Nate Horner, MLA for Drumheller-Stettler and Minister of Finance unveiled a report dating back to 2018 exploring leaving the Canada Pension Plan and having Alberta going alone.
The report was officially completed in December 2018 but was updated by consultant LifeWorks to be current in 2022.
The report suggests an Alberta pension could save Albertans billions, each year, while at the same time having lower contribution rates and higher benefits.
“According to the report, an APP could save Albertans $5 billion in the first year alone. 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,” said Horner in a press release.
One of the key components of the plan, according to the release is it estimates that Alberta should be entitled to a $334-billion asset transfer from the CPP in 2027. This is how much Albertans have contributed to the CPP minus how much they have received in benefits since the start of the CPP in 1966, plus investment earnings on that amount. With this large pool of money, an Alberta Pension Plan would have a significant financial backstop to cover benefit payments into the future.
Critics have pointed out that $334 billion is more than half of the current value of the entire Canada Pension Plan.
“The report today reads like it is too good to be true, of course, that’s because it is,” said NDP leader Rachel Notley. “The claims made about potential premium savings are based on numbers that are just not real. Quite frankly, if they can extract that much money from the Canada Pension Plan they will kill it all across the country.”
The government is looking for feedback from Alberta residents on the report and says Albertans will have a choice.
It plans to introduce legislation in this fall’s session that would require a referendum before the province could withdraw assets from the CPP to establish an APP.
Over the fall and into spring 2024, an engagement panel will gather feedback from Albertans on their thoughts, suggestions and concerns about a provincial pension plan.