TORONTO, Ont. – The Ontario Trucking Association (OTA) said that one of its key concerns with the provincial government’s introduction of the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan (ORPP) – whether the plan would be applied to federally-regulated companies and not just those that come under provincial jurisdictions – has been laid to rest.
According to Premier Kathleen Wynne, the ORPP will require companies with 500 or more employees to be the first to participate in the new plan, or provide a comparable pension to their employees by Jan. 1, 2017; all employers will be included by 2020.
The OTA said that following discussions with officials from the office of the associate minister of finance, it was informed that ‘there was no imminent plan to bring federally-regulated companies into the ORPP.
“Uncertainty over whether people will have enough to retire on is a legitimate economic issue, so we understand the government’s motivation,” said OTA president David Bradley. “But it is a complex issue and we’re not sure the ORPP, as structured and the rules around what is a comparable program, is the answer.
“Regardless of how laudable the government’s intentions are, the province can’t exceed its constitutional jurisdiction,” he added. “No one seems to want to open up the Canadian constitution.”
The OTA continues to call for changes to the ORPP, including additional flexibility through extension of the phase-in periods, lower minimum contribution levels, acceptance of group RRSPs/TFSAs as comparable to the ORPP and some form of relief for older workers who will pay into the plan but will not receive full benefits.
The ORPP means companies with 500 employees or more will have to earmark 0.8% toward the plan for 2017, 1.9% by 2020 and capped at 3.8% of an employee’s annual salary of up to $90,000.
Companies with between 50 and 499 employees will begin to phase into the ORPP program in 2018, with smaller firms by 2019.