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Alberta Pension Plan figures inflated and misleading

Posted on November 2, 2023 by Ryan Dahlman

Dear Editor,

To the Premier of Alberta, my correspondence today is in reference to your plan to start an Alberta pension plan. My first concern is that you did not include this plan in your platform and yet you feel comfortable enough to pursue this endeavour. We vote for our politicians based on their platform, and this seems deceptive and dishonest to independently decide to pursue a plan outside the party platform. 

After listening to the town hall, I have very grave concerns. It seems that most Albertans are unaware of the structure and operation of the CPP and many more are listening to your misrepresentations. Let’s start with Alberta owning 53 per cent of the CPP. Not only does the CPP board dismiss these figures as unsubstantiated, our own economic professors at the University of Alberta also concur. They place our ownership between 20-25 per cent which would undercut your claim that you can pay Albertans more. 

CPP is one of the top 10 pensions in the world, and indeed it outperformed every other pension in the world last year. The CPP has offices in eight countries and invests worldwide, including in Alberta. Even though all Albertans make up only 12 per cent of the Canadian population, the CPP has investments of over 16 per cent in Alberta. Employees and employers in Alberta have contributed 16 per cent to CPP and CPP has grown that fund to its present value of over half a trillion. It is run by an independent board totally separate from the federal government. 

Indeed, no democracy allows their government to use their pension funds. The maximum contribution to CPP ends at $66,000 in income, therefore, no one benefits individually more than someone in another province. 

Because Alberta has a young population more people are paying into it than some other provinces; however, that will reverse in approximately 20 years. Quebec pays higher premiums because at this stage they have an elderly population with a small population pension base. I hope all Albertans investigate your claims in order not to make a tragic financial mistake.

A. Levine, Taber

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