As many of you know, the federal government has launched online consultations and a series of cross-country roundtable discussions, speaking engagements and town hall meetings to gather input from Canadians on ensuring the ongoing strength of Canada’s retirement income system.
The input received from these consultations will be discussed at the next meeting of federal, provincial and territorial ministers of finance in May, where Canada’s retirement income system will be a key agenda item.
You may recall that the Canadian Chamber of Commerce wrote to the federal and provincial/territorial finance ministers in advance of their December 2009 proposing private sector options that would make it more practical and affordable for small and medium-sized businesses to offer employees retirement savings plans. (This topic was also discussed on a Canadian Chamber network call last fall.) In our letter to finance ministers we said that:
- Canadian businesses need the flexibility to choose retirement savings solutions that fit their business models,
- Canadians’ retirement savings and income needs vary significantly, and
- Federal and provincial/territorial governments should consider a balanced, competitive approach to retirement savings that includes more private sector options for businesses and employees. These options should focus on improving both Defined Contribution (DC) pension plans and group RRSPs making these plans less costly and easier for small and medium-sized businesses to offer to their employees.
This is an opportunity for chambers and businesses of all sizes, from all regions of Canada, to make their views known on this issue. We encourage you and your members to file a submission and have prepared a submission template that you may find useful. If you do make a submission, we would appreciate you sending us a copy.
Submissions will be accepted by the Department of Finance until April 30, 2010 and should be sent by e-mail to: [email protected]. Written submissions can be mailed to the address contained within the attached letter.