We are also opposed to Bill C-27. I think it opens the door to an attack on defined benefit pension plans by opening the door to the target benefit plan. The average salary for our members is about $45,000 a year. These are middle-class folks, and when they retire they have access to a good pension that is deferred wages—a pension that they pay into all their working life. If we have seen a decrease in poverty among senior women, good pensions is one of the biggest causes of it, along with women being in the labour force—either their own pensions or having access to survivor pensions, which is also key for women, who tend to live longer than men.
We see this as an attack on those pensions. We know those pensions are critical to good retirement income and dignity. However, we also want young women—some of the women who are going to be in here later today—to have access to those pensions.