Flaherty pushes for pooled pensions

Hopes to set groundwork at meeting of provincial counterparts Monday
|hrreporter.com|Last Updated: 12/22/2010

(Reuters) - Finance Minister Jim Flaherty wants to create a new type of pension plan that would enable more workers to save for retirement. He hopes to set the groundwork on a pension deal at a meeting on Monday with his provincial counterparts in Kananaskis, Alta.

In a letter to provincial finance ministers, released today, Flaherty said he hoped to make progress toward the introduction of "pooled registered pension plans" or PRPPs.

"With respect to retirement income, I hope we will be able to agree on a framework for pooled registered pension plans," he wrote.

The defined contribution plans would be administered by a third party, likely a financial institution, and would allow small businesses that otherwise could not afford their own plan to offer a retirement savings vehicle to employees. Self-employed workers would also have easier access to a private pension plan under the proposal.

The plan would require a high level of provincial and federal regulatory harmonization in order to work, said Flaherty.

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