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PEI UPSE Congratulates Minister on Supporting Pension Reform

(Posted Dec 20, 2010)


The Prince Edward Island Union of Public Sector Employees congratulates Minister Sheridan for standing up for the rights of Islanders when it comes to retiring in dignity.

Shelley Ward, PEI UPSE President, says “we are pleased to see the Minister of Finance supporting labour and all Canadians in the goal of reforming the pension system in Canada. Labour activists from across the country have been lobbying for our provincial and federal representatives to address pension reform because many Canadians are facing poverty in retirement.”

Ward explains that “30% of Canadian households don’t have any retirement savings other than their contributions to the Canada Pension Plan, and only 38% of workers in Canada belong to workplace pension plans whether they are defined contribution or defined benefit plans. The expectation when the Canada Pension Plan was created was that workplace pension plans and private savings would supplement benefit payments to achieve an adequate retirement income for Canadians. Evidence clearly indicates that this is not the case, nor likely to be the case in the future.”

“PEI UPSE has been calling upon elected representatives to increase Canada Pension Plan benefits as well as the Guaranteed Income Supplement and Old Age Security,” says Ward.  “Minister Sheridan announced his support for labour and the goal of pension reform in the legislature on December 7, 2010. Many PEI UPSE members were in attendance to hear Minister Sheridan’s announcement.”

The President of PEI’s largest union says “the level of Canada Pension Plan benefits today is too low, yet for over six million Canadians without workplace pensions or RRSPs, the Canada Pension Plan is their only real source of retirement income. I’m pleased that Minister Sheridan believes that it’s time to increase benefits under the Canada Pension Plan and look forward to hearing positive feedback following the upcoming Finance Ministers’ meeting later this month in Alberta.

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Please contact Mark Barrett at 892-5335 (or toll-free at 1-800- 897-8773) to arrange an interview.