The man responsible for directing Canada’s pension savings spoke to a gathering at the Calgary Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday, saying that the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) continues to benefit Albertans.
John Graham has held the top job since 2021.
He was invited to speak as the Alberta government pushes for separation from the plan, claiming the province is entitled to approximately $334 billion in assets from the Canada Pension Plan.
“The CPP is safe, secure and strong,” he said during his noon address. “It’s overseen by independent, arms-length investment experts whose only focus is securing the future of your retirement.
“The CPP fund is $576 billion and over the last decade our 10-year returns are approximately 10 per cent.”
The current CPP manages $575 billion in assets – of which Alberta is claiming roughly 53 per cent for it’s proposed Alberta Pension Plan.
The province also claims $5 billion in savings for Alberta, larger payments and the potential for a bonus retirement payout of $5,000 to $10,000 per person.
In addition to supporting Albertans, the CPP also supports industry in the province, Graham said.
“$6 billion of the CPP fund is invested in the oil and gas industry (oil, gas, oilfield services providers, coal and pipelines) in Canada,” he said.
“Through existing investments in companies such as Teine, Wolf and Enbridge, or new investments and JVs, we will continue to look for additional investment opportunities in Alberta, in both traditional and renewable energy.”
The report the claims are based on has been widely panned by economists as based on incorrect assumptions, including grossly over-estimating the sum Alberta would be entitled to under the plan.
The current CPP is used by all provinces except Quebec, which has had its own provincial plan from the beginning in the late 1960s.
Statements out of federal government officials have said Ottawa plans to push back against the UCP government’s claims around the CPP/APP plan.
Any separation from the plan would be subject to an amount determined by a third party adjudicator, and require three years written notice by the province.
The provincial government plans to hold a non-binding referendum on the question. There is website to leave feedback on the proposed plan, but the survey frames all questions as “what should the province do with the APP?”
There is no question that allows respondents to criticize or reject the idea of separation.