First Time Tragedy...Pooled Registered Pension Plans
S. B. Archer
York University - Osgoode Hall Law School; Koskie Minsky LLP
June 19, 2012
The Canadian Federal Government has proposed a new private-sector retirement savings scheme to address the widely-recognized under-saving of Canadian employees for retirement. The proposed scheme emphasizes voluntariness in a choice architecture associated with the “nudge” approach to regulation often associated with Cass Sunstein and Richard Thaler. The scheme is critiqued from a public policy perspective and compared to an alternative policy option, expanding a publically-administered occupational retirement savings scheme, the Canada Pension Plan. The author argues that despite evidence that expanding the Canada Pension Plan would be more efficient at achieving policy objectives, the Federal Government has promoted the private-sector scheme instead. The author speculates that reasons for this decision are not strongly rooted in economic or legal arguments, but instead in a political anxiety over mandatory public programs. The author concludes that if experience in other jurisdictions is any indication, the proposed scheme will not meet the stated policy objectives.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 5
Keywords: pensions, taxation, pension policy, Sunstein, Thaler, public pensions, private pensions, retirement savings, pooled registered pension plans
JEL Classification: K00, K23, K31working papers series
Date posted: June 20, 2012
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