Alberta Pension Plan, Eggs In One Basket?

Dear Editor,

There is an assumption by our government that Alberta will get $334 billion of the current CPP $546 billion for their APP. That is 61 percent of the fund; Alberta is 16 percent of Canada’s population.

Current reported statements from Canada, which we’re still a part of, state it would be approximately 25 percent of that figure. Question is, what can Alberta “guarantee” it will be before a referendum on this topic?

There is also an assumption that Alberta will continue on its path of financial growth which we all know is heavily weighted on the oil sector. With the pressure to decarbonize and slowing investments, what “guarantee” can there be that the cash cow will continue to exist at its current rate of government income? Well, we all know the past history of that.

Currently, the CPP is reported to be sustainable for the next 75 years without any increases – what can the APP state today they are able to guarantee? The CPP’s ability to participate inside the larger pool of resources and larger management of those resources is part of its advantage. Can one province do the same? CPP is well-diversified and well-managed investments spread over top of global investments. Do you think a province has more influence than Canada when it comes to investing your pension money on the world stage? The CPP is indexed to inflation, and what about OAS and GIS? Visit the Alberta Pension Plan website and you’ll find there is no mention of that at all, while those two programs account for about half of the pension that low-income earners rely on.

Here’s the question: do you risk staying with something you know that works historically or something you don’t know with any certainty when the terms “could be” not “will be” are used in the APP proposal? This already appears to be setting up for an easy out in political terms politically, in playing politics with your retirement security.

What is stated on the Alberta Pension Plan website is that developments similar to the QPP and Canada will need to happen. I would suggest there’s a lot of unknowns and public trust in that statement. Let’s review our government track record on managing our trusted investments. The Heritage Fund that should have been in the billions by now – we’re not even close to what could have been due to reported government hand dipping into that fund.

The management of the orphan well problem legally is not a taxpayer’s problem but is becoming one as our UCP has campaigned on giving our millions in tax credits to the oil sector that’s making historic profits to address that. Here’s another great investment: the UCP giving households that make up to $180,000 a year a $100 a month tax-free – your tax contributions in supporting the well-off. Makes sense right?

Alberta MLAs at $120,936 per year are at the top of compensation in Canada, and after six years of service their yearly pension from your tax dollars is reported to be about 70 percent of their salary. So, the question is; do you think they’re concerned about where a pension plan like the CPP comes from?

Talk to your MLA about this; it’s your future, your money, and your pension at risk. Here’s a question to ask your MLA; would all politicians that vote for this be willing to forfeit their government pension plan if this APP proposal fails or doesn’t work out at any point in the future, because it would appear they are asking us to do that. Your vote, your choice, and your voice matter if you care about being Canadian.

Dennis Bigras

Wheatland County