Toronto, February 19 (CINEWS): It is no secret that the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan (ORPP) has been met with plenty of consternation in the business community. Both big and small business owners believe that it could end up costing employers money who will in turn defer hiring plans. This will lead to sluggish job growth.
The Ontario government is pushing back the rollout dates for the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan to give larger businesses more time to enrol.
The new provincial plan would cover some three million Ontarians who don’t have workplace pensions.
Workers at large companies (with 500 or more employees) were scheduled to start contributing in January 2017. But Finance Minister Charles Sousa said Tuesday businesses have been asking for more time, and announced contributions won’t begin until 2018.
“We have heard from businesses,” Sousa said in a midday speech in Toronto Tuesday.
“We are giving employers more time to prepare and about 400 companies involved will have the extra time they’ve asked for.”
There’s no delay for smaller firms. Medium-sized companies (wth 50 to 499 employees) are still scheduled to start contributing in 2018 and small businesses (with fewer than 50 employees) in 2019.
Following Sousa’s speech, NDP finance critic Catherine Fife questioned the Liberals’ commitment to the pension plan.
“People deserve retirement savings opportunities. This is what was promised by the Liberal government,” Fife told reporters. “Their backtracking is an indication as to really how truly committed they are to the plan.”
The joint statement and pledge by the federal Liberals to work with Ontario to implement its provincial plan marks a change from the previous federal government’s position on the ORPP. The plan was strongly opposed by the previous Harper Conservatives but under the Trudeau’s Liberals, the plan has not only been given a green light but will receive any further help at the federal level.