Next Alberta pension report will use 1960s exit formula: opposition

A report on the viability of a provincial pension plan in Alberta is expected to be released by the end of the month – a report the opposition calls a “misleading fantasy” in favor of leaving the Canada Pension Plan.

On Tuesday, Shannon Phillips, the opposition’s finance spokesperson for pensions and insurance, said she had been briefed on some of the contents of the report expected within days.

“The report will rely on a withdrawal formula that dates back to 1966 and completely ignores how the Canada Pension Plan is currently invested,” Phillips said.

“He will falsely, falsely claim that Alberta owes hundreds of billions of dollars to the fund. This is completely illusory, because if each province claimed its “share” of the fund, in quotes, as calculated by the next report, it would total nine times what is currently stored in the CPP.

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PKBNEWS has not seen the report.

The Lethbridge West MLA said adopting a so-called Alberta Pension Plan would be a “gamble with Albertans’ retirement security” initiated by Premier Danielle Smith.

Phillips said a taxpayer-funded advertising campaign to “sell” the report to Albertans will accompany the report’s release.

On Saturday’s episode of Your province. Your Prime Minister, Smith was asked when Albertans might see this report.

“I promised we would publish the report. It will be released before the end of the month and we will discuss it,” Smith said on Corus Radio.

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Smith has previously said the decision on whether to leave the Canada Pension Plan would be subject to a referendum vote.

A statement from the Ministry of Finance said the report would be made public “when ready”.

“Once the report is released, we will consult with Albertans. Premier Danielle Smith has made it clear that we will not create a pension plan in Alberta unless Albertans are interested and vote in favor of this project through a referendum,” said Savannah Johannsen, Press Secretary to Minister Nate Horner, in a press release.

A Leger online poll of 1,000 Albertans conducted in May found that only 21 per cent of Albertans supported creating an Alberta alternative to the CPP. A majority of those surveyed – 54 percent – ​​opposed the idea.

During the May provincial election campaign, Smith, then leader of the PCU, said that leaving the CPP was not part of the party’s campaign, even though it was part of the policies adopted at the AGM that saw Smith elected chief.

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During the final week of the provincial election, Smith reiterated to the province that “no one touches anyone’s pension.”

The CPP was created in 1965 and underwent major reforms in 1997 and 2016. Any changes to the Canada Pension Plan Act require the agreement of seven of the ten provinces representing two-thirds of the population of the country.

Economics professors told PKBNEWS an Alberta exit would require extensive negotiations with the provinces and federal government, including on issues like portability.

A provision of the Act leaves the door open for provinces to offer a comprehensive “comparable” pension plan, but the term “comparable” has not been defined.

Only Quebec has its own pension plan, which dates from 1965.

“It’s helpful to keep in mind that in Quebec, where residents have their own pension fund administered by the province of Quebec, contributions are much higher than here in Alberta,” Phillips said.

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Critics of Alberta’s pension plan have said that if the province separated from the CPP, additional bureaucracy would be required to administer the pension plan.

The report faced numerous delays, after officials indicated it would be made public by the end of 2022 and then by May 2023.

Advocacy group Public Interest Alberta is calling on the Smith government to immediately release the pension report.

“Albertons need to know that the UCP government will not jeopardize the financially secure, effective and sustainable CPP,” said Tom Fuller, pension advocate and founding member of the Canada Pension Plan Task Force.

“Not only has the CPP proven itself over the past 50 years, there is a solid plan to improve the pensions of Albertans and Canadians and ensure its sustainability over the next 75 years and beyond. political games. »

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