Pensions - Part 4

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Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Dwight Duncan was on P&P saying Flaherty is wrong on several points, most notably on "unanimity". The rules are 2/3 of 2/3, not 100%.

Arthur Cramer Arthur Cramer's picture

Flaherty, "lets have pooled pensions". Given what happened to American 401ks, my answer is, good idea genius! This guy is despicable.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Canada Pension Plan changes to meet boomer demands

This is from 2011; I'm looking for updates.  "The changes also don’t apply to Quebec Pension Plan benefits."

1. The early bird gets . . . reduced CPP

2. You can collect CPP while still working

Effective January 1, 2012, the Work Cessation Test will be eliminated. You will no longer need to stop working in order to qualify for CPP retirement pension. Any Canadians over age 60 will be able to collect CPP if they contributed to the plan while they worked.

3. If you choose to work while receiving CPP benefits

The Post-Retirement Benefit (PRB) takes effect January 1, 2012. Canadians who choose to receive CPP pension benefits and work will build up more pension benefits under this program. Workers are required to continue CPP contributions until age 65. They can opt to contribute until age 70 to further increase pension benefits.

4. Increased low-earnings period will likely increase benefit amount

Service Canada currently deducts the lowest 15 per cent earning years when calculating CPP benefits. They’ll increase that to 17 per cent in 2014.

Unionist

Boom Boom, if you work (or have worked) in Québec, [url=http://www.rrq.gouv.qc.ca/en/programmes/regime_rentes/modifications_rrq/... is a decent up-to-date guide to changes in the QPP.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Thanks - I was looking for that! Smile

Unionist

Go, Linda!!

[url=http://lindamcquaig.ca/linda-will-fight-to-strengthen-pensions]Linda will fight to strengthen pensions[/url]

 

ygtbk

CPP - how quickly a year goes by. 

http://www2.macleans.ca/2013/12/15/jim-flaherty-on-cpp-you-dont-need-a-bazooka-to-go-after-a-specific-issue/

http://o.canada.com/news/national/finance-minsters-gather-in-meech-lake-to-debate-cpp-enrichment/

Punt for another year? Or perhaps put something in place now to phase in starting in 2018 or so? Watch this space...

ygtbk

So this is the preliminary conclusion...

http://www.ctvnews.ca/politics/finance-ministers-say-now-is-not-the-time-to-boost-cpp-1.1595304

But Ontario (Wynne and Sousa) had previously said that if the Federal government wouldn't move on CPP, Ontario would start its own plan. Anyone have news on that?

Unionist

Useless report. No way of knowing which provinces took which position, or even if there were 7 in favour of enhancing and the feds vetoed it.

Nothing will change (for the better) before Harper and his gang are gone. Trouble is, they're so much smarter than the opposition parties, they appear to be able to survive any scandal and any attack on the people. They play divide and rule to perfection. So I'm not optimistic.

 

ygtbk

Here's a little more detail:

http://www2.macleans.ca/2013/12/16/federal-finance-minister-jim-flaherty-blocks-cpp-improvement-plans-provinces/

"The provinces had reached consensus on the way ahead" is pretty unambiguous, even if they don't have quotes from every provincial finance minister.

Unionist

Thanks, ygtbk. I'd still like to see one or two actual quotes. More importantly, if they reached consensus, I'd like to know what the consensus was. Doubling benefits, as per the CLC proposal? Over what period? What about premiums? Etc. It's easier to campaign if we know what the program is.

Meantime, most of the craven pandering MSM is reporting "no consensus", and suggesting that several provinces oppose any improvement - which we think we know is false.

 

ygtbk

Based on this story, Ontario will implement its own plan:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/canada-pension-plan-reform-stalls-without-ottawa-s-support-1.2465619

Quote:

...

Two hours later, Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa issued a press release saying the province would implement a made-in-Ontario solution to the pension conundrum.

"Given today's unfortunate stall tactic by the federal government, we will move forward to implement a made-in-Ontario alternative to protect Ontario workers in their retirement," Sousa said.

He laid blame for the lack of consensus squarely at Flaherty's door, saying the federal minister was stalling what could have been an agreement among the provinces.

