The Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association (CLHIA) has responded to Federal Minister of Finance Bill Morneau's announcement that several provinces have agreed to expand the Canada Pension Plan.
The members of CLHIA represent about 99% of Canada’s life and health insurance business, and holds nearly $720 billion of assets in Canada. Although the association approves of the federal and provincial finance ministers' commitment to deal with gaps in the Canadian retirement saving system, it believes a tighter design is required.
“Available to all Canadians”
"While we look forward to more details, we are pleased that the Federal and Provincial governments have committed to a modest increase in CPP," noted Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association (CLHIA) President and CEO Frank Swedlove. "However, we continue to believe any CPP enhancement should be targeted to those sectors of the population that need to increase their savings for retirement, and that they will be available to all Canadians no matter where they work or live."
CLHIA is a member of a coalition of 15 organizations (whose members include Advocis, the Financial Planning Standards Council, and the Investment Funds Institute of Canada) that is calling for a more directed approach to handling income security.
An open letter to finance ministers
Earlier this month, the group placed an open letter to finance ministers in ten daily newspapers across the country suggesting, among other things, that policymakers should focus on making changes to help the small percentage of lower-income Canadians who live below the poverty line, as well as the modest-income Canadians who do not save outside of the public system or who do not have workplace plans.