(Bloomberg) -- The Alberta government panel investigating the possibility of splitting from the Canada Pension Plan will pause public feedback meetings while the country’s chief actuary analyzes how much of the fund’s assets the province might be entitled to.
Virtual meetings held by the panel so far suggest that about half of Albertans oppose a potential split, 25% favor it and 25% need more information, said Jim Dinning, the official who’s leading the panel. The key question is how much money the province would be able to take from the CPP fund should it decide to leave, so the panel will wait until Canada’s chief actuary calculates a figure, Dinning said at a news conference Friday.
Alberta’s government commissioned a study that concluded it may be able to take C$334 billion ($247 billion) of the assets managed by the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board should it decide to pull out.
That figure — which would mean more than half of the plan’s assets going to a province with about 12% of the country’s population — has been criticized by opponents of a split as unrealistic. Canadian Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland said last month that she’d ask the country’s chief actuary to estimate the total.
“It is hard for Albertans to provide concrete perspectives when many variables concerning an Alberta plan depend upon the size of that asset transfer,” Dinning said. While the chief actuary’s report “may not settle the matter conclusively, it will provide additional context and assist in making our panel’s conversations with Albertans more productive.”
Dinning said he hopes the actuary’s analysis will be completed by mid-February.
Alberta’s government has promised there would be a consultation period and provincewide referendum on the issue before making a final decision on whether to try to withdraw from the Canadian plan and set up an Alberta Pension Plan.
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