Protecting the retirement security of all Canadians!

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Fellow members,

Fighting for the retirement security of its members, and for all Canadians, is a top priority for the Institute. I would like to update you on where we stand on this critical issue at this time.

(1) October 19, 2018 marks the second anniversary of Bill C-27, which would make it easier for employers to convert existing employee Defined Benefit (or DB) pension plans to so-called Target Benefit (or TB) plans.

While it does not currently affect any PIPSC member under the Public Service Superannuation Act (PSSA), C-27 does affect other PIPSC members and sets a dangerous precedent for all Canadians. If its proposed sweeping changes take effect in one regulatory area, a powerful trend will be set in motion and pressure will increase to make changes in others.

Thanks to strong pressure exerted by PIPSC and other bargaining agents, the government has not moved forward with this legislation and the Bill remains at the First Reading stage. But we must remain vigilant and this piece of legislation must be taken off Parliament’s books once and for all. Please join the Institute’s ongoing campaign against C-27 and email your Member of Parliament, the Prime Minister and the Minister of Finance to let them know you oppose this dangerous Bill. Help Us Keep Up the Pressure on Bill C-27!

(2) PIPSC has banded together with other unions representing workers at Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL) to form the Canadian Alliance of Nuclear Workers (CANW). This group is fighting to restore the right of these employees to continue contributing to their public service pension plan, which had been taken away (effective September 2018) by the Harper government. This affects thousands of Canadians, including some 800 PIPSC members working at the Chalk River and Whiteshell facilities.

These workers deserve retirement security. It wasn’t fair that they were removed from their pension plan by the previous federal government, without a say or a vote on this issue. Instead, they were pushed out of their pension plan without consultation for short-term economic and political gain.

On September 26, 2018 Member of Parliament Daniel Blaikie introduced Private Member’s Bill C-414, which seeks to extend by one year the September 2018 contribution deadline. We support this initiative, a perfect opportunity to step in and fix the Harper government’s incredible blunder. 

(3) In New Brunswick, our constitutional challenge of the 2013 repeal of the provincial Public Service Superannuation Act (PSSA) and introduction of a Shared Risk Plan to oversee the pensions of provincial public servants continues to make its way through the legal system in the provincial Court of Queen’s Bench. The parties are in the process of exchanging documents and it is currently expected that hearings will be held beginning in 2019.

PIPSC was also involved in the recent provincial election, sending several questions to the main political parties about topics of importance to its members – notably where they stood on the reinstatement of the Defined Benefit Pension Plan. The Institute also prepared a leaflet aimed at guiding discussions between its members and candidates on this issue.

Please do not hesitate to contact me at gscriver@pipsc.ca if you have any questions or comments about our work on protecting pensions.

Sincerely,

Greg Scriver
Board of Directors
Director, National Capital Region