recent Financial Consumer Initiatives
http://www.fin.gc.ca/n12/data/12-142_1-eng.asp
- FINANCIAL LITERACY
-
CREDIT AGREEMENTS
-
UNSOLICITED CREDIT CARD CHEQUES
-
MORTGAGE PREPAYMENT PENALTIES
-
NEGATIVE OPTION BILLING
-
CHEQUE HOLD PERIODS
-
PREPAID PAYMENT PRODUCTS REGULATIONS
The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) [ http://www.fcac-acfc.gc.ca/ ] undertakes a number of financial literacy initiatives, focusing mainly on the creation of tools, programs and publications to build awareness and develop the financial literacy of Canadians. The FCAC also collaborates with public and private stakeholders to contribute to and support initiatives to strengthen the financial literacy of Canadians.

Source:
Finance Canada
http://www.fin.gc.ca/fin-eng.asp

Harper Government pre-publishes second and final tranche of Pooled Registered Pension Plan Regulations
http://www.fin.gc.ca/n12/12-132-eng.asp
October 26, 2012
News Release

The Honourable Ted Menzies, Minister of State (Finance), today announced that the Harper Government has pre-published for public comment the second and final tranche of regulatory proposals to address provisions of the Pooled Registered Pension Plans Act (Bill C-25).

“As soon as this last package of regulations is finalized, the federal Pooled Registered Pension Plans Act (PRPP Act) and regulations will be brought into force,” said Minister Menzies. “PRPPs will then be available to the millions of Canadians without access to a workplace pension option as soon as provinces and territories implement their respective sides of the framework.”

The proposed regulations will address provisions of the PRPP Act respecting:

* General requirements with respect to providing information;
* The circumstances in which a member may withdraw funds from their PRPP account;
* The circumstances in which a member may receive variable payments from the funds in their account;
* The transfer options available to members and the conditions on the vehicles to which a member’s funds may be transferred;
* The use of electronic means to satisfy requirements under the Act for communications with plan members; and
* Other technical rules related to the implementation of the framework.

Related Documents:

* Proposed Regulations Amending the Pooled Registered Pension Plans Regulations
http://www.fin.gc.ca/drleg-apl/tranche2-eng.asp

* Regulatory Impact Analysis Statement
http://www.fin.gc.ca/n12/data/12-132_1-eng.asp

Source:
Finance Canada
http://www.fin.gc.ca/fin-eng.asp

Pooled Registered Pension Plans (PRPPs): the right solution
at the right time to help Canadians better save for their retirement
http://www.fin.gc.ca/n12/12-095-eng.asp
August 23, 2012
The Honourable Ted Menzies, Minister of State (Finance), today spoke to the Economic Club of Canada in Toronto about the role of private sector pension innovation in supporting a strong retirement income system for Canadians. “The Harper Government is acting in accord with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s conclusion that a growing role for private pensions will be essential to closing the pension gap,” said Minister Menzies. “This gap is real. It is estimated that more than 60 per cent of Canadians do not have access to a workplace pension plan.” The recent passage by the House of Commons of the federal Pooled Registered Pension Plan (PRPP) framework is an important step towards offering an innovative, new, low-cost private pension option to the millions of Canadians currently without access to a workplace pension plan, including employers, employees and the self-employed. Once operational, PRPPs will allow many small business owners and their employees to have access to such a plan for the very first time.

Source:
Department of Finance Canada
http://www.fin.gc.ca/fin-eng.asp

-----------------------------------------------------

Earlier articles on this topic
from the Financial Post:

* Mandatory participation for pooled pensions: Canada Pension Plan Investment Board chief
http://business.financialpost.com/2012/06/07/contemplate-mandatory-participation-in-pooled-pensions-cppib-chief/
Jun 7, 2012

* Choose pensions over Pooled Registered Pension Plans
http://business.financialpost.com/2012/04/10/choose-pensions-over-pooled-registered-pension-plans/
April 10, 2012

* Better solution than Ottawa’s pooled pensions
http://business.financialpost.com/2012/03/08/better-solution-than-ottawas-pooled-pensions/
March 8, 2012

Harper Government celebrates Royal Assent of Pooled Registered Pension Plans (PRPPs)
http://www.fin.gc.ca/n12/12-074-eng.asp
June 28, 2012
The Honourable Ted Menzies, Minister of State (Finance), announced that Bill C-25: the Pooled Registered Pension Plans Act will receive Royal Assent later today. The Minister joined representatives from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) and Jetstream Administration Inc. to celebrate this achievement. This legislation implements the federal framework for a new pension option for the millions of Canadians currently without access to a workplace pension plan.
(...)
PRPPs will be available across Canada once federal tax legislation is passed and the provinces pass their enabling legislation. Regulations will soon be published to address provisions of the Pooled Registered Pension Plans Act.

