Government floats idea of voluntary CPP contributions

Tories to mull it over this summer

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OTTAWA – The Harper government says it will explore giving people the option to pump more of their earnings into the Canada Pension Plan to boost their retirement savings.

The government will consult experts and stakeholders this summer as it looks for ways to allow Canadians to make voluntary add-on contributions to the Canada Pension Plan, Finance Minister Joe Oliver told the House of Commons on Tuesday.

“We believe that Canadians are best placed to decide how to save for their retirement with voluntary options,” Oliver said in a statement.

“That is why we intend to consult on giving Canadians the voluntary option to contribute more to the Canada Pension Plan to supplement their retirement savings.”

When it pays to take CPP early »

Oliver emphasized that people should have choices when it comes to their retirement savings, rather than mandatory payments.

He said the government aims to build on other voluntary savings options already available, such as the pooled, registered pension plan and the tax-free savings account.

Provinces such as Ontario have lead a provincial push to enhance the CPP, but Ottawa has said it wanted to avoid saddling employees and employers with higher premiums.

Instead, Ottawa has endorsed other pension-related reforms.

Retirement income is expected to be a weighty election issue.

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