Quebec waives minimum age of eligibility
(Quebec) The Legault government is abandoning the minimum age of eligibility for the Québec Pension Plan (QPP) from 60 to 62. The decision will be formalized in the March 21 budget.
TOMMY CHOUINARDTHE PRESS
During an intervention in the House on Thursday, Finance Minister Eric Girard explained that his proposal "did not achieve consensus" during consultations in parliamentary committee.
"The Quebec Pension Plan belongs to all Quebecers [and] we don't intend to impose choices that people don't want. We will continue the analyses. We will make our decisions known in the budget," he said.
However, according to a source familiar with the matter, the decision has already been made, and the government will not go ahead with the postponement of the minimum age of eligibility. This will be confirmed in the budget.
As every six years, public consultations were held in Parliament on the future of the QPP, which is currently in good financial health. The government has proposed various changes, including raising the minimum age of eligibility to 62.
This measure has been decried by many groups.
This will maintain the current rules. It will still be possible to receive a pension from age 60, with a financial penalty.
The full pension is available from age 65.
Two changesAt the Blue Room on Thursday, Minister Girard specified two changes that the government will implement and that had also been debated. They do not relate to the age of eligibility.
The first aims to make QPP contributions optional after age 65, an election promise of the Coalition avenir Québec (CAQ). This would eat up half of the plan's financial flexibility. The second change provides for the creation of a protection mechanism so that years of low working earnings after age 65 cannot adversely affect the average earnings used to calculate the retirement pension.
During a media scrum, Eric Girard confirmed that the government would be content to put forward the measures that have achieved consensus. "We do not have the leeway to do everything that has been proposed," he pleaded.
ReactionsThe minister's listening during parliamentary committee consultations and his decision not to go ahead with his project, which risked penalizing future retirees, should be applauded. It is proof that there is a way to get along with governments when there is good faith and listening.
Magali Picard, President of the FTQ
The CPQ welcomes the decision, following the consensus of the groups consulted in committee. We are of the opinion that freedom of choice must be guaranteed to all, including workers performing physical tasks.
Karl Blackburn, President of the Conseil du patronat du Québec (CPQ)
With Fanny Lévesque, La Presse