Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario, November 14, 2012

Archived - Harper Government Touts Progress on New Pension Plan and Financial Literacy

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The Honourable Ted Menzies, Minister of State (Finance), today spoke to the Greater Kitchener-Waterloo Chamber of Commerce about the role of private sector pension innovation in supporting a strong retirement income system for Canadians and highlighted the importance of financial literacy.

“Our Government is committed to ensuring that Canada’s retirement income system remains effective and well-balanced in an ever-changing world that is full of challenges,” said Minister Menzies. “These challenges are real. It is estimated that more than 60 per cent of Canadians do not have access to a workplace pension plan.”

The recent passage by the House of Commons of the federal Pooled Registered Pension Plan (PRPP) framework is an important step towards offering an innovative, new, low-cost private pension option to the millions of Canadians currently without access to a workplace pension plan, including employers, employees and the self-employed. Once operational, PRPPs will allow many small business owners and their employees to have access to such a plan for the very first time.

PRPPs are the result of federal and provincial governments working together to help ensure the long-term strength of Canada’s retirement system. There was unanimous agreement at the December 2010 meeting of federal and provincial finance ministers to pursue a framework for PRPPs as an effective and appropriate way to help bridge existing gaps in the retirement system.

PRPPs will involve pooling large funds, so that Canadians will benefit from lower management costs. In effect, Canadians will be buying in bulk, leaving more money in their pockets when they retire. PRPPs are also intended to be largely harmonized between provinces and territories, which will encourage lower administrative costs.

As November is Financial Literacy Month, Minister Menzies also addressed the importance of financial literacy.

“Financial literacy is a critical life skill in today’s economy, ensuring that individuals have the tools and knowledge to make responsible financial decisions,” said Minister Menzies. “The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada has effective resources available for Canadians looking to enhance their financial decision making. Financial literacy enhances Canadians’ personal well-being and strengthens our financial system as a whole.”

For further information, media may contact:

Bram Sepers
Office of the Minister of State (Finance)

Jack Aubry
Media Relations
Department of Finance

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