A Word About Your Canadian Pension

Ever since I was 17, people have been telling me that by the time I retired, there would be no pension money left, and that my contributions were just a tax grab. That we were being cheated.

Fifty years later, I am collecting a comfortable monthly amount that enables me to live in pretty much the same way I would if I were working.

Because that “common-sense/basic economics/entitlements” bullshit is exactly that – bullshit.

The studies that the naysayers point to are filled with unfounded and frequently outright fraudulent “facts” and I will (naturally) tell you why.

  1. The first assumption is that the amount of money sitting in the pension fund on the day the “researcher” looked it up is a static amount – that it will not grow and consequently will simply be depleted by current recipients down to nothing by the time you retire.. That is, that zero contributions will be added, ever again.

    And that is ridiculous, because they are simultaneously telling you that YOUR contributions are going to pay old people, so those monies won’t be there for you.

    I’m pretty sure you can see how that does not compute, as our robot overlords would say.

  2. The second assumption is that everyone currently collecting those payments will still be alive and kicking when you turn 65. That the amount needed to pay out will simply increase forever.

    That not even possible. I don’t care how good our health care system is – people in their 80s today will not all be hanging around for the next 30 years. The numbers will not lie: the retired population does not grow exponentially, and an awful lot of people paying in right now will likely either never collect, or will only collect for a year or three.

  3. The third assumption is that the contributions you make (average seems to be around $5 a month, depending on your salary) are the ONLY amounts involved – they seem to forget that A) your employer is also contributing, and B) (the really big omission that the anti-government shills love to skip over) is that – JUST LIKE EVERY OTHER PENSION PLAN – the money collected for CPP gets INVESTED.

    Sorry about the bolding and caps – but it’s important. The CPP does not rely on just your and your employer’s contributions – it uses that money to grow the pool of cash and make sure there is no shortfall.

  4. There’s a fourth assumption/omission in there, too: what the “There won’t be any money left by the time you need it” doomsayers tend to not point out is that if you earn a lot and put away a lot for your retirement, your piece of this pie will be smaller than those who had to live paycheck to paycheck.

    We aren’t all going to get the same amounts, and that’s done so that the system can re-allocate funds to those who need them – there’s a minimum amount that the government feels you should not fall below. It isn’t really enough – and that’s yet another reason why a Universal Basic Income would be much better – but it is at least an acknowledgement that we don’t think people should starve to death in the freezing dark just because they weren’t rich before they turned 65.

So when someone tells you that you should vote for politicians who hate the idea that we should have a system whereby people do not get pushed off on a metaphorical iceberg when they are deemed to be no longer useful to the economy, you need to stop and think about what they AREN’T telling you.

Vote for people who give a shit, and stop believing that low-effort and essentially fraudulent claim that by the time you hit your golden years, the cupboard will be bare.

The only way for that to happen is if you let the greedy and the ignorant take that system down for their own profit.