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I'm not convinced by the anti-deferral argument - certainly not in the context of the double-dipping discussion.

So long as the pension plan earns a return on investment greater than the government cost of capital, the fisc would be further ahead, in the long-run, to have the pension plan continue to accrue tax-free gains and then tax them when the pensioner ultimately decides to collect. It would be a poorly managed pension plan which fails to exceed that threshold. Moreover, given a progressive tax system, fewer, but larger, payments from the pension plan might also generate higher tax revenues over time.

I think the two compelling counter-arguments are (i) it would allow pensioners to collect means (income) tested benefits that they shouldn't need to collect (OAS, maybe in the limit GIS, though I would expect few people with access to a decent pension plan being comfortable living at the level necessary to qualify for GIS), and (ii) if withdrawals are deferred to later, the pensioner might extract less from the pension plan, further pushing back the taxation of pension plan assets (or resulting in a surplus and contribution holiday for the employer).

The second argument strikes me as one that isn't really something we need to worry about - it's not in the interests of DB pensioners to, collectively, withdraw less from their pension plan, creating a potential surplus for their employer. Moreover, in the context of defined benefit pension plans (where this might be a concern), even if it did happen this would probably be good for the fisc. since most defined benefit pension are in respect of public sector workers and many have significant unfunded future liabilities WHich would ultimately need to be satisfied by the fisc.

The first argument is generally more compelling - though in the context of double-dipping, probably isn't a real concern (anyone collecting a professor's salary is going to have OAS substantially clawed back anyhow). But preventing deferral is an imperfect, and unnecessary, way to address it.

The policy concern is that "wealthy" people shouldn't be able to collect OAS while sitting on a big pile of assets because those assets aren't generating taxable income (it's an imperfect policy, since we only worry about it in the cost of tax-deferred asset - one could do the same thing by sitting on a collection of mutual fund trusts in a taxable account which make significant return of capital distributions, but we don't address that). That's a fair concern,but it seems to me that one could allow deferral in pension plans or RRSPs and still prevent people with significant pension (or RRSP_assets) from collecting OAS by attributing to them income (for OAS purposes) based on the current minimum withdrawal/distribution schedule. People may have different reasons for not wanting to melt down their retirement savings early (maybe they have a younger spouse with an entitlement to survivor benefits or RRSP rollover), maybe they want to leave a big pot of money to support their kids (less of an issue with DB pension plans, but surely a consideration for DC plans or RRSPs)

AT the end of the day, people should be making decisions about how to withdraw their savings from their pension plans/registered accounts based on their needs, concerns and interests, not based on tax rules which fail to take into account their specific circumstances. If you have to force people to melt down their retirement savings (as opposed to them doing it freely) that's not a welfare enhancing policy.

Mind, this is a distraction from your main thesis - namely that university professors having bargained for a employment/pension regime premised on mandatory retirement at 65 have, effectively, unilaterally re-written their contract (in the courts) in their favour. Essentially, Professors are getting more than they bargained for, universities are paying more than they bargained for. Allowing deferral doesn't address that problem.

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