Chamber of Commerce Calling for Broader Definition of Ontario Pension Plan

Chamber of Commerce

Chamber of CommerceTHUNDER BAY – BUSINESS – The Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC), and a coalition of major Ontario employers are calling on the provincial government to broaden its definition of a comparable pension plan under the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan (ORPP), to be implemented in 2017. In a letter addressed to Premier Kathleen Wynne, the group is urging the government to expand its definition of pension plan comparability. This move would ensure that companies in Thunder Bay that have an existing pension plan for their employees would not be forced to incur this new cost of doing business.

Saving for a retirement is a challenge faced by many in our community so it is important that we get this right,” said Charla Robinson, President of the Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce. “We are advocating for a solution that will protect vulnerable Ontarians while ensuring that we sustain a business climate that fosters growth and job creation. Our concern is that the retirement plans of over 2.4 million Ontarians may not fit within the government’s current definition of a comparable and exempt plan.”

With the provincial government set to clarify details of the ORPP in the coming weeks, Ontario’s business community has moved swiftly to provide recommendations that will balance the government’s policy objectives with the concerns of employers. The Ontario employer community supports the government’s policy objective — to tackle the undersaving challenge and help all Ontario workers save for retirement. However, a narrow definition of comparability will penalize employers that are currently contributing to their employees’ retirement savings through a variety of other plans.

“This letter presents an opportunity for government to better understand the concerns of Ontario’s business community,” said Allan O’Dette, President and CEO of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce. “It is important to recognize the contributions that many employers have already made, and continue to make, to their employees’ retirement savings.”

The OCC and local chambers will continue to work with the provincial government in the design of the ORPP and in managing its impact on the economy.