How to get more money for your pension
As part of a plan to help retirees with pension contributions, the federal government is launching a pilot program to make more money available for workers in Alberta’s most populous province.
The new program will see more money flowing into the province’s pension plans.
The announcement comes as the federal Liberals are trying to shore up their majority.
“It’s the right thing to do,” Alberta Finance Minister Jordan Sproule said.
“We’re seeing people that need it are being left out.”
The plan to make money available to Albertans was announced in September and the province says it’s now in the midst of a review process.
The province announced last week that it was in discussions with federal and provincial counterparts to make changes to the pension plans of some 1.5 million workers in the province.
Federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said in a statement that the pilot program is a step in the right direction, and is an opportunity to provide the public with more information about how the new pension plans will work.
“This pilot will enable the province to provide more information to help ensure that people who need it have the information they need and can access the money they need,” Flaherty wrote in a letter to Alberta’s chief electoral officer.
The pilot program will not have a major impact on Alberta’s $15.5-billion retirement plan.
The government said that more than 1.2 million Albertans who are retired or are eligible for a new pension plan will receive the money, and that the provincial plan will be fully funded by the end of 2019.
But it’s not clear how much of the money will actually be available.
In a letter sent to employees, the Alberta Federation of Labour said the government’s announcement is a “step in the wrong direction” and said it would be “further” to understand how the provincial program would work.
Federal Employment Minister Jason Kenney, in his budget last month, said that a more detailed discussion of the program’s scope would be forthcoming.
“There are more than 500,000 Albertans in Alberta with unfundable pension liabilities,” Kenney said.
In Alberta, the average worker’s pension account is $1,857, but some workers have received up to $12,000 in benefits under the federal program.
“The federal government should be focused on addressing these unfundeds, not trying to change how Albertans spend their retirement money,” said Alberta Federation Of Labour president Ken Crooks.