ORPP delay welcomed, but more support needed

The Ontario Chamber of Commerce and the Canadian Federation of Independent Business are just two of the organizations encouraged by the provincial government’s announcement Tuesday that the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan will be delayed by one year – but many are still restating a call for government to support employers to transition to the new plan.

In a speech at the Empire Club, Finance Minister Charles Sousa announced that large corporations will still have to register with the ORPP as of Jan. 1, 2017, but won’t have to start remitting premiums until Jan. 1, 2018. Under the original schedule, premiums were to apply to large companies as of 2017 with the ORPP continuing to roll out in stages until Jan. 1, 2020.

“So we’re giving employers more time to prepare,” said Sousa.

Read: ORPP delay a ‘wise’ move

“A critical next step is for government to establish a clear communications timeline that outlines how and when employers will receive information relating to the ORPP and any obligations they or their employees may have,” said Allan O’Dette, president and CEO of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, in a news release.

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business said it’s concerned that, while the Ontario government has delayed the introduction of the ORPP, it hasn’t signalled whether it will push back the 2019 implementation date for small businesses.

“We hope it is a signal that government is beginning to recognize the economic harm this ill-advised policy would create and urge them to implement a similar delay for the small- and medium-sized businesses that drive the province’s job market,” said Dan Kelly, president of the CFIB.

Read: ORPP design and feature details announced

Sousa also announced the province had reached an agreement with the federal government on administrative support for the ORPP. The province says the federal government has agreed to facilitate plan registration and data-sharing arrangements and will work with Ontario on issues such as collecting employer and employee contributions.