The Canada Pension Plan, on new terrain

Around this time a year ago, we argued that provincial and federal governments in 2016 chose to transform rather than merely expand the Canada Pension Plan. With the publication of the financial sustainability regulations for the enhanced CPP benefit, the nature of that transformation has become clearer.

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, […]

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 […]

Insights from the OECD’s Pensions at a Glance 2017

On December 5th, the OECD published its biennial flagship publication Pensions at a Glance. The 2017 edition again provides a trove of interesting data; here are a few highlights from this year’s survey (all figures below are from OECD Pensions at a Glance 2017).

Fraser Institute Makes a Rickety Case for Boosting the Pension Eligibility Age

The Fraser Institute has a recent report looking at the rising eligibility age for public retirement programs in the OECD. The report contrasts Canada’s decision in 2016 to cancel scheduled increases in the eligibility age for OAS, GIS and the Allowance on the one hand, with the general trend toward a rising age of eligibility […]

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.

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, […]

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 […]

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