"Doing nothing is not a solution to this problem and will not give Ontarians the security they need to retire. We have to act and that's what Ontario will do," Sousa said.

Slumberjack

Public Sector Unions and Conservatives Gang Up on Retirees

Quote:
Treasury Board President Tony Clement will announce today the government has reached a deal with its public sector unions to double the amount retired federal employees pay in premiums for health benefits.

Thanks a lot assholes.  On a more optimistic note, I'm sure I'll be ok off my meds when I cancel coverage.

Unionist

Unbelievable. Cowardly unions. "If we didn't agree, they were going to legislate it anyway." So who the f*** needs a union?

And negotiating benefit concessions for retirees who can't even vote on the deal? Cowards.

I need to see the full list of public service unions that agreed to this. So far I've seen PSAC and PIPSC. I'll get back to you.

ETA: Elizabeth May is reacting now - condemning retroactive changes for retirees - i.e., what I just said. Kudos to her!!!!

Slumberjack

Unionist wrote:
Unbelievable. Cowardly unions. "If we didn't agree, they were going to legislate it anyway." So who the f*** needs a union?

Retirees are the low hanging fruit because they're typically no longer union members.

Unionist

Slumberjack wrote:

Unionist wrote:
Unbelievable. Cowardly unions. "If we didn't agree, they were going to legislate it anyway." So who the f*** needs a union?

Retirees are the low hanging fruit because they're typically no longer union members.

Exactly. Hence my use of the term "cowards". But retirees shouldn't take this lying down. They should find a lawyer and stick this Supreme Court decision in her/his face:

[url=http://scc-csc.lexum.com/scc-csc/scc-csc/en/item/1003/index.do]Dayco (Canada) Ltd. v. CAW‑Canada, [1993] 2 S.C.R. 230[/url]

... and ask "who says these unions can agree to reduce our benefits post-retirement?"

And given them this PDF too (written by a good lawyer):

Modifying Employee Retirement Benefits - The Lessons of Dayco from a Union Perspective

Worth a try.

BTW I've confirmed that they were ALL complicit (PSAC, PIPSC, IBEW, Unifor, all of them), because they did it through the National Joint Council.

Cowardly useless unions.

 

josh

Well members did get a few bones thrown their way:

Starting next year, all health-care plan members (active and retired) will no longer have to pay the annual deductible for health claims, currently set at $100 per family or $60 for a single member.

And three new benefits will be added beginning Oct. 1, 2014:

  • Laser eye surgery will be partly covered under the plan, with a lifetime cap of $1,000.
  • Repairs and replacement parts for CPAP (sleep apnea) machines will be covered up to $300 per year.
  • The limit on psychological services will increase to $2,000 from $1,000.

 

And: The Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada, which represents some of the retired employees, says on its website it agreed to the tentative agreement because of the threat of legislated changes to the plan by the government. "While we are opposed to these changes, it was made clear to us that if we didn't come to an agreement, these changes would be legislated," the union said in a statement.

Unionist

josh wrote:

Well members did get a few bones thrown their way:

No kidding. How would this look:

Quote:
Govt: "Sign here to shaft your retired members - you know, the ones who pay no dues and have no recourse against you."

Union: "What if we don't?"

Govt: "We'll just legislate it."

Union: "What do we get if we sign?"

Govt: "Absolutely nothing."

In that scenario, even a coward might have said, "Well go ahead and legislate."

So instead:

Quote:
Union: "What do we get if we sign?"

Govt: "Some pennies thrown back, but we'll still save over $6 billion out of their hides."

Union: "Ok, that way we'll only look 99.97% useless... where do I sign?"

Now I wasn't there, but I imagine that's pretty close to the tough bargaining that took place.

 

 

Slumberjack

Unionist wrote:
Cowardly useless unions. 

