Ontario government pension plan hits record as cash reserves increase
The Ontario government has hit a record cash reserve of $2.3 billion, the Ontario government announced Wednesday, as it added $821 million to its pension fund as it works to bolster its ability to pay retirees.
The government says it plans to release the new reserve as soon as it is in the hands of the auditor general.
It has said in the past that the province has a $10 billion cash reserve, which it says will allow it to pay its promised $4 billion pension plan by the end of 2020.
The Ontario government is already facing a $4.7 billion deficit in 2020, according to a report by the auditor-general last week.
The Liberals had originally set a target of $3.5 billion in 2017.
The Liberals have said the reserve was needed to keep their fiscal plan on track.
But with $2 billion added in, the government is now up to $6.5 million more than it had originally planned, said the Ontario Minister of Finance, Josh Colle.
The province also announced Wednesday it will increase its monthly retirement payments from $7,000 to $9,000 for a total of $19,000 a month for pension recipients in Ontario.
The plan will also provide $1,000 annually to the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Pension Plan for eligible employees who were not enrolled in the public school system.
Colle said that would bring the total payment to $19.5-million, which is a $2-billion increase.