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!
TAKE ACTION NOW!
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 stated that DB plans should not be retroactively 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