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The chief economist for the Conference Board of Canada said on Tuesday, April 13th that in order to increase productivity in assisting with pension payments, the number of immigrants allowed annually into Canada needs to be increased by 100,000. Currently, that number is approximately 250,000
This increased number of immigrants is needed to offset the high number of baby boomers set to retire in the coming years and help stabilize the Canadian Pension Program, helping it recover from the pensions these boomers will be receiving.
The remarks were made by Glen Hodgson at the Summit on the Future of Pensions, held by the Conference Board of Canada.
“As all the boomers get ready to retire, as we look to new entrants (contributing to the pension plan), we won’t have any where near the same numbers of entrants from the born in Canada population,” said Hodgson, who also mentioned that the government really needs to begin looking at allowing more immigrants in to the country.
The labour force in Canada is expected to grow much slower, with many more people will be using pension plans but far less people will be contributing towards them.
“We’ll have fewer workers coming in to feed the system…that’s going to suck the life out of our economy,” said Hodgson.
Due to slower population growth along with smaller families and an aging population in Canada, immigration to Canada will be the only source of population growth in the coming decades and will eventually be the major source of the country’s labour force
Countries in Europe as well as Japan have increased the age limit to make retires wait longer before being able to access their retirement programs, but having older Canadians work longer isn’t an appropriate answer according the Hodgson. The pension plan crisis will be upon us sooner rather than later, as the Conference Board conducted a survey earlier this year that proved only one in three Canadians had considered retiring later due to the recession.
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