CHARLOTTETOWN – As federal and provincial finance ministers prepare to discuss proposals for increasing mandatory CPP and QPP premiums this weekend, new public opinion data reveals that a vast majority of working Canadians prefer other options to help boost retirement savings.
Results of a new public opinion poll conducted for the Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses (CFIB) by Angus Reid Global show that only 18 per cent of working Canadians see CPP/QPP increases as one of the best ways for government to help Canadians save for retirement.
That’s well behind other choices like tax cuts (54 per cent), incentives (47 per cent) and improved voluntary options to save (35 per cent).
“Finance ministers should be asking if mandatory CPP/QPP hikes are a good idea, not just when is the right time to introduce them,” said Erin McGrath-Gaudet, CFIB’s director for P.E.I. “Although governments have been talking about this for years, they have not stopped to ask Canadians if they support the idea or if it’s the best option for enhancing retirement savings.”
Governments in Ontario, P.E.I., Newfoundland and Labrador, and Manitoba have come out in favour of increasing CPP/QPP, while Saskatchewan and other western provinces have expressed reservations about mandatory increases.
In the public poll, support for mandatory increases was low in every region of the country, McGrath-Gaudet pointed out.
“In the public poll, and a similar survey of CFIB members, 65 per cent of Canadians, and 61 per cent of small business owners, said they aren’t saving more for retirement because they simply can’t afford to,” she added.
The public poll shows that if working Canadians are forced to pay more for CPP/QPP, 45 per cent would have a reduced ability to spend on essentials like food, rent and mortgage payments and 42 per cent would have a reduced ability to take advantage of other forms of savings.
A survey of CFIB member businesses was also conducted, with similar questions. In that survey, close to three-quarters of business owners said they would be under pressure to freeze or cut salaries if faced with a CPP/QPP hike.
The findings have been shared with finance ministers in advance of their meeting.
See the full results at www.cfib.ca/cpp-qpp.