IAM fights for Income security

Bill C-27: A step backwards in providing retirement income security for Canadians.

Bill C-27: A step backwards in providing retirement income security for Canadians.

Content of Bill C-27, An Act to amend the Pension Benefit Standards Act (1985)

This Bill amends the current Pension Benefit Standards Act (PBSA) to allow for the establishment of target benefit (TB) pension plans in the federal sector. It also permits permit the purchase of life annuities for former members and survivors of currently established defined benefit (DB) pension plans as an acceptable method of satisfying the DB plan sponsor’s benefit obligations to those selfsame former members and survivors.

The IAM is categorically opposed to this Bill.

Pension promises must be honoured. 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.

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 permit precisely this retroactive change. Trudeau has broken his promise to retirees and pension plan members.

That Bill represents a real threat to pension plans across the country and could set a dangerous national precedent. Bill C-27 would set an example across the country that other provinces would be invited to follow, giving private and public sector employers the green light to intensify attacks on DB plans in every jurisdiction.

IAM’s Position on Target Benefit Pension Plans

1) The IAM is not opposed to TB Pension Plans and in fact our organization was instrumental in the negotiation and establishment of what was the first federally registered Multi-employer TB Pension Plan in Canada.

2) The IAM is not opposed to the introduction and utilization of TB pension plans in the federal sector as long as they are openly and freely negotiated between the parties.

3) The IAM is totally opposed to any legislative changes which will seek to facilitate the closure of existing DB pension plans by allowing their transition to TB pension plans.

4) The members and Retirees of the IAM will not hesitate to become politically involved over the issue of Bill C-27 and our membership has already started to lobby locals MPs on this pressing issue.

Enhancing the security of existing federal defined benefit pension plans for their members, former members and survivors should be the main focus for the Liberal government and not taking away already-earned benefits from them. Canadian pension laws are meant to protect pensions that have already been promised, but this Bill would allow employers to rid themselves of the legal obligation to deliver promised and already-earned benefits to plan members and retirees. With this piece of legislation, changing from a DB to a TB plan shifts virtually all risks from employers to active and retired members and the IAM will fight for the withdrawal of this Bill.