Related Document:

Helping Canadians Save for Their Retirement With Pooled Registered Pension Plans
http://www.fin.gc.ca/act/prpp-prac/index-eng.asp

Source:
Finance Canada

http://www.fin.gc.ca/fin-eng.asp

---

Full text of Bill C-25: the Pooled Registered Pension Plans Act
http://www.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?Language=E&Mode=1&DocId=5670876

All published versions of Bill C-25
http://www.parl.gc.ca/LegisInfo/BillDetails.aspx?Mode=1&billId=5242186&Language=E#
- includes the First Reading of the Bill and the final version as passed by the House of Commons

Status of the Government House Bill
http://www.parl.gc.ca/LegisInfo/BillDetails.aspx?Mode=1&billId=5242186&Language=E

Passage of Pooled Registered Pension Plans Act a
Positive Step Towards Better Retirement Savings Options for Canadians
http://www.fin.gc.ca/n12/12-067-eng.asp
June 12, 2012
At the December 2010 meeting of Canada’s finance ministers, there was unanimous agreement to pursue a framework for Pooled Registered Pension Plans (PRPPs). PRPPs are an effective and appropriate way to help bridge the existing gaps in the retirement system and provide a viable retirement savings option for Canadians who currently do not have access to a workplace pension plan.The PRPP framework will be fully in place across Canada once Senate approval and provincial enabling legislation occurs. Once operational, PRPPs will offer a new low-cost, easily accessible, privately administered pension option. They will be available to employees—with or without a participating employer—as well as the self-employed

Related link:

Helping Canadians Save for Retirement
http://www.fin.gc.ca/act/prpp-prac/index-eng.asp
- incl. a brief description of PRPPS and links to 10 more online resources with more information about PRPPs

Source:
Finance Canada

http://www.fin.gc.ca/fin-eng.asp

Submission by the Canadian Labour Congress to the House of Commons
Standing Committee on Finance Regarding Pooled Registered Pension Plans (PRPPs)
http://goo.gl/BtRAq
March 2, 2012
Executive Summary
A phased-in, fully funded doubling of future Canada Pension Plan (CPP) retirement benefits remains the most efficient and cost effective means of addressing the problem of inadequate retirement savings in Canada. (...) By contrast, PRPPs are voluntary arrangements that employers may choose to make available to employees, and to which both employers and employees may choose to contribute. Vast challenges confront PRPPs in achieving anything close to the universal portability that the CPP already provides.

Complete submission (PDF - 296K, 22 pages)
http://www.canadianlabour.ca/sites/default/files/prpp-submission-2012-02-24-en.pdf

Source:
Canadian Labour Congress
http://canadianlabour.ca/
The Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) is the national voice of 3.2 million workers in Canada. The CLC brings together Canada’s national and international unions along with the provincial and territorial Federations of Labour and 130 district Labour Councils whose members work in virtually all sectors of the Canadian economy, in all occupations, and in all parts of Canada.

Minister Menzies Highlights Pooled Registered Pension Plans'
Strengths for Small and Medium-Sized Business

http://www.fin.gc.ca/n12/12-019-eng.asp
February 24, 2012
The Honourable Ted Menzies, Minister of State (Finance), today spoke to the Charlottetown Chamber of Commerce about how the introduction of Pooled Registered Pension Plans (PRPPs) will help small and medium-sized businesses compete for the skilled workers they need to expand and grow.
(...)
With PRPPs, participation in privately administered and well-regulated workplace pensions will be encouraged by automatic enrolment of employees. Automatic enrolment will encourage Canadians to begin a program of regular savings for their retirement.

Source:
Finance Canada
http://www.fin.gc.ca/fin-eng.asp

Whoa.
Did you get that zinger in the second sentence above?
"With PRPPs, participation ... will be encouraged by automatic enrolment of employees."
Automatic enrolment isn't encouragement --- it's coercion or, at best, a negative option.
But then, this *is* the Harper Government™ we're talking about here...

