The report, created by the independent consultant LifeWorks, suggests an Alberta Pension Plan (APP) could save Albertans billions each year, with lower contribution rates, higher benefits and stronger benefit security for families and retirees.

Alberta’s young population, high employment rates and higher pensionable earnings have meant the province has contributed billions more into the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) than what was required to fund benefits paid to Alberta seniors.

“This report shows a made-in-Alberta pension plan could put more money in the pockets of hard-working families and business owners and improve retirement security for seniors. We want to hear from you because it’s your pension, your choice. I’m so excited to hear what Albertans think about a provincial pension plan that could benefit Albertans now as well as our future generations.”

Danielle Smith, Premier

“According to the report, an APP could save Albertans $5 billion in the first year alone. We have a responsibility to present these findings to Albertans and gather their feedback. Albertans will make the final decision on where we go from here. It’s your pension, your retirement and your future.”

Nate Horner, President of Treasury Board and Minister of Finance

The government is asking Albertans to review the report findings, ask questions and provide feedback on what the next steps should be.

Over the fall and into spring 2024, an engagement panel will gather feedback from Albertans on their thoughts, suggestions and concerns about a provincial pension plan. The panel will submit a report to government based on the provincewide engagement. A referendum indicating support from a majority of Albertans would be required to pursue an APP.

“The job of the Panel is straightforward. We ask Albertans to look at the facts, participate in the discussions and then tell us what they think about an Alberta Pension Plan and the different options we must consider. We expect our conversations will be complex and, at times, fiery, but people engaged in debate reminds all of us how important sound public policy is for our security and prosperity. Albertans will figure this out.”

Jim Dinning, chair, APP engagement panel

Key findings

  • $334 billion in assets – A more stable pension plan
    The report estimates that Alberta should be entitled to a $334-billion asset transfer from the CPP in 2027. This is how much Albertans have contributed to the CPP minus how much they have received in benefits since the start of the CPP in 1966, plus investment earnings on that amount. With this large pool of money, an Alberta Pension Plan would have a significant financial backstop to cover benefit payments into the future.
  • Larger pension benefits for Alberta seniors
    An estimated $5 billion in savings in the first year alone could be used to boost the annual pension benefits for seniors. That could include a significant increase to each senior’s monthly pension payment, or even a $5,000 to $10,000 bonus payment at retirement.
  • $1,425 per year – Bigger paycheques
    The Lifeworks report estimates the difference between the rate Alberta workers would pay in Canada Pension Plan premiums and Alberta Pension Plan premiums would save Alberta workers up to $1,425 every year ($2,850 for those self-employed) while maintaining the same level of benefits for seniors. That extra take-home pay for Alberta workers could be used to meet the needs and priorities of their families.
  • $1,425 per year – Business savings
    An Alberta Pension Plan could reduce the premiums businesses pay by up to $1,425 per worker, per year. Businesses could invest that money to buy equipment or hire more employees.
  • 10 provinces, three territories – Portability across Canada
    Alberta’s government would work with partners at the CPP to develop agreements that would allow individuals to move throughout Canada without disrupting or decreasing benefits.
  • More Alberta, less Ottawa
    For decades, Alberta’s young working population, higher employment rates and higher pensionable earnings have resulted in Alberta workers and businesses contributing about $60 billion more into the CPP since inception than has been paid out to Albertans during the same period.

Your pension, your choice

The government also plans to introduce legislation in the fall 2023 session that, if passed, would require a referendum before the province could withdraw assets from the CPP to establish an APP. It would also guarantee the same or lower contributions, and the same or better benefits for seniors. It would ensure the assets transferred can only be used to provide a pension. Having legislation in place will safeguard Albertans’ pensions and benefits for generations to come.

Bringing forward the possibility of an Alberta Pension Plan through the release of the independent Lifeworks report will ensure Albertans are well-informed to make a decision about their future.

Quick facts

  • The government contracted LifeWorks to conduct a review and issue a report on a potential Alberta Pension Plan following a 2020 recommendation by the Fair Deal Panel.
  • The original report was completed using the Dec. 31, 2018, CPP actuarial valuation. LifeWorks has updated the report to include the most up-to-date public figures, which were released at the end of 2022.
  • The report, summaries and answers to frequently asked questions are available online.
  • As details are finalized, the engagement panel will post information on virtual town halls and other engagement activities across the province.

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