The Honour Your Promise on Retirement Security campaign is seeking to secure the support of all political parties to honour commitments made to pensioners and veterans. We are calling on those seeking public office to commit to introducing and supporting legislation to ensure all employers, whether they are in the public and private sectors, to live up to the commitments they have made to Canada’s pensioners.
What’s the issue?
Governments are planning to introduce legislation, which could allow Crown corporations and federally-regulated employers to reduce benefits and eliminate indexation for pensioners after they have retired. These plans, called Target Benefit Pension or Shared Risk Pension plans, are often seen as a middle ground between defined benefit plans, which offer a guaranteed pension, and defined contribution plans, which provide a lump sum amount based on investments. Target Benefit Plans provide targets; their pensions depend on plan performance. Unfortunately, this means benefits may be reduced and indexation can be limited.
What’s the bottom line?
Governments and private sector employers are seeking to open up pre-existing pension agreements in an effort to reduce the pensions for current (and future) retirees.
Why is this a problem?
These moves are part of a larger trend within both the public and private sectors to reduce pension security for current retirees. The problem is that current retired Canadians were counting on their pensions to live. They signed a contract. They made decisions based on what was committed to them and now the rules are being changed. That’s not fair. A deal is a deal.
How does this affect me?
This issue is important to every Canadian. If you yourself are retired, have a family member who is retired or one day wish to retire, this issue has a direct impact on you.
What about Canadians who don't even have a pension?
Nearly 7 out of 10 working Canadians do not have a workplace-based pension. The National Association of Federal Retirees and its coalition partners believe that instead of reducing pension benefits for existing retirees, government and private sector employers should focus on expanding retirement security. None of the money saved by these cutbacks are designed to go into new pensions for those currently not covered. This is the beginning of a slippery slope that will reduce the already precarious situation of Canadian pensioners.
And together we can stop it.
Why is a law needed to protect pensions?
Laws would be amended to allow these cutbacks to occur. We need a new law that provides certainty for all retirees that ensures all employers honour their commitment to your pension benefits once you have retired.
I’m a federal retiree, how can I get involved?
First, make sure you are a member of the National Association of Federal Retirees – if you are not already a member, click here to join.
You can also register to get updates, sign the pledge, follow us on Facebook and Twitter, and tell your friends and family.