Concerns of Canadians Expressed During the Election
Urgent Need to Protect Retirees
One of the issues raised in the election is the urgent need to protect retirees. The Canadian Federation of Retirees pointed out that more than 4.2 million Canadians depend on defined benefit pension plans. It points out:
“These pensions are funded by employers and employees, and benefits are paid to employees when they retire. However, their retirement security is by no means guaranteed.
“In fact, retirees are left behind when companies go bankrupt. When companies like Nortel, Sears and Cliffs Natural Resources went bankrupt, their employees’ retirement funds were underfunded and their retirees lost heavily. This has left tens of thousands of vulnerable seniors facing lifelong financial hardship, many of them losing 20 per cent or more of their income for the rest of their lives.
“The federal government has a vital role to play in protecting Canadian retirees.”
The Canadian Federation of Retirees has more than 300,000 members. It is calling for 100 per cent protection of defined benefit retiree pensions when a business goes bankrupt. This will require amending federal insolvency laws to extend super-priority to unfunded pension plan liabilities.
The Federation points out:
“The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated that we need to radically change the way we respond to the problems of the elderly and revisit who we prioritize. We must stop protecting the big Canadian banks to the detriment of vulnerable seniors. We must prevent seniors from living in poverty by protecting the financial security of retirees.
“Our members of Parliament must take the protection of the financial security of Canadian seniors seriously. Retirees have worked hard all their lives and deserve their pensions to be protected.”