Paul Martin helping Wynne with Ont. pension plan

Premier Kathleen Wynne announces on Wednesday, January 22, 2014, that former prime minister Paul...

Premier Kathleen Wynne announces on Wednesday, January 22, 2014, that former prime minister Paul Martin will serve as a special adviser to the minister of finance on a made-in-Ontario solution to enhance retirement income security. (Antonella Artuso/QMI Agency)

Antonella Artuso, Queen's Park Bureau Chief

, Last Updated: 8:56 AM ET

TORONTO -- Premier Kathleen Wynne has enlisted the support of former prime minister Paul Martin to develop a made-in-Ontario pension solution, arguing the middle class won't be able to rely on CPP for a comfortable retirement.

Ontario would have preferred that the Stephen Harper government had agreed to address the issue through CPP but was rebuffed and intends to take action on its own, she said.

"We're both very disappointed that the Harper government is unwilling to enhance the CPP," Wynne said Wednesday, with Martin at her side. "As the federal government steps back, it's our responsibility at the province to step forward."

Martin, who overhauled CPP in the 1990s as federal finance minister, will serve as a special adviser to the Ontario minister of finance on a provincial solution to boost retirement income.

Martin jacked up CPP rates and cut benefits after the pension plan's unfunded liability grew larger than the national debt with the blessing of eight provinces, including Ontario.

"In the end we worked out the plan that saved the Canada Pension Plan and, in fact, which makes it today one of the most actuarially sound in the world," he said. "But it does have a problem for middle-income Canadians, as you project ahead, the Canada Pension Plan is not going to be able to do that which it must."


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