October 25th, 2020

Pension change would threaten Albertans’ interests


By Letter to the Editor on July 15, 2020.

The UCP government and our premier are intent on Alberta withdrawing from the Canada Pension Plan. This follows the release of the Fair Deal Panel report which echoes exactly what Jason Kenney wanted to hear prior to him creating the panel.

The same Fair Deal Panel report cited a telephone poll of 1,000 Albertans and 58 per cent of respondents wanted to stay with the CPP. It is clear to me that ideology is trumping common sense and public opinion.

CPP is a Canadian success story and has provided Albertans with a safe and secure pension plan for over 50 years. It is actuarially sound and will continue to provide much needed retirement funds to Albertans for decades to come. So it if ain’t broke, why are we “fixing it”?

One need only look at the recent experience of AIMCo – a made-in-Alberta pension plan that manages pension monies for Alberta civil servants, police officers and judges (and soon teachers). This pension fund recently “vapourized” $2.2 billion, employing an investment strategy that led to huge losses. For me, it is better to be diversified across the wealth of a country than that of a single province.

As Alberta’s budget deficit climbs to an estimated $20 billion this year, Alberta is not well placed to absorb the additional cost of administering a made-in-Alberta pension plan. While this proposed ideological move may play well to the “More Alberta, Less Ottawa” constituency, it fundamentally represents a threat to the financial security of Alberta retirees now and in the future.

One might argue what’s the harm in putting the question of withdrawing from CPP to all Albertans by way of a referendum? The answer of course is that politics, not economics, is driving the recommendation in the first place. Anti-Ottawa sentiments whipped up by the UCP in the course of a referendum may serve Jason Kenney’s short-term political goals but it jeopardizes Albertans’ long-term interests.

As somebody who has contributed to the CPP since my first pay cheque decades ago, I am not willing to risk my future pension so that Jason Kenney can check off a box on his ideological to-do list.

Scott Charlton Paul

Lethbridge

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johnny57

Hmm seems to be working great in Quebec Scott! Is it not? Why does one part of Canada seem to administer their own pension-plan for their people yet if Alberta wants the same…Not palatable! Why Scott? It all comes down to “control” doesn’t it Scott? The last thing the rest of Canada wants is Alberta having more control over THEIR own affairs.

grinandbearit

Answer to first question: Because Kenney thinks nothing of throwing billions of our money to oil and gas ventures that have little to no chance of return on our investment. It is not about control, it is about idiotic transfers of money to outrageously wealthy interests who have done nothing for us when we are down.

biff

j57 – you are allowed to be a bit smart in this forum…you do not always have to present the silly side of the equation

Fedup Conservative

Once more I had my comments removed because I insulted dear johnny . Most Albertans are smart enough to understand that we don’t have nearly enough working people in Alberta to pay into a pension plan to make it work. What upsets my senior friends in their 90s is Kenney is just liable to cut theirs off using the excuse that they’ve already received far more than they ever put into the system. They know they have. The fact is the Federal Government is capable of subsidizing it , if necessary, and there is no way Alberta could. Don’t forget we are in financial ruin thanks to what these so-called conservatives did to us.

Fedup Conservative

Most Albertans are smart enough to understand that we don’t have nearly enough working people in Alberta to pay into a pension plan to make it work. What upsets my senior friends in their 90s is Kenney is just liable to cut theirs off using the excuse that they’ve already received far more than they ever put into the system. They know they have. The fact is the Federal Government is capable of subsidizing it , if necessary, and there is no way Alberta could. Don’t forget we are in financial ruin thanks to what these so-called conservatives did to us.

sreynolds

Thank you to Mr. Paul’s wise letter regarding our CPP. Kenny must NOT touch our pensions. No system is perfect, but Canadians have been serviced well and I for one do not want to risk my future for no good reason than Kenny’s need for control.