Posted on Jun 18, 2020


EDMONTON – New analysis by the Alberta NDP caucus shows Albertans could lose $13.5 billion in just the first five years of an Alberta Pension Plan. This supports recent analysis by Canada’s foremost pension expert who also concluded Jason Kenney’s pension interference is both risky and expensive.


The Fair Deal Panel Report states that Alberta’s current proportion of the $400 billion Canada Pension Plan (CPP) reserve fund has been estimated to be between $40-$70 billion dollars. Using an estimate of $55 billion invested at current return rates, the CPP would outperform the Alberta Investment Management Corporation (AIMCo) by $13.5 billion within five years.


“Our analysis shows the Canada Pension Plan yields greater returns and Albertans stand to lose billions in retirement savings under Jason Kenney and the UCP’s ideological war with Ottawa,” said Christina Gray, Alberta NDP Critic for Labour and Sponsor of Bill 203, The Pension Protection Act. “Jason Kenney talks about a fair deal, but he won’t explain the risks. These numbers should make any Albertan nervous.”


When comparing a $55 billion dollar investment between the CPPIB and AIMCo, Albertans would be better off to the tune of $13.5 billion over five years, and $385.5 billion over 25 years, all other things being equal. This calculation is based on today’s five year average return rates of both AIMCo and CPPIB:







7.2% annual return





10.7% annual return  




Difference in return





The NDP analysis follows a report by Canada’s foremost expert in pension management. Keith Ambachtsheer, Director Emeritus of the International Centre for Pension Management at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management, conducted an analysis of Kenney’s plan and concluded “There’s nothing in it for the Alberta taxpayer. So, it’s pure spite… I think it’s important that people understand there’s a difference between bluster and hard, economic analysis.”


In his report, Ambachtsheer states Albertans would assume big underwriting risks and liabilities — some estimates in the range of $180 billion — that would make lowering contribution rates irresponsible for the health of the plan. He also calculates that the setup and operating costs of establishing a provincial pension plan would run in the hundreds of millions of dollars. 


“No matter how you look at it, it’s a bad deal,” said Gray. The benefits are negligible, the risks are huge and the change, once done, would be irreversible.”


Conservative governments in Alberta have already studied this idea. In 2003, a panel of MLAs under Premier Ralph Klein found that withdrawing from the CPP “is not in the best interests of Albertans.”