The Alberta Pension Protection Act would, if passed, guarantee the government won’t launch an Alberta Pension Plan unless Albertans vote in favour of it in a referendum.

The Alberta Pension Protection Act would provide Albertans four guarantees to protect the pensions they have built up during their working careers under the Canada Pension Plan (CPP). The legislation guarantees:

  • Albertans must vote in favour of an Alberta Pension Plan during a public referendum before the government withdraws assets from the CPP.
  • Contribution rates under an Alberta Pension Plan would be the same or lower than the rates for the CPP.
  • An APP must provide the same or better benefits to Albertans.
  • The entire asset transferred from the CPP would be used solely to set up and operate an Alberta Pension Plan.

Alberta’s government has repeatedly promised the decision would always be made by Albertans in a referendum. The Alberta Pension Protection Act would lock that promise in place.

“This legislation protects the interests of Albertans and provides them assurance that if they move forward with an Alberta Pension Plan, their pensions and their benefits will always be there for them. This is their money, built up over years of hard work. We promise we would keep it safe and make sure it grows to provide retirement security for generations.”

Nate Horner, Minister of Finance and President of Treasury Board

The new legislation would also guarantee that Albertans would pay the same or lower contribution rates than under the CPP. The independent report by LifeWorks estimates an Alberta Pension Plan could be supported with lower contribution rates than the CPP, saving Alberta employees and employers up to $1,425 every year for each employee.

The legislation would also provide certainty to Albertans that an Alberta Pension Plan would provide the same or even better benefits than under the CPP. The Canada Pension Plan Act already requires a provincial pension plan to provide benefits comparable to the CPP to qualify for withdrawal. Alberta could use some of the estimated $5 billion in annual savings to further improve APP benefits.

The Alberta Pension Protection Act would also ensure the assets transferred to Alberta from the CPP could only be used to set up a pension plan and operate it in the best interests of Albertans. Because Albertans have paid billions more into the CPP than they have received in benefits, the LifeWorks report estimates that Alberta is owed $334 billion from the CPP, which includes compounded investment returns on the net contribution. The legislation provides Albertans assurance that the government would only use that large asset transfer amount to support a provincial pension plan that would be sustainable for generations to come.

Alberta’s government wants to provide assurance to every Albertan that their hard-earned pension money will be safe and protected under this important and necessary piece of legislation.

Quick facts

  • Albertans are encouraged to review the LifeWorks report on an Alberta Pension Plan and provide their feedback.
  • The Alberta Pension Plan Engagement Panel is currently hosting regional telephone town halls, including three in November, to hear from Albertans.
  • The public survey is open until Dec. 10.

Related information