The federal Liberal government is putting forward legislation that’s designed to weaken defined benefit pensions in Canada, replacing them with unstable schemes, even for current and retired employees whose savings are already in DB plans.
Bill C-27 An Act to amend the Pension Benefits Standards would have devastating impact, shifting all the risk of pension plans to employees and retirees and removing the employer obligations in pension plans.
You can read the letter your union sent to the Prime Minister and the Finance Minister here , but we need to do more.
We encourage you to let your MP know that you expect the federal government to drop Bill C-27, and focus instead on improving pensions for all Canadians. Find your MP’s coordinates here to plan for meetings or a phone call.
When speaking with your MP, ask them to:
Stop undermining our pensions and savings : Our government should not be voting laws that give employers a pass to walk away from the pension agreements they’ve made to workers and retirees. C onversion from a DB to a TB plan shifts virtually all plan risks from employers to active and retired members. Bill C-27 allows employers to pressure employees and retirees into “surrendering” their pension rights.
Keep their word : Before the election, Justin Trudeau clearly promised in writing “[Defined Benefit Plans] which have already been paid for by employees and pensioners, should not be retroactively changed into [Target Benefit Plans].” Bill C-27 would allow that extreme change.
Drop bill C-27, a left-over policy from Stephen Harper: The Harper government was the first to try for this change to pensions. Why would your government pick up ideas from a Conservative government Canadians clearly rejected just over a year ago. Even Stephen Harper abandoned the proposal.
Ask Canadians: The Liberal Party did not campaign on allowing employers to pressure workers and retirees into “surrendering” their pension rights. If anything, Canadians were left with the impression that your government would respect their pensions. Instead of attacking current pensions, ask Canadians for their views on how to ensure secure retirement for all.
Be open with Canadians: Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s firm Morneau Shepell wrote in a submission to the federal government that TB plans entail “excessive operating costs” (which, of course, flow to firms like Morneau Shepell). These big firms would be big winners if DB plans were converted to TB plans, which require more frequent and more complex services from actuarial and pension consulting firms like Morneau Shepell.
Those of you who prefer to write your MP can use this template letter (make sure you cc Finance Minister Bill Morneau at firstname.lastname@example.org and Prime Minister Justin Trudea u at email@example.com )