(Posted on the Canadian Mint site)
In Economic Action Plan 2012, the Government announced it would phase out the penny from Canada’s coinage system. The decision to phase out the penny was due to its excessive and rising cost of production relative to face value, the increased accumulation of pennies by Canadians in their households, environmental considerations, and the significant handling costs the penny imposes on retailers, financial institutions and the economy in general.
The estimated savings for taxpayers from phasing out the penny is $11 million a year.
The cent will remain Canada’s smallest unit for pricing goods and services. This will have no impact on payments made by cheque or electronic transactions—only cash transactions will be affected. Moreover, pennies can still be used in cash transactions indefinitely with businesses that choose to accept them.
To help consumers, businesses, charities and financial institutions to plan, a transition date of February 4, 2013has been set after which the Royal Canadian Mint will no longer distribute pennies.
As pennies exit circulation, cash payments or transactions only will need to be rounded, either up or down, to the nearest five-cent increment.
The Government of Canada will be adopting a rounding guideline that has been used successfully by other countries for its cash transactions with the public.