In October 2016, the federal Liberal government presented, without consultation with affected stakeholders, House Government Bill C-27, An Act to amend the Pension Benefits Standards Act, 1985 (Bill C-27). This legislation seeks to introduce a target benefit pension plan framework in Canada’s federal pension landscape.
Target Benefit plans, also known as “shared risk plans”, shift the risk in pension plans from employers and plan sponsors to employees and retirees. In tough times, target benefit pensions can be reduced, providing less retirement security for their members, which is a concern for retirees.
Bill C-27 would impact the accrued pensions of people employed by, and who have retired with many years of service with Crown corporations and federally-regulated employers. Although Bill C-27 would not impact Federal Retirees’ members if enacted as-is, the legislation will permanently shift our pension landscape and will likely erode the retirement security earned by millions of Canadians with defined benefit pensions.
On May 15, 2017, the National Association of Federal Retirees submitted a brief to Finance Canada on our members’ concerns with Bill C-27. In the brief, we discuss the complexity of pensions; the consequences and implications involved in asking people to “surrender” the defined benefit pension they’ve earned – not to mention the fundamental unfairness in attempting to do so; the issues with “informed consent”; labour relations concerns that may arise; and realities of the demographic that will be most impacted – seniors.
There’s still time to let your Member of Parliament know you’re concerned with Bill C-27. Add your voice to our Honour Your Promise campaign, and plan to meet your MP soon using the toolkit available.