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Alberta deserves more than half CPP assets if it exits program: report

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CALGARY -

A report commissioned by the Alberta government estimates the province would be entitled to more than half the assets of the Canada Pension Plan if it were to exit the national retirement savings program and go it alone.

A third-party report compiled by consultant Lifeworks released Thursday calculates that if Alberta gave the required three-year notice to quit CPP next year, it would be entitled to $334 billion, or about 53 per cent, of the national pension plan's pool by 2027.

Alberta would be the first province to quit CPP; Quebec never joined when it was set up in 1965.

Finance Minister Nate Horner said given Alberta's young workforce and growing economy, the province has no choice but to let residents choose whether to have an Alberta Pension Plan.

“We have a responsibility to present these findings to Albertans and gather their feedback. Albertans will make the final decision on where we go from here. It's your pension, your retirement and your future,” Horner said in a news release.

He said the Alberta plan could save residents $5 billion in the first year.

Going it alone on pensions was one plank of former United Conservative premier Jason Kenney's plan to fight for a “fair deal” with Ottawa. It also included a potential Alberta police force and tax revenue agency.

The report estimates setting up an Alberta plan would cost between $100 million and $1 billion, depending on how much the province piggybacks on CPP mechanisms.

The cost of implementing the investment arm of an Alberta plan would be another $75 million to $1.2 billion, again depending on how much the province taps into existing structures and expertise.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 21, 2023

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