Essay on A Brief Note On The Canadian Pension System

Essay on A Brief Note On The Canadian Pension System

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Another reason to support the ORPP is that, historically, pensions in Canada have played a major role in promoting equality. According to Marier and Skinner (2008), the alternative to pensions is unattractive, a position based on the circumstances in Canada prior to World War 2 when older people had to work late into life of rely on the generosity of family members, something that is decreasingly likely today as an option given that older people for the first time have more money than the taxpayers who are supporting them. As Marier and Skinner (2008) note, the Canadian pension system has “its track record in combating inequality. Despite spending relatively little on old age pensions, Canada succeeds, through its basic and earnings-related pension schemes, at combating income disparities at a rate similar to that of the highest public spenders...” (p. 60). Women and minorities are more likely to rely on pensions; however, they are also the ones likely to receive the least benefit. For instance, an elderly woman might have taken time of(off) work to raise children and therefore not be entitled to a reasonable standard of income. Nevertheless in a country committed to providing a good life for all the province of Ontario should be applauded for taking steps to promote savings and retirements characterized by a good standard of living.
Another advantage of the ORPP is that it would shift the structure of pensions in Ontario in the direction of defined benefit plans and away from defined contribution plans. As Friedberg and Webb (2005) write, “defined benefit pension plans have become considerably less common since the early 1980s, while defined contribution plans have spread.” (p. 281). Defined contribution plans are th...


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... becoming less and less reliable. As Godbout, Trudel and St. Cerny (2014) write, the year which one retires has historically had a major impact in Canada on the returns one could expect from their pension contributions. According to Godbout, Trudel and St. Cerny (2014), “A steady decline in returns was observed in which the rates of return for the first generation of contributors were markedly higher than those of subsequent generations, primarily on the account of modalities for establishing benefits” (p. 364). The authors found that this is was in part due to the higher contributions demanded of subsequent generations. This is not so different than Turfts and Fairbanks allegation that public sector pensions amount to a ponzi scheme. Again the manner in which the age pyramid in Canada is shifting was cited as one of the principle reasons why this is happening.

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