BC holding off on CPP expansion

By Andrew Rickard | July 19 2016 11:25AM

Photo: Freepik

British Columbia plans to hold public consultations before signing on to an enhanced Canada Pension Plan (CPP). The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) welcomed the announcement, and says other provinces should do the same.

Last week, Federal Minister of Finance Bill Morneau indicated that British Columbia would not ratify the agreement in principle to expand the CPP by the July 15 deadline. "While all other signatories will meet this target, the Province of British Columbia has indicated that it needs more time to do so," said Morneau. "The process remains on track for the Government to table federal legislation in the fall, as planned."

Consultations planned

Instead, British Columbia has decided to hold consultations to make sure that people in the province understand the effect that the proposed changes may have.

"Pensions are the cornerstone of a family’s retirement savings — a strong pension system lets families plan for retirement with confidence. The proposed CPP enhancement is meant to balance the needs of business owners with those of employees," reads the statement posted to the British Columbia Ministry of Finance web site. "British Columbia is committed to engaging with stakeholders in advance of ratifying the agreement in principle."

Business owners concerned

The CFIB welcomed the news, citing its earlier survey which found that 83% of small business owners believe it would be irresponsible to proceed with CPP expansion without proper consultation and analysis.

“This consultation really comes at the 11th hour, but it’s never too late to do the right thing,” comments CFIB executive vice president Laura Jones. “And because the results of this consultation won’t come for at least a month, it gives other provinces that might have been rushed into a deal the chance to step back, hear from the public and study the potential economic impact.”