EI surplus hits $54 billion

Program should be managed like CPP: Report
By Shannon Klie
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 01/11/2008

The federal government’s continued use of the employment insurance (EI) surplus to pay down the national debt is proof the EI program should be governed by an independent, non-governmental body, according to a new report from the Ottawa-based Canadian Institute of Actuaries.

EI is a social insurance program, so the premiums collected should only be used for EI-related costs and any surplus should belong only to the EI program, said Bruno Gagnon, president of the institute’s task force on employment insurance.

“There can be some small administration expenses, but basically you normally are expected to repay most of your premiums in the form of benefits and this has not been what’s happening over the last 10 years,” he said.