On October 19, 2016, Bill C-27, An Act to amend the Pension Benefits Standards Act, 1985, was quietly introduced in the House of Commons. The Bill establishes a framework for single-employer target-benefit pension plans (TBPs) in the federal private sector and for Crown corporations.
Bill C-27 will allow federal employers with defined-benefit (DB) pension plans to rid themselves of the legal obligation to deliver promised and already-earned benefits.
Under C-27 workers and retirees could see their accrued defined benefit pensions converted to target benefit pensions. The conversion could lead to reductions of current and future pension payments as it would shift virtually all financial risk from the employer to plan members. Even retiree pensions could be reduced!
This will directly impact Unifor members working in federally regulated sectors such as rail, media, air transportation and telecommunication. In fact, Bell Aliant already expressed interest in moving from a DB to a TBP in future negotiations when they were consulted by the ruling Conservative’s back in 2014.
When the Harper government proposed a similar pension grab Justin Trudeau clearly promised in writing that “DBPs (Defined Benefit Pensions), which have already been paid for by employees and pensioners, should not retroactively be changed into TBPs.”
Now the Liberals are picking up where the Conservatives left off!
We need to let the government know that changing the pension rules will reduce the benefits that pensioners rely on and will result in weaker pension plans for workers across the country. If the federal government is successful, other provinces will likely follow with similar legislation.
National President Jerry Dias calls Bill C-27 a smoke and mirrors scheme that opens the way for employers to attack good defined benefit pension plans in federally regulated workplaces.
Read CLC President Hassan Yussuff’s letter to Finance Minister Morneau here
Justin Trudeau letter to retirees (2015)
Bell Alliant Consultation Paper Response
TAKE ACTION NOW!
Email Finance Minister Bill Morneau at and your own Member of Parliament to demand the withdrawal of Bill C-27.
Reach Bill Morneau at Bill.Morneau@parl.gc.ca. Find your local MP by postal code, click here.
Please include our pensions and benefits department on any emails at email@example.com.
To assist you, Unifor has prepared the following draft email:
Dear Minister Morneau,
I am very concerned about Bill C-27 and the impact it will have on defined benefit plans across Canada.
For this reason, I took the time to write to tell you and my Member of Parliament how I feel.
This bill directly contradicts election promises made by Prime Minister Trudeau. As Canada’s Minister of Finance your priority should be the development of policies that improve retirement security in Canada, such as ensuring that women and persons with disabilities are not left behind on the new CPP expansion.
You should not be introducing proposals that undermine the decent pension plans unions have negotiated.
I ask that you withdraw Bill C-27 and focus your attention on improving retirement security for all Canadians.