Millions of Canadians have pension money offshore — without knowing it
Source: CBC News
Author: Zach Dubinsky
Palm-fringed islands, balmy weather, luxury yachts moored in azure waters — offshore tax havens conjure up a wonderland for the well-heeled and their wealth.
But a CBC investigation based on the Paradise Papers leak has found that millions of ordinary Canadians also have an interest in money parked in tax havens — almost certainly without knowing it.
Seven of the country’s so-called Big 8 pension funds, representing more than 25 million workers, have used tax havens as they invest Canadians’ retirement savings, according to records in the huge leak of offshore financial documents made public last month.
This revelation underscores a delicate quandary. On the one hand, pension funds need to make enough money to ensure they can pay benefits to an aging population, and using tax havens for investments abroad can help the bottom line. But it raises questions about whether Canadians’ retirement money is underwriting an offshore industry that undermines tax fairness and transparency.