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I think employee groups should take control of the pensions themselves instead of relying on companies that get bought, sold, closed, etc.

Perhaps the government should make it easier for employers to match RRSP contributions?

Partial credit. I would give them full marks for acknowledging that this move will increase borrowing costs and thereby reduce economic activity. Which would, among other things, reduce employment opportunities and thereby depress wages for those same workers we're trying to "protect." To what extent, I have no clue but maybe someone else does.

But, then, politicians are notorious for refusing to acknowledge that there are any tradeoffs in life, ever.

I like the idea of generally separating the pension from the employer, but protecting pensions in the case of bankruptcy seems like an obvious thing to do in the meantime. I also like the NDP's idea of specifically allowing Canadians to have their retirement funds managed by the CPP fund if they choose.

You don't think pensions get much attention? They've been all over the news for months now. For no good reason either.

DR: No good reason? Man, you need to look at some Canadian demographic data.

"protecting pensions in the case of bankruptcy seems like an obvious thing to do in the meantime" (Declan)

Not sure what you mean by this. For the most part, pension funds that are already set aside for employees are safe - it is the money owed to pension funds and funding them going forward that are the sticky parts. It is not obvious that putting those obligations ahead of other creditors or burdening the restructured business with them is great. There are trade-offs there. The obvious thing to do would be to force pensions to be fully funded, so that companies cannot make promises that they can't keep to pensioners in the event of a liquidation. Companies and governments have both been negligent on that issue.

I agree with separating pensions from employment. In a world where employees move around, companies fail, and people refuse to fully fund pension plans, there is no reason to have the two tied together.

That means having a larger approach to pensions, because I think the only way this will work is to have larger government involvement in pensions. Private sector is very good at the goods market and services. Long term, things get a little more spotty. That is fine as long as you are okay with a brutal world which will leave some behind - indeed, many believe that is best because it makes things more efficient. I don't share that view (though I think it is intellectually defensible).

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