A new threat to pension security has emerged with the introduction of Bill C-27 by the federal Liberals. The legislation, if passed, would allow for the retroactive conversion of defined benefit plans to target benefit plans for federally regulated employees, directly impacting Unifor members in rail, media, air transportation and telecommunication.
“It is a smoke and mirrors scheme that opens the way for employers to attack good defined benefit pension plans in federally regulated workplaces,” said Unifor National President Jerry Dias
Bill C-27 amends the Pension Benefits Standards Act of 1985 and was quietly tabled in the House of Commons in late October. The Bill establishes a framework for single-employer target-benefit pension plans (TBPs) in the federal private sector and for Crown corporations. The bill would 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 concern is that the conversion may reduce current and future pension payments as virtually all financial risk is shifted from the employer to plan members. Even retiree pensions could be reduced.
When the Harper government proposed a similar pension grab Justin Trudeau clearly promised in writing that he would oppose this exact change and Unifor will hold the Prime Minister to his words.
All Unifor members can help to defend pension security. Let the government know that changing pension rules will reduce the benefits that pensioners rely on and will result in weaker pension plans for workers across the country.
Take action! Write to the federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau, and also to your local MP to demand withdrawal of C-27. Visit unifor.org/stopC27 for a draft letter and email information.