The Association of Canadian Pension Management (ACPM) has offered its views on whether Canada’s mandatory public pension programs should be expanded.

The ACPM says it believes that targeted action is needed to improve pension coverage and retirement income adequacy for all Canadians, and that Canadians will be best served by a retirement income system that embraces both the mandatory and voluntary components.

The ACPM Principles for Mandatory Public Pension Plans, released Monday, sets out the associations’s views for the minimum principles that should be adhered to in any expansion of the mandatory public plans component of the Canadian retirement income system.

The principles note that lower income Canadians without workplace pensions are already achieving satisfactory retirement income replacement levels, while higher income earners without access to a workplace plan appear to be saving adequately on their own. It is middle income Canadians working in the private sector without access to a workplace plan that appear to need the most help, the ACPM says.

ACPM also believes that Third Pillar workplace retirement plan coverage remains a critical component of the system.ACPM’s Five Point Plan, released in 2010, outlines the steps to providing universal access to retirement income coverage in Canada. It is a comprehensive plan which, if its points are implemented concurrently, would ensure Canadians have the saving options that work best for them and their families. (See Investment Executive, ACPM releases plan to improve retirement income coverage, June 10, 2010.).

“ACPM does not believe that changes to Canada’s mandatory public plans alone will produce an optimal result for all Canadians. We suggest the modest, targeted actions in our Five Point Plan. If there must be changes to C/QPP, or if another mandatory pension plan such as the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan is introduced, we believe that the ACPM Principles for Mandatory Public Pension Plans should be considered and followed when those changes are made,” said Andrew Harrison, chairman of the ACPM board of directors, in a release.

ACPM membership represents over 400 companies and retirement income plans that cover more than 3 million plan members, with assets under management in excess of $330 billion.