Province Passes Ontario Retirement Pension Plan Act

Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa, right, waves prior to delivering the Ontario 2016 budget at Queen's Park in Toronto on Thursday, February 25, 2016. Premier Kathleen Wynne is at left. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

Today, the province passed the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan Act (Strengthening Retirement Security for Ontarians), 2016. The Ontario Retirement Pension Plan (ORPP) will bring financial security and drive economic growth for generations to come, by providing Ontario workers with a predictable stream of income in retirement, paid for life. The ORPP will also offer a survivor benefit for all plan members.

Along with regulations expected this summer, the legislation gives employers and employees the information they need to prepare for the launch of the ORPP. “Our main objective is to intensively look at ways to meet the goals of the ORPP through an enhanced CPP framework, while preserving our ability to implement the ORPP, should that not be possible,” Finance Minister Charles Sousa said. This is a crucial step forward in fulfilling the government’s commitment that every eligible employee is part of the ORPP or a comparable workplace pension plan by 2020.

Strengthening the retirement income system is critical to the future prosperity of the province. Studies show that many of today’s workers are not saving enough to maintain their standard of living in retirement. Pension coverage is also low for many Ontarians, with only one in four younger workers — aged 25 to 34 — participating in a workplace pension plan.  The O.R.P.P. will be led by Saad Rafi as Chief Executive Officer.

O.R.P.P. C.E.O. Saad Rafi
O.R.P.P. C.E.O. Saad Rafi

Provincial Finance Ministers are meeting later this month to discuss reforming the Canada Pension Plan (C.P.P.).  Sousa has said in media reports that  he wants to use the O.R.P.P. as a “starting point” for negotiations on potential changes.