Ontario Expanding Pension Coverage for Millions of Workers


Ontario is expanding pension coverage to over four million workers without an adequate workplace pension plan.

Today, the province passed the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan Act (Strengthening Retirement Security for Ontarians), 2016. The Ontario Retirement Pension Plan (ORPP) will bring financial security and drive economic growth for generations to come, by providing Ontario workers with a predictable stream of income in retirement, paid for life. The ORPP will also offer a survivor benefit for all plan members.

“The ORPP is the most significant improvement in retirement security since the introduction of the Canada Pension Plan in 1966. This legislation will expand workplace pension access to more than four million Ontario workers, meaning greater security and confidence in retirement for current and future generations.” — Mitzie Hunter, Associate Minister of Finance (Ontario Retirement Pension Plan)

Along with regulations expected this summer, the legislation gives employers and employees the information they need to prepare for the launch of the ORPP. This is a crucial step forward in fulfilling the government’s commitment that every eligible employee is part of the ORPP or a comparable workplace pension plan by 2020.

Strengthening the retirement income system is critical to the future prosperity of the province. Studies show that many of today’s workers are not saving enough to maintain their standard of living in retirement. Pension coverage is also low for many Ontarians, with only one in four younger workers — aged 25 to 34 — participating in a workplace pension plan.

“Two-thirds of ‎our workers do not have the benefit of a workplace pension plan. We are delivering on our commitment to strengthening retirement security for millions of Ontario workers and their families. Our main objective is to intensively look at ways to meet the goals of the ORPP through an enhanced CPP framework, while preserving our ability to implement the ORPP, should that not be possible.” — Charles Sousa, Minister of Finance

Building a secure retirement savings plan is part of the government’s economic plan to build Ontario up and deliver on its number-one priority to grow the economy and create jobs. The four-part plan includes investing in talents and skills, including helping more people get and create the jobs of the future by expanding access to high-quality college and university education. The plan is also making the largest investment in public infrastructure in Ontario’s history and investing in a low-carbon economy driven by innovative, high-growth, export-oriented business.


  • The ORPP will offer a predictable, reliable and inflation-indexed stream of income in retirement, paid for life, by providing a pension of up to 15 per cent of an individual’s pre-retirement income. Employees and employers would contribute an equal amount, capped at 1.9 per cent each on an employee’s annual earnings up to $90,000.
  • A cost-benefit analysis conducted by the Conference Board of Canada found that over the long-term, the ORPP will add billions to Ontario’s economy.
  • Since 2014, the government has consulted extensively on the design of the ORPP with the business community, labour, academia, non-profits and Ontario workers, including holding public consultations in more than 10 communities across the province. Over 1000 responses were also submitted online and by mail.
  • Ontario looks forward to participating in the Federal-Provincial-Territorial Finance Ministers Meeting on June 20 in Vancouver. Ontario supports CPP enhancement. Ontario is open to exploring a range of potential CPP enhancements for a national solution to strengthening retirement security as long as it is targeted to those who need it most and provides substantial earnings replacement benefits in retirement.