Pre-Funded Pensions and Social Solidarity

When finance ministers agreed to expand the Canada Pension Plan in June 2016, they didn’t give Canadians a simple expansion of the Canada Pension Plan. In important respects, they created a new and different social security benefit. And that’s the way governments view it.

Vampire Beaver or Cuddly Canadian? The ‘Maple Revolutionaries’ Face an Identity Crisis

Canadians collectively hold some USD $2.4 trillion in assets in funded and private pension arrangements, representing 160% of GDP. Over USD $420 billion of these assets are held abroad, and many of Canada’s largest pension funds invest a significant portion of this capital in illiquid, long-term assets, such as transportation and municipal infrastructure. Investors favour these assets, […]

Who gets to decide the price of a bus ticket?

Will pension funds own and operate the next generation of mass transit in Canada? Like other large investment funds, pension funds in Canada and around the world have a lot of assets to put to work, and not enough attractive investment opportunities. This is intensifying pressure to get access to projects that historically have been […]

How progressive is a basic income? left and labour perspectives

There’s been an enormous amount of recent interest in an old policy idea: a basic income guarantee (BIG), also known as a guaranteed annual income (GAI), guaranteed minimum income (GMI), citizens income, negative income tax (NIT), etc. The discussion below focuses on these proposals from a progressive labour perspective. It reviews positions Canadian unions have […]

Vulnerable workers in the shadow economy: is there an app for that?

Non-standard or contingent forms of work are a growing feature of OECD economies. Katz and Krueger (2016), for instance, find that non-standard work arrangements (temporary help agency workers, on-call workers, contract company workers, and independent contractors or freelancers) accounted for all net employment growth in the U.S. economy between 2005 and 2015. Across the OECD, […]

Warning to Finance Ministers: leaving some workers out of an expanded CPP could boost precarious employment

Despite having had few good things to say about CPP expansion in the past, Business Council of Canada CEO John Manley and Chamber of Commerce CEO Perrin Beatty now grudgingly endorse a modest, targeted enhancement of the Canada Pension Plan.  But could a benefit enhancement targeted at modest income-earners lead to more temporary, part-time, and […]

Newfoundland budget and public sector jobs

Newfoundland and Labrador’s provincial 2016/17 budget will be tabled this afternoon and there’s concern about what it will include.  Everyone expects some tax and revenue hikes and spending cuts to deal with the deficit most recently forecast at $2.4 billion. There’s a lot of speculation about what the government will include in this budget.  Then there will be […]

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