Future enhancements to the Canada Pension Plan, Ottawa, are in limbo following meetings Sunday and Monday with William Morneau, Canada finance minister, and provincial finance ministers.
In the first finance ministers’ meeting since Mr. Morneau was appointed by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau — who campaigned earlier this year on enhancing the C$272.9 billion ($198.3 billion) CPP — the ministers agreed to continue discussions on such enhancements but conceded they could range from “doing nothing because of the economy to more significant changes,” Mr. Morneau said at a news conference Monday following the two-day meeting in Ottawa.
“Our objective today was to begin a process to review the potential to move forward,” Mr. Morneau said, according to a transcript of the news conference provided by the Canada Finance Ministry. “We will meet again midway through the year in order to have a further discussion. And our goal is that in a year from now, we’ll have more to talk to Canadians about. But we did not get to a conclusion on what exactly we would be proposing.”
Added Kevin Doherty, Saskatchewan finance minister, at the news conference, “We’re happy with respect to the fact there’s no immediate changes to CPP; we’ve been advocating that. … We’ve agreed on a path forward with respect to coming back a year from now to talk about potential options, including not doing anything.”
Saskatchewan and British Columbia oppose any enhancements to the CPP. Ontario is creating its own provincial supplemental plan, the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan, slated to open in January 2017, but Kathleen Wynne, Ontario premier, has said the province would drop the provincial supplement if a national supplemental plan to the CPP were created. Mr. Morneau, who served on the advisory panel that helped develop plans for the ORPP, said Monday that Ontario is continuing with its plans to start the ORPP.
Any national CPP enhancement proposal would require approval of seven of the 10 provinces that represent two-thirds of the Canadian population.