Related link:

Pooled Registered Pension Plans (PRPPs):
News Coverage, Opinion & Commentary

http://goo.gl/gcQKY
- links to 60+ related resources, including some negative critiques.
Source:
Ampersand Advisory Group
http://www.ampersandadvisory.com/
(Vancouver pension consulting firm)

Provincial and federal governments partner toward introduction of Pooled Registered Pension Plans
http://www.fin.gc.ca/n11/11-134-eng.asp
News Release
December 14, 2011
The Honourable Ted Menzies, Minister of State (Finance), today announced that the Government released for consultation a package of draft legislative proposals for changes to the Income Tax Act and the Income Tax Regulations to accommodate Pooled Registered Pension Plans (PRPPs). In December 2010, there was unanimous agreement among provinces, territories and the federal government to move forward with the framework for PRPPs. The rules announced today will set the stage for all provinces to introduce legislation to implement PRPPs.

Related Documents:

* Income Tax Legislative Proposals in Respect of Pooled Registered Pension Plans and Explanatory Notes
http://www.fin.gc.ca/drleg-apl/prpp-rpac1211-eng.asp
December 14, 2011

* Backgrounder: Key Measures Included in Income Tax Legislative Proposals in Respect of Pooled Registered Pension Plans
http://www.fin.gc.ca/n11/data/11-134_1-eng.asp
December 14, 2011

* News Release: Harper Government Introduces the Pooled Registered Pension Plans Act
http://www.fin.gc.ca/n11/11-119-eng.asp
November 17, 2011

Source:
Finance Canada
http://www.fin.gc.ca/fin-eng.asp

From the
Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA):

Pooled Registered Pension Plans not the answer to pension crisis: study
http://goo.gl/FYUgj
December 7, 2011
OTTAWA—The newly proposed Pooled Registered Pension Plan (PRPP) program will do nothing to solve Canada’s pension crisis, says a study released today by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA).
The study, by pension expert and CCPA research associate Monica Townson, provides an analysis of the PRPP program and argues that expanding the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) would provide better retirement pensions to virtually all Canadians

Complete report:

Pension Breakdown:
How The Finance Ministers Bungled Pension Reform
(PDF - 788K, 34 pages)
http://goo.gl/iwE3z
- includes a ten-page chapter entitled "Barriers to CPP Expansion"

Source:
Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives is an independent, non-partisan research institute concerned with issues of social and economic justice. Founded in 1980, the CCPA is one of Canada’s leading progressive voices in public policy debates.



The Pooled Registered Pension Plan

From
Finance Canada:

Harper Government Introduces the Pooled Registered Pension Plans Act
November 17, 2011
Legislation was introduced today in Parliament, implementing the federal portion of the Pooled Registered Pension Plan (PRPP) framework. Since PRPPs are particularly applicable to small business, Minister Menzies delivered his remarks at a small radio station without a company pension plan. (...) PRPPs are the outcome of several years of cooperation, research and consultations by Canada’s finance ministers on the best ways to ensure the long-term strength of Canada’s retirement income system. (...) Provincial enabling legislation will need to be introduced for the framework to become fully operational.

Related Documents:

* Backgrounder: The Retirement Income Landscape in Canada
* Backgrounder: How Pooled Registered Pension Plans Will Address Gaps in Canada’s Retirement Income System
* Helping Canadians Save for their Retirement with Pooled Registered Pension Plans (includes links to seven more online related resources)
In December 2010, Canada’s Finance Ministers agreed on a framework for defined contribution Pooled Registered Pension Plans (PRPPs) to provide Canadians with a new, low-cost, efficiently managed, portable and accessible savings vehicle that will help them meet their retirement objectives.

Source:
Finance Canada

---

Related link:

Ottawa launches pooled pension plan
By Michael Lewis
November 18, 2011
The Harper government has tabled its framework for a pooled pension plan that it says will help fill the gap for the nearly two-thirds of Canadian workers without the security of a company sponsored pension. (...) But Liberal finance critic Scott Brison called the PRPP a half measure that will give maximum benefit to the banks and insurance companies who will earn transaction fees for administering the plan. He also called it a poor substitute for expansion of the defined benefit Canada Pension Plan that provides secure benefits for all Canadians. (...) Canadian Labour Congress President Ken Georgetti called PRPPs privately administered workplace pension plans that resemble group RRSPs. As such, he said they will fail to secure predictable benefits in retirement indexed against inflation, won’t match the CPP’s low cost and will lack the CPP’s survivor and disability benefits and universal portability.

Source:
Moneyville.ca
[ Toronto Star ]


Harper Conservatives failing to address retirement income crisis
November 17, 2011
Legislation creating pooled registered pension plans is an ineffective and woefully inadequate way to address Canada’s retirement income security crisis. Canada’s largest union is calling on the federal government to quit stalling with half-measures and to start acting with the provinces on urgently needed reforms to public pensions.
Source:
Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE)

Ensuring a Strong Retirement System, Support for Provinces
and Territories While Moving Towards Budget Balance

December 20, 2010
The Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, today released the following statement at the close of his meeting with provincial and territorial Finance Ministers and ministers responsible for pensions: “We had a very good meeting. I’d like to thank my provincial and territorial counterparts for their contribution to what was a candid, open and productive discussion.

