CALGARY(Times Bureau) – The Alberta NDP has released its latest proposal in their Alberta’s Future initiative, outlining protections for Albertans pension contributions should the NDP be elected in May.

“Retirement is supposed to be a special time where Albertans who have worked so hard can spend more time with their families and loved ones, see new places, and reflect on a life well lived. But it can also bring a mix of emotions too – anxiety and financial stress. That stress has been taken to new heights with the policies of the UCP,” said Alberta NDP Leader Rachel Notley.

“The CPP is the envy of the world, renowned for its management, sophistication and reliability. Remaining in the CPP will save hundreds of millions dollars that Danielle Smith would be forced to spend to start up and operate an Alberta-based pension plan.

“We will legislate the protection of the CPP, by passing a law preventing any Alberta government from leaving the plan.”

In 2019, the UCP government introduced Bill 22 with no consultation. The legislation dramatically restructured how public pensions were governed, affecting the retirement security of hundreds of thousands of Albertans.

The bill dismantled joint governance and all public sector plans were prevented from leaving AIMCo, irrespective of the investment managers’ performance.

“Right now, it is extremely hard to change CPP benefit levels, or the age at which you can begin to collect your pension. But if Danielle Smith gets her way, political risk skyrockets.

Smith and her UCP cabinet could change benefit levels, of the retirement age, in one cabinet meeting, behind closed doors,” said Notley.

“That is an unacceptable level of risk for Albertans, when their retirement security is at stake.”

Currently, in order to change CPP seven provinces must consent, which mitigates the risk of political interference.

“Pension investments are not political toys. They are not about any one government’s political priorities, they are about Albertans’ retirement security,” said Alberta NDP Labour Critic Christina Gray. “With this plan, an Alberta NDP government would put your retirement security at the centre of our pensions policies.”

Titled Your Pension is Yours, the Alberta NDP proposal will:

Stay in the Canada Pension Plan
The Alberta NDP will legislate against leaving the CPP.
Expand Private Workplace Pensions
The Alberta NDP will remove the barriers of scale and administrative cost for the private sector to set up workplace pensions.
Create a task force with AIMCo, APS and private sector non-profit and for-profit leaders to refine the model and develop an operational plan for implementation.
Reform Governance of Public Sector Pensions Plans
The Alberta NDP proposes to return to a model of trust, transparency, and respect for public sector pension plans.

“From the pipeline technician who heads out in -40C, to the teacher who burns the midnight oil to plan the next day’s lessons, Albertans work hard to keep our economy moving and they create a province in which the next generation of leaders and innovators can thrive,” said Alberta NDP Finance Critic Shannon Phillips. “They deserve to know their retirement is secure, and they can count on that security with Rachel Notley and the Alberta NDP

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