I see this as merely one example among countless others of the general crisis of representation that I've been going on about over the years.  Everyone's getting nicked except for the corporations, and when they run into trouble of their own making and profits fail to meet expectations, the public purse is lightened to whatever extent is required in order to make things right again.  It seems clearer every day that none of the comfortably established, 'large and in charge' bureaucracies and cabals that have solidified in place at the top of the old affiliations can be counted on anymore to stand alongside people who are being subjected to the dictates of the political economy.  When it’s being said that union bureaucracies require just as much of an overhaul as our broken down political system, thoughts of this nature only extend to the worker and the citizen only insofar as to imply that a comprehensive overhaul in our relationship to these decision making centers of power is desperately needed, to the way we think about them in other words.  It's never about effacing the right to collective organization.

ygtbk

And legislation on the Ontario Pension Plan (ORPP) is scheduled to be tabled this afternoon:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/ontario-takes-first-steps-in-setting-up-new-provincial-pension-plan/article21989145/

Unionist

Thanks for this, ygtbk, as well as reviving this thread. Great to see this happening - and even though the devil will be in the details, the notion of doubling CPP benefits (which is the standing call by the labour movement) is huge.

 

ygtbk

You're welcome, Unionist. I also look forward to seeing the details, especially on who, exactly, this is going to be mandatory for.

ygtbk

Links to the ORPP bill:

http://www.ontla.on.ca/bills/bills-files/41_Parliament/Session1/b056.pdf

and the PRPP bill:

http://www.ontla.on.ca/bills/bills-files/41_Parliament/Session1/b057.pdf

ETA: Looks like we're going to have to wait for ORPP details.

Unionist

ygtbk wrote:

You're welcome, Unionist. I also look forward to seeing the details, especially on who, exactly, this is going to be mandatory for.

One would think it should be mandatory for all employees who contribute to the CPP minus those who have a "comparable" workplace plan. Any exceptions beyond that would require some serious splainin'.

And thanks for posting the links to the bills which promise to draft more bills. Interesting way of legislating, but I'm not the expert. At least there's enough generality in the last section of the ORPP non-bill to figure out the broad outlines of what is being planned.

 

Rokossovsky

What's up with Mitzi Hunter the neophyte rep from Scarborough-Guidwood, who was handed this "priority" porfolio, which one would think would go to a more established member of the cabinet if the OLP didn't want it on the back burner?

ygtbk

I think there may be some fancy footwork coming up about what "comparable" means. And you're right, Unionist, a bill promising to draft a bill looks more like a stalling tactic than serious legislation.

As for why Mitzie Hunter got it, perhaps Sousa wants to take credit if it goes well, but also to have someone to throw under the bus if it doesn't? It is possible that I'm being overly cynical - maybe he just wants to make it somebody's prime focus so it gets done.

Unionist

I hope the NDP is supporting this and pushing for it to become meaningful?

 

Rokossovsky

I thought the NDP position was that they should hold off on this initiative, pending the outcome of the federal election. Having read the tentative 1st drafts of the legislation, which is not so much the plans themselves, but a "framework" for future legislation. Typical stalling tactic, really, so my assumption is that the Liberals have tentatively accepted the NDP position, and are trying to look like they are following through with their commitments, while stalling until after the 2015 federal election.

That of course is entirely the right thing to do, even though the labour movement used that as an excuse to jump all over the NDP, and back the Liberal plans to sell off most of Ontario's assets, for short term gain.

Unionist

Um, good riddance to Horwath and her abject betrayal for having deleted the NDP's own Ontario Retirement Plan from her election platform, in an effort to prove she could be just as neoliberal as anyone else. She failed. Truly sad that she is still the "leader".

 

ygtbk

And we now have an ORPP consultation paper, available at:

http://www.ontario.ca/government/ontario-retirement-pension-plan-key-design-questions

It will take a while to read. They are inviting comments until February 13, 2015.

Unionist

[url=http://ofl.ca/index.php/orpp-consultation/]OFL Welcomes Ontario’s Public Pension Consultation[/url]

Quote:

The OFL welcomes the release of Ontario’s pension consultation paper and is pleased that Finance Minister Sousa has already responded to one of labour’s biggest concerns by confirming that Pooled Registered Pension Plans (PRPPs), which amount to glorified savings plans, will not be deemed comparable to the ORPP.

