Idea alert

Jack Layton talks pension reform.

NDP Leader Jack Layton is proposing a national pension insurance program to protect workers whose companies go bankrupt and leave retired employees in the lurch. The self-sustaining program would be funded by employer contributions and guarantee pensioners $2,500 per month in the event their plan is wound up.

Layton says other countries, including the United States and the Netherlands, have similar programs that adopt so-called orphaned pension plans. The NDP is also proposing an increase to the Guaranteed Income Supplement for low-income seniors – a measure that would cost the federal treasury about $700 million a year.