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May 14, 2021

Now's the time to boost CPP payroll deductions: report

The federal government is currently considering increasing CPP and QPP benefits, which would mean a significant premium hike for working Canadians and even more serious impacts for the economy.

But small business owners in particular are concerned about the costs associated with any expansion of benefits, according to Canadian Federation of Independent Business president Dan Kelly.

Earlier this month, CFIB issued an update of its Forced Savings report, examining the so-called 10-10-10 proposal for CPP/QPP expansion.

This plan would hike CPP benefits by 10 percentage points from 25% to 35% of maximum pensionable earnings (MPE), raise the MPE by $10,000 from today’s $51,100 to $61,100, and implement all of this within 10 years.

Trouble is, this double-whammy payroll tax hike could mean that many Canadians see their take home pay drop each year on January 1 for 10 straight years, Kelly maintains.


As employers and employees each contribute roughly 5% of their pay straight into the CPP, an increase in the rate would mean that employees would have to get a raise larger than the CPP hike to ensure their take-home doesn’t drop. They would, however, see an offset with a larger CPP pension down the road.

What's worse, employers – already struggling with a soft economy and steady jumps in EI premiums – would also see their payroll budget hit with a CPP hike of their own. In fact, close to half of smaller firms would freeze or cut salaries in response to an increase in CPP, he estimates.

Would you be willing to shoulder more CPP costs to ensure an enhanced pension down the road? Would your employer go along? Do you think it would impact potential raises at work?

By Gordon Powers, MSN Money



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...