Statement made on 28 October 2009 by Senator Art Eggleton
Hon. Art Eggleton:
Honourable senators, my question, which was provided in advance, is for the Leader of the Government in the Senate. Yesterday, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty announced proposed changes to federally regulated pension plans. It is estimated that roughly 5 million Canadians, one third of the workforce, are not building enough of a private nest egg to avoid a significant drop in living standards upon retirement and that almost one in three Canadians has no retirement savings at all. Statistics show that the median funding level for private sector pension plans is only 85 per cent, which means that pension plans are under-funded by an estimated $50 billion. Therefore, thousands of retirees could be stranded with limited pensions when they retire, which could lead to more cash-strapped elderly and a rising bill for society.
My question is: What is the timetable for these changes? What methods of delivery — either legislation or regulation — will the government use to implement these changes? Since the announced changes assist only federally regulated pensions, will legislation be coming forward to help the 88 per cent of Canadians not affected by the announced changes?
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