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The great debate on retirement – can Canadians save enough on their own – came to the University of Toronto’s Hart House May 30.
Before a packed crowd of experts featuring executives from financial institutions, pension plans, the provincial government, and noted pension bloggers Bill Tufts and Leo Kolivakis, HOOPP President & CEO Jim Keohane and David Herle of the Gandalf Group argued for the affirmative, while MoneySense editor Jon Chevreau and noted actuary Malcolm Hamilton argued for the negative.
HOOPP and the Walrus Foundation partnered to host the debate in order to address the increasingly pressing issue of how Canadians can achieve adequate retirement savings in an engaging and informative format, bringing together leading thinkers from all sides of the pension debate.
Jim Keohane said moving away from defined benefit pension plans in the workplace over the past 30 years is “a very troubling trend.” He said switching workers to defined contribution plans is “not about cost savings, it is about the transfer of risk... When those with inadequate pensions and savings start hitting retirement age, it is likely to create a crisis in the social welfare system. Defined benefit plans should be expanded, not eliminated, he said. “We don’t need to fix something that’s not broken.”
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