“Ontarians already know the plight of retirees, but now we can present concrete solutions. Ontario has an opportunity to protect families where Harper has failed them,” said Ryan. “I can confidently say that Ontario’s labour movement, representing more than one million workers, will be fully engaging in this public process to ensure that Ontario’s pension plan provides the strongest possible security for retirees.”

 

ygtbk

Thanks for the link, Unionist. The language in the actual consultation document about comparability is not quite so cut-and-dried. After outlining "Ontario's preferred approach", which is that only DB and target benefit plans would be deemed comparable, it goes on to say (PDF page 18, numbered 12):

Quote:

The government recognizes the need to understand fully the potential impact of the definition on the broader retirement savings landscape. While this paper has outlined a preferred approach, the government is committed to consulting with businesses, labour, organizations, associations, as well as individuals, families and communities across the province to understand and consider their views.

If this is actually true then a decision on comparability has not yet been made. In real life, given a majority government, I suspect that the consultation will amazingly enough end up confirming the government's preferred approach.

Unionist

ygtbk wrote:
In real life, given a majority government, I suspect that the consultation will amazingly enough end up confirming the government's preferred approach.

I agree. But that's exactly why the labour movement needs to mobilize to the maximum, along with other allies, to make that it as hard as possible for that to happen.

The other alternative is to act like the NDP cheerleaders, who would no doubt prefer this program to fall flat on its face, or turn into a typical Liberal Party fiasco, so they can have some talking points for some future election.

Speaking of which - I'm not close to the scene - what have Horwath and Co. had to say about Wynne moving ahead with this? Or is she still waiting for the NDP to come to power federally (which was her apparent excuse for dropping the Ontario pension plan from the last campaign platform)?

 

ygtbk

Unionist wrote:

Speaking of which - I'm not close to the scene - what have Horwath and Co. had to say about Wynne moving ahead with this? Or is she still waiting for the NDP to come to power federally (which was her apparent excuse for dropping the Ontario pension plan from the last campaign platform)?

I'll have to let someone else field that one. Last thing I saw was from December 8th, so it might be stale:

Quote:

New Democrat Leader Andrea Horwath said that, instead of setting up a pension plan on its own, the province should wait until the next federal election, in case the NDP wins and enhances CPP instead.
“We’ll see what happens next year,” she said.

See: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/ontario-takes-first-steps-in-setting-up-new-provincial-pension-plan/article21989145/

 

ygtbk
Unionist

Thanks, ygtbk - and in case it's missing from the above, here's the CCPA's document.

 

Unionist

ygtbk wrote:

Unionist wrote:

Speaking of which - I'm not close to the scene - what have Horwath and Co. had to say about Wynne moving ahead with this? Or is she still waiting for the NDP to come to power federally (which was her apparent excuse for dropping the Ontario pension plan from the last campaign platform)?

I'll have to let someone else field that one. Last thing I saw was from December 8th, so it might be stale:

It might be stale, but it's all there is. Horwath and Co. have purged every single reference to "orpp" or "retirement" or "pension" from the active party website - same as when they changed the party platform in mid-May. The only references to "retirement" are "debt retirement" lol.

You have to go into archives, or Google cache, to find embarrassing statements like this from the not-so-distant past:

[url=http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:GTRN3SlLRYIJ:newsar...’T wait for Ottawa on pension reform: Horwath[/url]

The new slogan is: WAIT. Just WAIT. For my sake, WAIT.

How did they keep this character and her entourage as leader?

 

ygtbk

@ Unionist:

They kept her because she didn't self-destruct as spectacularly as Tim Hudak?

ygtbk

Latest update on ORPP:

http://news.ontario.ca/mof/en/2015/04/bill-strengthening-retirement-security-for-millions-of-workers-passes-in-ontario-legislature.html

The bill that commits the government to pass another bill has been passed.

Unionist

ygtbk wrote:

Latest update on ORPP:

http://news.ontario.ca/mof/en/2015/04/bill-strengthening-retirement-security-for-millions-of-workers-passes-in-ontario-legislature.html

The bill that commits the government to pass another bill has been passed.

