The federal government this morning introduced the much-anticipated Pooled Registered Pension Plans (PRPP) Act to address concerns over declining pension coverage for Canadians.

The Act incorporates changes to Canada’s pension landscape that will make saving for retirement easier for millions of Canadians.

“Today marks a major milestone in our efforts to ensure the ongoing strength of Canada’s retirement income system by providing a pension option for the many workers…who currently do not participate in a company pension plan,” said Ted Menzies, Minister of State (Finance). “Incredibly, just over 60% of Canadians do not have a workplace pension plan. Canadians work hard to realize their retirement dreams, and PRPPs will offer them a new, low-cost and accessible pension option to help meet their goals.”

PRPPs are the outcome of several years of cooperation, research and consultations by Canada’s finance ministers on the best ways to ensure the long-term strength of Canada’s retirement income system.

“If you invest in a PRPP you will benefit from lower investment management costs associated with the large scale of these funds,” said Minister Menzies. “Essentially, you will be buying in bulk. This will leave you with more cash in your pocket when you retire.”

“It’s a great innovation that the government is pushing right now. Many people don’t have access to a structured pension plan in the workplace, and simplifying the rules will help everybody,” says Claude Leblanc, vice-president, business development, group savings and retirement at Standard Life.

PRPPs are a new type of broad-based privately administered pension arrangement. The plan addresses gaps in the existing retirement income system by providing a new, accessible, large-scale and low-cost DC pension option to employers, employees and the self-employed.

This provides an attractive option to small business owners and their employees, who will not only have access to a low-cost pension plan with lower administrative costs, but will also have professional administrators working to ensure that funds are invested in the best interests of plan members.

These features will remove barriers that have kept many employers from offering pension plans or matching employees’ RRSP contributions.

“With RRSPs, the employer contribution is not deductible as an expense,” says Leblanc. “That means, when an employer gives $1,000 away to an employee’s [RRSP], they have to pay CPP, QPP, Workers’ Compensation and all those other payroll taxes that apply. When it’s a pension plan, the contribution is fully deductible. It’s cheaper and more effective for an employer to contribute under a pension plan than a group RRSP.”

However, not everyone is thrilled with the new PRPP model, with some critics saying it does nothing to help Canadians’ need for greater retirement security and the feds should have instead expanded the CPP.

“It’s really nothing more than a piecemeal approach that rewards banks, insurance companies and mutual fund companies instead of offering real retirement security options for everyone,” says Ken Georgett, president of the Canadian Labour Congress. “Every credible piece of information that we have seen indicates that PRPPs would be far inferior to an expanded Canada Pension Plan in providing retirement security for Canadians. This is an ideological move that flies in the face of common sense and good research.”

Provincial enabling legislation will need to be introduced for the framework to become fully operational. In addition, the tax rules for PRPPs, which will apply to both federally and provincially regulated PRPPs, are being developed.

“The biggest challenge we will face is to harmonize all the rules and laws that apply,” says Leblanc. “Each province will have to look at their labour laws to make sure they can align eligibility rules and pension rules.”

Copyright © 2021 Transcontinental Media G.P. Originally published on

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I still don’t understand how these PRPP’s are going to operate in practice. Who is administering them? What is the “privately administered pension arrangement”?

Thursday, November 17 at 3:08 pm | Reply


There are 600 billion reasons — one for each dollar of unused RRSP room — that a voluntary scheme like this won’t work, even if the feds ensure there’s no gouging by financial institutions with high management fees. Small businesses and the self employed can already set up individual or group RRSPs — if they aren’t doing that, why does anyone think this will somehow work better?

Thursday, November 17 at 4:40 pm | Reply


WHERE IS THE SUPPORT FROM THE PC’s FOR CANADIANS WHO TAKE RISKS or those that WORK FOR OTHER WEALTHY CORPORATIONS BUT DO NOT HAVE A PENSION. They get richer on our backs and we get poorer for it. I am one of the very small business owners that this legislation is supposed to address. Where’s the beef in this program? How can I afford to pay money out for a pension when it’s next to impossible to make ends meet never mind have extra money for this program. I am like millions of other Canadians who dared to take risks and are rewarded and forever trapped with a future retirement and no pension income. Unless we have matching payments either through a mandatory tax % or as a % of the HST we just do not have the means to fund another black hole. If I’m not mistaken this program will only benefits a few people and leave the rest of us to work until we literally drop dead. So we go so goes the economy. We will all be pushing shopping carts or like BC is experiencing now forced to steal our way through retirement just to live.

Thursday, November 17 at 6:04 pm | Reply


Dear Prime Minister,

Please find below our suggestion for fixing the CANADIAN economy.

Instead of giving billions of dollars to banks that will squander the money on lavish parties and unearned bonuses, use the following plan.

You can call it the Patriotic Retirement Plan:

There are about Ten million people over 50 in the work force.

Pay them $ 2 million each severance for early retirement with the following stipulations:

1) They MUST retire.
Ten million job openings – unemployment fixed

2) They MUST buy a new Canadian? car
Ten million cars ordered – Car Industry fixed

3) They MUST either buy a house or pay off their mortgage – Housing Crisis fixed

4) They MUST send their kids to school/college/university – Crime rate fixed

5) They MUST buy $100 WORTH of alcohol/tobacco a week ….. And there’s your money back in duty/tax etc

It can’t get any easier than that!

Also: Let’s put the pensioners in jail and the criminals in a nursing home.

This way the pensioners would have access to showers, hobbies and walks.

They’d receive unlimited free prescriptions, dental and medical treatment, wheel chairs etc and they’d receive money instead of paying it out.

They would have constant video monitoring, so they could be helped instantly, if they fell, or needed assistance.

Bedding would be washed twice a week, and all clothing would be ironed and returned to them.

A guard would check on them every 20 minutes and bring their meals and snacks to their cell..

They would have family visits in a suite built for that purpose.

They would have access to a library, weight room, spiritual counseling, pool and education.

Simple clothing, shoes, slippers, PJ’s and legal aid would be free, on request.

Private, secure rooms for all, with an exercise outdoor yard, with gardens.

Each senior could have a PC a TV radio and daily phone calls.

There would be a board of directors to hear complaints, and the guards would have a code of conduct that would be strictly adhered to.

The criminals would get cold food, be left all alone and unsupervised. Lights off at 8pm, and showers once a week. Live in a tiny room and pay $400.00 per week and have no hope of ever getting out.

Think about this (more points of contention):

Is it just me, or does anyone else find it amazing that during the mad cow epidemic our government could track a single cow, born in Goondiwindi almost three years ago, right to the paddock where she slept in the feed lot at Bony Mountain?

And, they even tracked her calves to their stalls. But they are unable to locate 125,000 illegal immigrants wandering around our country. Maybe we should give each of them a cow.

Also: Think about this ….. If you don’t want to forward this for fear of offending someone — YOU ARE PART OF THE PROBLEM! It is time for us grumpy old folk of CANADA to speak up!

Friday, November 18 at 4:42 am | Reply

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