Posted: Monday, 1 October 2012
OTTAWA – The Canadian Labour Congress says the best thing the federal government can do to show its respect for seniors would be to walk the talk and improve the pensions on which most seniors rely.
Last year, the federal government proclaimed the first day of October as “National Seniors Day” – a day for Canadians to pay tribute to “the seniors who have helped build our country and continue to make valuable contributions to Canadian communities, workplaces and society.”
As wonderful as those words may read on government web sites, the fact is too many of today’s seniors are not doing as well as the government would have us think and too many of tomorrow’s seniors will face living their final years in poverty.
“What seniors need is retirement security. They need the federal government to focus on protecting their retirement savings and improving the pensions on which they rely,” says Ken Georgetti, President of the Canadian Labour Congress.
Georgetti says too many of today’s seniors live in poverty and too many older workers are realizing their retirement plans have come up short because the investment returns they were promised never materialized or they simply could not save enough on their own.
“The best way to show seniors the respect they deserve would be to ensure that not one of them is faced with having to work until the day they die or living their final years in poverty. It’s only fair that after a lifetime of work and giving to their communities, seniors know they will have enough to live the rest of their lives in dignity,” says Georgetti
“Our proposal to improve public pensions – to expand the Canada Pension Plan so it covers basic needs for tomorrow’s seniors and to improve the Guaranteed Income Supplement to lift today’s seniors out of poverty – is the best way forward. Repeating the mistakes of the past with fancy new RRSPs is not the answer, nor is cutting Old Age Security to make seniors choose between working longer or settling for less,” he says.
The Canadian Labour Congress, the national voice of the labour movement, represents 3.3 million Canadian workers. The CLC brings together Canada's national and international unions along with the provincial and territorial federations of labour and 130 district labour councils. Website: www.canadianlabour.ca. Follow us on Twitter: @CanadianLabour
Contacts: Jeff Atkinson, CLC Communications: 613-863-1413