“I’m particularly pleased to announce that we reached agreement on a framework for the introduction of a new kind of pension plan, called the Pooled Registered Pension Plan, or PRPP. “This new private-sector retirement savings vehicle will improve the range of retirement savings options available to Canadians by providing a low-cost retirement savings opportunity for employees—with or without a participating employer—and the self-employed."
Source:
Canada News Centre

Related links:

Framework for Pooled Registered Pension Plans
December 2010
This backgrounder sets out a framework for defined contribution PRPPs across Canada that will improve the range of retirement saving options to Canadians
Source:
Finance Canada

Saskatchewan. Pension Plan may be used to develop changes nationally
By Bruce Johnstone
December 27, 2010
The province that introduced medicare and public auto insurance to Canada -- could soon be leading the way in pension reform as well. The Saskatchewan Pension Plan, which has been around since 1986, may well be the model for the pooled pension plans that the country's finance ministers proposed last week in Kananaskis, Alta. The federal and provincial finance ministers agreed to introduce legislation to allow the creation of pooled registered pension plans (PRPPs), targeted to employees of small-and medium-sized businesses. The PRPPs would be 'low-cost' private pension plans that would be available to employees without a company pension plan or even an employer, in the case of self-employed people. Employee participation would be mandatory, unless the employee opted out of the plan. The closest thing we have to a PRPP in Canada today is the Saskatchewan Pension Plan (SPP), a voluntary pension plan to which employees, self-employed individuals and/or their spouses can contribute up to $2,500 annually.
Source:
Regina Leader-Post

From the
Canadian Labour Congress:

Georgetti urges quick action on enhancing Canada Pension Plan
- Says Canadians losing opportunities to save for retirement

December 20. 2010
OTTAWA – Finance Ministers should move as quickly as possible to provide enhancements to the Canada and Quebec Pension Plans, says Ken Georgetti, president of the Canadian Labour Congress. “We have a looming pensions crisis and we can’t wait for years to fix this problem,” Georgetti says. “An improved CPP is easily the best way to guarantee retirement security for Canadians.”
Georgetti was commenting on the Finance Ministers’ meeting in Kananaskis, Alberta on December 19-20. At least six of the provinces prefer an enhanced CPP, a proposal that federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty supported until very recently. But he now wants provinces and territories to support a privately administered option called Pooled Registered Pension Plans (PRPPs). The ministers have agreed to do more work on both proposals and to meet again in June. “Mr. Flaherty’s idea is, at best, a poor alternative to CPP expansion,” Georgetti says.

Q's and A's re. proposed Pooled Registered Pension Plans
(...) PRPPs are a better option than an individual RRSP and other alternatives, with potential lower cost (not demonstrated or legislated) and fiduciary role. But it won’t guarantee you a decent retirement income and is greatly inferior to the option of expanding the benefits under the Canada Pension Plan.
Source:
Canadian Labour Congress

From the
Progressive Economics Forum:

Flaherty’s Inferior Pension Plan (FLIPP)
By Andrew Jackson
December 20, 2010
. Basically they are like group RRSPs, but sponsored by a financial institution with a fiduciary responsibility as opposed to an employer. They may be somewhat lower cost than individual RRSPs, as with current group RRSPs. However, there will be a lot of such plans, with different investment options, so large economies of scale will not be reached. Unlike the CPP, there is no mandatory employer contribution; no defined benefit based on career average earnings; no inflation protection,; and no assurance of full portability.  Costs, including financial institution profits, will lower returns considerably compared to the CPP alternative. Would such plans  gain a lot of members? Enrollment of employees could be mandatory, at the discretion of a province, but almost certainly with an opt out provision.  Some individual RRSP accounts could be transferred to new, larger pools. At best, a very poor alternative to CPP expansion.

Source:
Progressive Economics Forum (PEF)
Economic policy-making and economics instruction in Canada have both increasingly come to reflect a conservative, free-market perspective. There is an urgent need to promote an alternative, progressive economics community in Canada. Over 125 progressive economists—working in universities, the labour movement, and activist research organizations—have joined forces to make our collective, critical perspective heard. We have formed the Progressive Economics Forum.
The general goal of PEF is to promote the development of a progressive economics community in Canada.

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