The Ontario government has taken steps to help the more than three million people who do not have any kind of workplace pension scheme. A bill was passed on April 29 that mandates all employees to contribute 1.9 percent of their pay to the newly formed Ontario Retirement Pension Plan, to a maximum of $1,643 per year. Employers will be required to match contributions.

Ontario has lobbied the federal government to enhance the Canada Pension Plan to mandate increased contributions (and eventual pensions) for workers who do not belong to workplace pension plans, but the federal government has refused to do so.

The new Ontario Retirement Pension Plan will be structured to be very similar to the Canada Pension Plan, as the Ontario government still hopes that the Ontario plan can eventually be assimilated into the federal plan.

Until that happens, provincial workers now have the comfort of knowing that their retirement will be a little bit more secure thanks to this new plan. Opponents of the ORPP see the employer pension contributions as a payroll tax and claim it will kills jobs and damage businesses.