Feds launch cross-country consultations on retirement system

Federal initiative includes online submissions, town hall meetings

Online consultations and a series of cross-country roundtable discussions, speaking engagements and town hall meetings will soon start as part of a federal initiative to ensure the ongoing strength of Canada’s retirement income system.

The consultations will inform discussions at the next meeting of federal, provincial and territorial Ministers of Finance in May, where the retirement income system will be a key agenda item.

“Our government will be giving Canadians an unprecedented opportunity to provide direct input on the future security and soundness of Canada’s retirement income system,” said Jim Flaherty, minister of finance.

Federal, provincial and territorial ministers of finance established a research working group in May 2009 to expand governments’ understanding of retirement income adequacy issues. The group’s summary report was presented at a December 2009 meeting in Whitehorse.

While the report confirmed the relative strength of Canada’s retirement income system, the ministers said senior officials would have to work collaboratively over the following months to analyze the wide range of ideas put forward by various stakeholders, experts and commentators.

“This is a complex issue with a lot of moving parts,” said Denis Lebel, minister of state for the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec. “These consultations will ensure that we proceed in a considered and informed way, rather than risking unintended consequences.”

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