Labour Views: Defined vs Target: Bill C-27

May 10, 2017

Labour Views

May 10, 2017

Written by Alexander Lambrecht, President

Northern Territories Federation of Labour

Defined vs Target: Bill C-27

Whether you’re currently retired and receiving payments from the pension that you paid into over your working life, or you are currently paying into a pension, Bill C-27 introduced and read for the first time by Finance Minister Bill Morneau on October 19, 2016 needs your attention – all current and future pensioners.

What is Bill C-27?

A legislative summary on the Parliament of Canada website reads:

“Bill C-27 amends the Pension Benefits Standards Act, 1985 to provide a framework for the establishment, administration and supervision of target benefit plans. It also amends the Act to permit pension plan administrators to purchase immediate or deferred life annuities for former members or survivors so as to satisfy an obligation to provide pension benefits if the obligation arises from a defined benefit provision.”

Our Members’ of Parliament enjoy a defined benefit pension plan (DBP), as in they know how much money they are to receive in benefits, which provides them with a reasonable expectation allowing one to plan for retirement; whereas a target benefit pension plan (TBP) is like throwing a dart in the dark while trying to hit the centre of the target.

Proponents of TBP will try to convince you that they are no different than a DBP. However, this is simply not even close to being true or accurate – saying a DBP and a TBP are the same thing is an outright lie and deceptive tactic by those employers and governments wanting to reduce their burden and liability of having to ensure workers receive the expected payments from their pensions when they retire.

Now, if a business can ensure its own income stream, why can they not ensure a stable income stream into a DBP? And if taxpayers can ensure Members’ of Parliament pension receives a stable income into their DBP, then why is the current Federal Government trying to push through Bill C-27 and screw past, current and future workers out of retirement?

Money. There never seems to be enough, we’ve all seen and heard this fallacious argument before – but the Government always seems to find the necessary cashflow when it’s working against working Canadians’ interests, while catering to the elite class that continues to attack workers’ rights.

We saw this same attack on the pensions of workers in Nunavut and Northwest Territories covered under Northern Employee Benefits Services (NEBS) ‘Guaranteed Benefit Plan’. Bill 1 (Nunavut) and Bill 12 (NWT) attempted to remove the guarantee on the DBP – if you want more details on how this attack was stopped I encourage you to read the 17th Legislative Assembly of the Northwest Territories Standing Committee on Government Operations Report on the Review of Bill 12: Northern Employee Benefits Services Pension Plan Act.

If passed, Bill C-27 will have dire affects on the pensions of past, current and future workers of Crown corporations and federally-regulated employers – it is because of this that we need all workers support in contacting our Members’ of Parliament, Members of the Legislative Assemblies, and Municipal Mayors and Councillors and telling them that Bill C-27 has no place in Canada.

Wherever you work, whether apart of a Union or not, it’s time, time for all workers to put aside any differences, accept our common humanity and work together for a fair future. We can no longer afford to allow workers to be divided, the only way we will restore what is justly ours is by being active in and at every level of the democratic process – well beyond election time.

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