** To: PSAC members in British Columbia **
Bill C-27, An Act to amend the Pension Benefits Standards Act, 1985, was quietly introduced in the House of Commons in October. There was no press release from the government, and no advance notice given to or consultation with unions, pension plan members, or retirees.
This bill will allow employers in the federal private sector and Crown Corporations to shift from good, defined benefit plans that provide secure and predictable pension benefits, into the much less secure form of target benefits. If passed, this bill would open the door to a disturbing trend of shifting all the risk of pension plans onto workers and retirees.
In 2015, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that defined benefit pension plans that workers and retirees have already paid into should not be retroactively changed into target benefit plans. Yet, this is exactly what Bill C-27 will do.
Canadian pension law exists to protect pensions that have already been promised. Bill C-27 would tear up this traditional protection by permitting employers to pressure their workers and retirees into “surrendering” their pension rights. Canada is a country where a deal is a deal. Employers should not be allowed to walk away from the pension promises they’ve made to workers and retirees.
Please take a moment to call or email your Member of Parliament directly – tell him you oppose this attack on Canadians retirement security. A sample letter is pasted below – visit parl.gc.ca for your MPs contact information.
If you would like more information on Bill C-27, or would like to visit your Member of Parliament in person please contact my office via email or at (604) 430-0191. PSAC is also interested in hearing any response from the government – please let us know if you hear back from your Member of Parliament.
Thank you for taking the time to stand up for good pensions!
PSAC Regional Executive Vice President, BC
I am very concerned about Bill C-27, An Act to amend the Pension Benefits Standards Act.
This bill is an attack on the retirement security of workers and retirees in the federal private sector and Crown corporations. I am also very concerned that the next step will be a similar attack on the defined benefits pension plan that covers federal public service employees.
Bill C-27 allows employers to convert good, defined benefit pension plans, which provide secure and predictable pension benefits, into a much less secure form of plan. Target benefit plans only aim to provide benefits, and they shift all the risk to active plan members and retirees.
Retirees need to know their benefits are secure. Bill C-27 removes that certainty.
In a 2015 letter to the president of the National Association of Federal Retirees, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wrote that defined benefit pensions, which have already been paid for by employees and pensioners, should not be retroactively changed into target benefit plans. Yet, this is exactly what C-27 will do.
Your party campaigned on being a real change from the regressive policies and legislation we saw from the former Conservative government. However, Bill C-27 does not reflect this commitment.
This legislation will do nothing to strengthen or expand Canadians’ pension rights and retirement security. Furthermore, it undermines the positive steps your government has already taken, such as the expansion of Canadian Pension Plan benefits.
I urge you to abandon Bill C-27.