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  • Report looks at captured nature of BC’s Oil and Gas Commission August 6, 2019
    From an early stage, BC’s Oil and Gas Commission bore the hallmarks of a captured regulator. The very industry that the Commission was formed to regulate had a significant hand in its creation and, too often, the interests of the industry it regulates take precedence over the public interest. This report looks at the evolution […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Correcting the Record July 26, 2019
    Earlier this week Kris Sims and Franco Terrazzano of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation wrote an opinion piece that was published in the Calgary Sun, Edmonton Sun, Winnipeg Sun, Ottawa Sun and Toronto Sun. The opinion piece makes several false claims and connections regarding the Corporate Mapping Project (CMP), which we would like to correct. The […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Rental Wage in Canada July 18, 2019
    Our new report maps rental affordability in neighbourhoods across Canada by calculating the “rental wage,” which is the hourly wage needed to afford an average apartment without spending more than 30% of one’s earnings.  Across all of Canada, the average wage needed to afford a two-bedroom apartment is $22.40/h, or $20.20/h for an average one […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Towards Justice: Tackling Indigenous Child Poverty in Canada July 9, 2019
    CCPA senior economist David Macdonald co-authored a new report, Towards Justice: Tackling Indigenous Child Poverty in Canada­—released by Upstream Institute in partnership with the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) and the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA)—tracks child poverty rates using Census 2006, the 2011 National Household Survey and Census 2016. The report is available for […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Fossil-Power Top 50 launched July 3, 2019
    What do Suncor, Encana, the Royal Bank of Canada, the Fraser Institute and 46 other companies and organizations have in common? They are among the entities that make up the most influential fossil fuel industry players in Canada. Today, the Corporate Mapping Project (CMP) is drawing attention to these powerful corporations and organizations with the […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
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The Banks and Supplementary Public Pensions

The Canadian Bankers Association are deeply opposed to meddling with a pension system which they say is working just fine.  Which is understandable, albeit self-serving, given their dominance of the high fee mutual fund industry and the significant profits earned on spreads between low interest GICs and bank lending. The banks do just fine out of leaving individuals without decent pension plans to fend for themselves as investors in the financial markets they dominate.

They go on to say that, if governments sponsor any new pension plans along the lines suggested by three provincial pension inquiries ,” it must be made clear that the government is not providing any guarantees with respect to portfolio balances, rate of return or income stream.”

That is deeply hypocritical, given recent federal government backstops for the banks themselves.
Under the Extraordinary Financing Framework introduced to deal with the global financial crisis, the federal government offered to swap rock solid government bonds for up to $125 Billion of bank held mortgages, and the Bank of Canada allowed the banks to borrow dollar for dollar against risky, hard to sell assets. It is inconceivable that any Canadian government would ever let a major bank fail.

I guess the message is that it is okay for the government to backstop the banks, but not the pension savings of working Canadians.

Enjoy and share:


Comment from rcp
Time: April 30, 2010, 6:22 am

The report is kind of interesting, for a couple of reasons.

1) At the bottom of page 6, the report obliquely acknowledges that some (I’d say most) Canadian mutual funds have high expenses. This may be a first from the CBA.

2) Starting on page 9, there is discussion of potential amendments to the Income Tax Act to allow for third-party-sponsored pension plans. This would be a substantial policy change and could lead to better pension coverage.

There are also some suggestions for RRSP’s and TFSA’s (increase contribution limits, make them more flexible), but these are pretty obvious and we didn’t need the CBA to tell us that.

Comment from Keith Newman
Time: April 30, 2010, 10:19 am

The reality is that the main function of our private pension schemes – private pension plans of all sorts (defined benefit and contribution), RRSPs, TFSAs – is to provide subsidies to the financial industry and advisers. Expecting people to speculate in financial assets for 50 or 60 years to provide for their retirement is absurd and only serves the purposes of those who provide the instruments and advice.

Providing income to the elderly is a matter of distribution between age cohorts alive at any point in time and would best be done through direct federal government spending and taxation. No banks, no financial advisers, one actuary, no fees.

The people currently employed in those areas could be redeployed to more useful jobs, although a few would still be needed to cater to the well-to-do.

Comment from pensions
Time: April 30, 2010, 9:07 pm

On delaying the payment of annual pension increases until a retiree reaches age 65, and then limiting those payments to the first $35,000 in retirement pay. The House approved a deficit-cutting plan earlier this month that relied.

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