Ontario demands feds co-operate on ORPP

Ontario wants the federal government to reverse its decision not to assist with the implementation of the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan (ORPP).

“This is a cynical, partisan stunt executed on the eve of a federal election campaign,” Finance Minister Charles Sousa said at Queen’s Park on Thursday.

Read: CARP wants Ottawa to reverse decision to obstruct ORPP

Two weeks ago, Federal Finance Minister Joe Oliver said the federal government wouldn’t help the province implement the ORPP, including with the collection of contributions.

Since the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) already administers and collects CPP contributions from employers and employees, Sousa said it would be the most efficient way to collect ORPP contributions as well.

“This approach would minimize the burden on employers and save our government from having to duplicate an administration system,” he added.

Read: CPP enhancement, ORPP could reduce voluntary savings: Report

Sousa noted the Canada Revenue Agency administers 28 benefit programs for both provinces and territories.

He said there’s a co-operative agreement already in existence with the Quebec Pension Plan and there were legislative changes made to the federal Income Tax Act in 2010 to increase the annual contribution limit to the Saskatchewan Pension Plan.

Ontario has even offered to reimburse the CRA for its services.

Also, the province didn’t indicate an exact timeframe on when it would provide further information on the comparable plan issue.

“The details of the plan design is something that we’re continuing to work on,” said Associate Minister of Finance Mitzie Hunter. “We are working towards providing those details soon.”

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) continues to oppose the plan. The organization says the ORPP will increase the province’s unemployment rate by 0.5 percentage points by 2020, and reduce wages over the long term.

“Moving forward with this reckless payroll tax may be music to the ears of government unions, but does nothing to instill confidence among the province’s business owners,” says Nicole Troster, CFIB director of provincial affairs for Ontario.

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