Canada's largest private sector union is giving P.E.I. Finance Minister Wes Sheridan's Canada Pension Plan suggestion the thumbs up.

Wes Sheridan

Wes Sheridan's proposal to reform the Canada Pension Plan is gathering support. (CBC)

Unifor, formed just last month in the merger of the Canadian Auto Workers and the Communication, Energy and Paperworkers unions, says in a news release, Sheridan has the right idea.

Sheridan's plan would see a doubling of CPP premiums paid by workers and employers, from $2356.20 to $4,681.20 in 2016. Sheridan said this would allow a much-needed increase in pay-outs for the middle class.

"I hope all the provinces and the federal government come together to make this happen as an expanded CPP is the best way to ensure retirement security for working Canadians," said Unifor Atlantic regional director Lana Payne.

Federal finance minister Jim Flaherty has said the economy isn't in good enough shape to ask workers and employers to do this.

Payne said the union wants to see the CPP bolstered before a new voluntary pooled pension plan is explored.

The 300,000 member union is critical of the federal government's pooled plan, because payouts are not guaranteed. The success of a pooled pension plan, much like RRSPs, depends on the strength of the market and investment choices.

UNIFOR calls this "totally inadequate, saying it hands Canadians' savings over to the financial industry with no assurance of an adequate retirement income."

Federal and provincial finance ministers are expected to debate the issue at meetings in December.

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