ORPP jeopardizes another pension plan

by Nicolas Heffernan29 Apr 2015
The provincial government’s Ontario Retirement Pension Plan could jeopardize the Pooled Registered Pension Plan.

Leslie Byrnes, vice-president, distribution and pensions with the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association, said PRPPs could be grounded before they get a chance to take off if the Ontario government chooses not to recognize PRPPs as comparable plans for the purposes of the ORPP.

“We believe that Bill 57 and PRPPs will help to close the pension gap and will make a fundamental difference to the retirement savings landscape for Ontario workers,” said Byrnes, who was speaking before the Standing Committee on Social Policy at Queen’s Park at the first day of public hearings in Ontario on Monday.

Her thoughts were echoed by Derrick March. The vice-president of group retirement services with Sun Life Financial argued the success of PRPPs would be improved if they were considered a comparable plan under the proposed ORPP.

“If the two don’t harmonize in some way, shape or form—which we believe should be qualifying as a comparable plan—the PRPP mandate will be severely impaired,” he said.

The ORPP is a mandatory plan that would see workers contribute 1.9 per cent of their annual income up to $90,000 a year, which employers would match. But the plan has been met with scorn by many industry groups in the province.