Since first launching its campaign on September 21, 2023 with the release of a widely criticized report, the Alberta government continues to pursue its plan to pull Alberta out of the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) and establish an Alberta Pension Plan (APP).
We know from past member surveys that pension security is one of the top priorities of the NASA membership. Many members belong to the Public Service Pension Plan (PSPP), but the Canadian Pension Plan (CPP) is a key part of everyone's retirement security. As a result, the announcement that Alberta is pursuing a plan to pull Alberta out of the national plan and establish an Alberta Pension Plan (APP) is a major concern for NASA members.
Despite the rosy projections contained in the report released by the government, numerous commentators have pointed to the flawed math underpinning the Smith government's PR push. Ricardo Acuña, the executive director of the University of Alberta's Parkland Institute has written an excellent short analysis of the government's claims, writing, "Lower premiums, better benefits, and greater security. If it all sounds too good to be true, it’s because it is."
On October 17, 2023, NASA hosted an online members' forum with Acuña to discuss the flaws in the government's claims and the risks associated with moving to a provincial pension plan.
University of Alberta political science professor Jared Wesley has also written an excellent article, Debunking the Alberta Pension Plan, for The Tyee.
University of Calgary economist Trevor Tombe has released a more realistic analysis in a new paper and wrote an op-ed in which he says the Alberta government's "pitch is full of holes." He's also created an online simulator with more realistic scenarios than the one contained in the government's report.
On November 13, the Alberta Federation of Labour released a new report, Big Risks, No Rewards: Debunking the Alberta Government’s Plan to Secede from the Canada Pension Plan. You can also read the media release announcing the report.
Here are a three quick things you can do now to tell the provincial government to stay in the CPP:
- Take part in Public Interest Alberta's Save Our CPP campaign, where you can learn more, download an official petition, and send a one-click message to key ministers and your MLA.
- Add your name to the Alberta Federation of Labour's Reliable Pensions, Not Risky Politics petition or request their Hands Off Our CPP Action Kit, which has everything you need to phone or write to provincial representatives across the province.
- Despite being extremely biased in favour of establishing an APP, the government's online survey has a number of open text boxes where you can voice opposition to the plan (you can also skip the questions that ask you how you'd like the APP to look). You can also email your comments to email@example.com.