Halton Hills and North Halton newspapers
MPs urged to support `pension-splitting'
Independent & Free Press (Georgetown, ON), 4 Aug 2006, p. 6

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MPs urged to support `pension-splitting'

Dear editor, At the same time that successive Canadian governments proclaim the family unit and values as a sacred foundation of our society, Canada's Income Tax rules require married couples to pay significantly more income tax than they would if they divorced and lived together. It doesn't seem fair! An umbrella group made up of 14 aligned retiree organizations are pressing for income tax changes to allow married couples (and equivalent) to split registered retirement income (private pensions, superannuation and RRIFs). They want to extend splitting (sharing) provisions of the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) to all registered pension programs (RRP). The founders of the struggle believe that pensioners have a special case and because all Canadians plan to retire someday it is not exclusionary. It is a fairness issue for pensioners and anyone subscribing to a pension plan or RRSPs. Having said that, today's seniors lived by norms of their time and have little option now to alleviate their circumstances. CPP sets a well-substantiated precedent. It is perverse and unfair that failed marriages can split pensions and assets but successful unions cannot, even though sharing is entrenched in family law. Pension splitting is not a class issue that only favours today's seniors. Sooner or later younger workers connect with the pensiontax factor. Anyone, regardless of age, who contemplates a pension, superannuation or a RRSP, should anticipate the tax consequence under today's tax rules. RRSPs would become much more attractive once there is an equal playing field. A research paper commissioned on the subject from Canada's Library of Parliament indicates that allowing all retired couples in Canada to split pension income would cost $302 million a year. A better question is what is the price for the status quo? Legislating pension splitting now does not detract from general splitting of family income as a future step. It merely prioritizes a component that has greater urgency because of the age of pensioners and the severity of their situation. They have suffered the most for the longest period of time and enjoy less time to wait for justice. On May 10/06 I asked Wellington-Halton Hills MP Michael Chong if he supported "pension splitting". I still don't know. A pre-budget conference arranged by the 14 allied retiree groups, highlighting pension splitting, is being held in the House of Commons, West Block Oct. 3. Please contact your MP and insist that Canadian couples have the option to split all retirement income in a manner that would minimize their combined taxes. Ask for a reply and forward it to dfrerichs@cogeco.ca or to 23 Weber Drive, Georgetown ON L7G 1C1 Duane Frerichs, Georgetown

Frerichs, Duane
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Date of Publication:
4 Aug 2006
Personal Name(s):
Frerichs, Duane ; Chong, Michael
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Canadian Pension Plan ; CPP ; Library of Parliament ; House of Commons
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MPs urged to support `pension-splitting'