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Still not time for CPP reform, says Flaherty

OTTAWA - Federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty says now is still not the time to enrich the Canada Pension Plan.

Flaherty says the subject will again be up for discussion on Sunday and Monday when he meets with his provincial counterparts in Ottawa.

A number of provinces, led by Ontario, are pushing for a modest enhancement of the national plan as a way of dealing with the fact many Canadians have no company pension plans to fall back on when they retire.

Flaherty says he still supports enhancing the CPP in the future, but that with the current weak economy now is not the time to increase premiums on workers and employers.

Ottawa is expected to present several options for modest enhancement of the plan at the meetings, along with a request for provinces to adopt a system of voluntary pooled pension plans. But a spokesman for Ontario says that province will not go ahead with the pooled plan concept unless there is also action on the CPP.

Although technically Ottawa could move ahead on CPP enhancements with the support of two-thirds of provinces representing two-thirds of the national population, Flaherty says he wants to see unanimous approval before acting.

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