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Board submits views on potential Pooled Registered Pension Plan legislation in B.C.

September 13, 2012

The Vancouver Board of Trade has submitted its views on Pooled Registered Pension Plan (PRPP) legislation to the Province of British Columbia.

In a letter to Finance Minister Mike de Jong, Vancouver Board of Trade CEO Iain Black outlined a number of recommendations for the government’s consideration, in the event that B.C. decides to draft PRPP legislation.

“B.C. and Canada’s long-term tax competitiveness with other jurisdictions is paramount in The Vancouver Board of Trade’s policy drafting process. With that in mind, The Vancouver Board of Trade does acknowledge the ‘grey tsunami,’ which will lead to increased pressure on programs ranging from CPP to health care, with proportionately fewer contributors,” wrote Black.

“This 'looming financial squeeze' will increase the pressure on governments to keep these programs funded. Hence, measures that encourage people to save for their retirement will help offset reliance on the public system and reduce the pressure to increase taxes.”

Black said The Vancouver Board of Trade would endorse the province adopting PRPP legislation, providing that a list of 10 criteria were met.

For example, The Board of Trade would only support such legislation if organizations with fewer than three employees — not related — were exempted from offering PRPPs; if companies were not required to provide access to PRPPs for shareholders of the company owning 10 per cent or more of the shares; and if there were a three-year phase in period be adopted to provide larger organizations time to weigh and implement policies, for any software adjustments to be made, and to ensure PRPP policy providers are able to provide robust product offerings.

Above all, PRPPs need to be simple for employers, with little administrative or cost burden (but for optional employer contributions), and easy for employees to understand, stressed Black.

“Our endorsement is both conceptual and conditional in nature,” Black concluded. “Moreover, we anticipate the completion and circulation of a comprehensive plan, and we hope you will continue to engage us in the ongoing dialogue and consultation on this important matter.”

To read The Vancouver Board of Trade’s full list of criteria, download the letter [PDF].

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