Monday, November 22, 2010

Goodale On Canadians' Disappearing Pensions

This is the major crisis of our time - and the Harper Reformatories won't even address it appropriately. Why? Because they've squandered away surpluses on "toys" and partisan advertising...

Here's Ralph Goodale's take:


On television last week, a former Nortel employee, now suffering from Parkinson’s disease, described how her long-term disability pension from Nortel will expire at the end of this year – due to the company’s massive bankruptcy. Once it’s gone, she’ll be literally “out on the street”.

Around Remembrance Day, Canadian veterans – both old and young – held protest rallies across the country to highlight major weaknesses in the pensions and support services provided to returning military personnel.

This past weekend, pension professionals from Saskatchewan made a presentation about the deliberate discrimination in federal tax rules that undermine the “direct contribution – variable pension benefit” plans that are particularly prominent in Saskatchewan.

Stock markets continue to fluctuate at levels well below previous expectations, resulting in RRSP and TFSP values that are down drastically from what investors had planned for, just a few years ago.

Fully one-third of Canadians have no retirement savings at all, beyond the government-mandated CPP, OAS and GIS. And another one-third have some additional savings, but nothing sufficient to maintain their standard of living.

These are a few of the growing and glaring issues around Canada’s pension system.

For nearly two years now, the Harper government has been promising major pension improvements, but to date they’ve accomplished nothing of consequence. Time is rapidly slipping by as pension problems of all kinds get worse.

The hard reality is that a majority of Canadians today cannot look forward to a secure retirement based on the public and private pension plans now in effect and the rules governing personal savings.

With a huge number of “Baby Boomers” heading toward retirement beginning next year, the gross inadequacy of pensions and savings is nothing short of a crisis – a ticking time-bomb about to explode.

This must become a national priority for decisive action in 2011!

post signatureVICTORY FUND


Anonymous said...

Agree on the message, just dead tired of the messenger. Your first instinct when hearing or seeing Goodale is to yawn. The LPC needs new voices.

WesternGrit said...

Anon: Sometimes the most clear (and selfless) observations are made by the most experienced veterans. No matter how much some of us like to "poo-poo" veterans, no pro team or team of any kind can make it without a few folks who know the ins and outs, and who can level-headedly make decisions because their daily concerns are greater than just re-election...

marie said...

I happen to have a sister who worked for nortel for 25 years. She has already lost one of her pensions and must be scared of losing her other one. Her husband is handicapped and has been for the past 20 years. She has had to raise 4 children, put them through school and she is very afraid of her non choices should she lose her main Nortel pension. She is 65 years old and too old to have to go back in the workforce and have someone care for her husband even if she could get a good paying job.

So anyon, quit hiding behind the anon title and open up that narrow mind you call a brain cell