Brewing Potions for Pension Reform

Weather patterns changed again this past week around the world. In Canada, wind and rain and crisper temps seemed a great backdrop to a spooky Halloween. And in the stirring of so many steamy hot cauldrons of news (like Senate Scandals and City Hall Hijinks) came bubbling up a somewhat “lost in the steam” item – pension reform.

On Friday Nov.1st in Toronto, the Provincial-Territorial Finance Ministers came together to discuss among other things “an enhancement of the Canada Pension Plan (CPP).” The instant press release at the end of the day was short on specifics as one would expect, but an intent is there to push for change at the federal level.

But the better discussion that was a prelude to this Ministers of Finance session came on Tuesday , Oct.30th on CBC Radio’s The Current. This interview is well worth a listen in case you missed it. The Third Rail: Confronting or Pension Failures is a new book by Jim Leech and Jackie McNish. (I’ve ordered it and after a deep read will return with more comment.)

The Leech/McNish observations are enough to get us all thinking. One of the reminders here is that pension plans are not just a Boomer’s issue, nor will it be up to governments alone to brew potions for pension reform. Maybe pension is the word we’re stuck with; but really more broadly it’s all about every generation’s “longevity financing”.

Our narrative of aging has changed. Perhaps the time is up for tinkering around.

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