2014 Mandate letter: Ontario Retirement Pension Plan
Premier’s instructions to the Minister on priorities for the year 2014
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September 25, 2014
The Honourable Mitzie Hunter
Associate Minister of Finance
(Ontario Retirement Pension Plan)
Ministry of Finance
7 Queen’s Park Crescent
Sixth Floor, Frost Building South
Dear Associate Minister Hunter:
I am honoured to welcome you to your role as Associate Minister of Finance (Ontario Retirement Pension Plan). We have a strong Cabinet in place, and I am confident that together we will build Ontario up, create new opportunities and champion a secure future for people across our province. The people of Ontario have entrusted their government to be a force for good, and we will reward that trust by working every day in the best interests of every person in this province.
As we implement a balanced and comprehensive plan for Ontario, we will lead from the activist centre. We will place emphasis on partnerships with businesses, communities and people to help foster continued economic growth and make a positive impact on the lives of every Ontarian. This collaborative approach will shape all the work we do. It will ensure we engage people on the issues that matter the most to them, and that we implement meaningful solutions to our shared challenges.
Our government’s most recent Speech from the Throne outlined a number of key priorities that will guide your work as associate minister. Growing the economy and helping to create good jobs are fundamental to building more opportunity and security, now and in the future. That critical priority is supported by strategic investments in the talent and skills of our people, from childhood to retirement. It is supported through the building of modern infrastructure, transit and a seamless transportation network. It is supported by a dynamic business climate that thrives on innovation, creativity and partnerships to foster greater prosperity. And it is reflected across all of our government, in every area, and will extensively inform our programs and policies.
As we move forward with our plan to grow the economy and create jobs, we will do so through the lens of fiscal prudence. Our 2014 Budget reinforces our commitment to balancing the budget by 2017-18; it is essential that every area adheres to the program-spending objectives established in it. We will choose to invest wisely in initiatives that strengthen Ontario’s competitive advantage, create jobs and provide vital public services to our families. The President of the Treasury Board, collaborating with the Minister of Finance, will work closely with you and your fellow Cabinet members to ensure that our government meets its fiscal targets. The President of the Treasury Board will also lead the government’s efforts on accountability, openness and modernization as we implement new accountability measures across government.
As Associate Minister of Finance (Ontario Retirement Pension Plan), you will work to build a strong and secure retirement income system that will ensure Ontarians enjoy their retirement years. You will continue to seek an enhancement to the Canada Pension Plan, but also recognize the need to act now to provide greater retirement income security to Ontarians.
Your specific priorities include:
Building Retirement Security
- Working in partnership with the Minister of Finance to develop the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan (ORPP) so that it can be implemented in January 2017. The goal of the pension plan is to support working people who do not already participate in a comparable workplace pension plan. It should be similar to the Canada Pension Plan and provide a predictable stream of income in retirement, require contributions to be shared equally between employees and employers — and target a replacement rate of 15 per cent, up to an annual earnings threshold of $90,000.
- Consulting and collaborating with the Minister of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure, the Minister of Labour, the Attorney General and the President of the Treasury Board during the development of the ORPP. I ask that you — in partnership with the Minister of Finance — update Cabinet on your progress during the implementation of this important file.
- Actively consulting with stakeholders to ensure there is broad awareness of the benefits of the ORPP to Ontarians, businesses and, when fully implemented, the broader economy.
- Seeking input on policy and implementation issues — such as a lower-income threshold and assistance for the self-employed — from the Technical Advisory Group on Income Security and from other experts.
- Exploring opportunities to promote Ontario’s commitment to strengthening the retirement income system. You will work with other provinces and territories to expand the ORPP to enhance the retirement income security of those living outside Ontario.
We have an ambitious agenda for the next four years. I know that, by working together in partnership, we can be successful. The above list of priority initiatives is not meant to be exhaustive, as there are many other responsibilities that you and your ministry will need to carry out. To that end, this mandate letter is to be used by your ministry to develop more detailed plans for implementation of the initiatives above, in addition to other initiatives not highlighted in this letter.
I ask that you continue to build on the strong relationships we have with the Ontario Public Service, the broader public sector, other levels of government, and the private, non-profit and voluntary sectors. We want to be the most open and transparent government in the country. We want to be a government that works for the people of this province — and with them. It is of the utmost importance that we lead responsibly, act with integrity, manage spending wisely and are accountable for every action we take.
I look forward to working together with you in building opportunity today, and securing the future for all Ontarians.