Thanks! That's marginally better than nothing, I guess. Any info on who voted for and against?

ygtbk

Unionist wrote:

ygtbk wrote:

Latest update on ORPP:

http://news.ontario.ca/mof/en/2015/04/bill-strengthening-retirement-security-for-millions-of-workers-passes-in-ontario-legislature.html

The bill that commits the government to pass another bill has been passed.

Thanks! That's marginally better than nothing, I guess. Any info on who voted for and against?

I do not know. My random guess is that all Liberals voted in favour, all PC's voted against, and NDP I don't know. Hansard will be out in the next couple of days, I think.

Unionist

Bravo! Looks like the NDP [url=http://www.guelphmercury.com/news-story/5593911-ontario-pension-plan-sta... the Liberal government's bill, judging by this at least:

Quote:

The New Democrats said a provincial pension plan is the "best option" for workers until the federal government can be convinced to increase CPP benefits for retirees.

"The ORPP has to be structured very precisely so that some day it can be folded into the Canada Pension Plan so that people can have substantial, secure retirement income," said NDP finance critic Peter Tabuns. "If we want to have pensions that are secure, protected and aren't going to be raided by corporations that have financial troubles, we need a centrally run, publicly owned pension plan."

Important points - and hopefully the ONDP, the labour movement, and other social organizaitons will be on the ball to ensure that the plan goes through, and as Tabuns says, can be easily integrated into the CPP once some federal government does the right thing.

Too bad that whoever runs the ONDP web site is still in sloganeering campaign mode - not a single solitary word about this potentially huge initiative. Thank you Peter Tabuns - let's hear more from you!

 

Rokossovsky

Kathleen Wynne leaves herself room to weaken pension plan:

Quote:
In short, the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan — as originally advertised — is far from a done deal. Bill 56 may not clarify much. But it makes that clear.

More interestingly, for those who bothered to read it for fine print, the May 1, 2014 budget that set off election proposed that the pension fund might be a useful "pool of capital" to fund Government sponsored privatized AFP infrastructure projects, implying that the relationship between the board of the pension plan and the government might not be so "arms length", with the Liberals directing the pension plan money to execute public policy:

Quote:
By unlocking the value from its assets, and by encouraging more Ontarians to save through a proposed new Ontario Retirement Pension Plan, new pools of capital would be available for Ontario-based projects, such as building roads, bridges and new transit. Our strong Aternative Financing and Procurement model run by infrastructure Ontario, will allow for the efficient deployment of this capital in job creating projects.

May 1 Budget, 2014 Forward.

Unionist

.

Unionist

ygtbk wrote:
My random guess is that all Liberals voted in favour, all PC's voted against, and NDP I don't know. Hansard will be out in the next couple of days, I think.

[url=http://www.ontla.on.ca/web/house-proceedings/house_detail.do?Date=2015-0... NDP voted in favour.[/url]

Good for them! It was their initiative in the first place. And now it's time to hold the proverbial feet to the fire. This is an extremely positive development.

Rokossovsky

Laughing

Rokossovsky

With Scot Brison clammering about how the federal Liberal Party may try and access the pension plan funds in order to pay for their infrastructure investment campaign promises, and Wynne chatting up the ORPP as a "pool of capital", to be used to pay for infrastructure investment through AFPs, one really has to be concerned about the prospect of Liberals manipulating the pension plans to conduct public policy, and siphon money off to their private backers, not to mention the folks at LiUNA who just love the P3 infrastructure investment model.

We have seen enough of this already with the Conservative's and SNC-Lavalin.

Part II: Where Your CPP Money Really Goes

Quote:
Ian Bourne is Chief Executive Officer of SNC-Lavalin. CPP invested $21 million in SNC-Lavalin in spite of the company being plagued by ties to the Gadhafi regime and fraud charges that are still winding through the courts.

Bourne is also the Director of Canadian Oil Sands Limited, which has a large stake in theSyncrude project -- the project at the heart of a lawsuit involving Greenpeace and the death of wildlife. Syncrude was convicted and fined more than half a million dollars. Our CPP investments in this company total $80 million.

Unionist

From CUPE's Paul Moist:

[url=https://cupe.ca/conservative-cpp-scheme-ineffective-half-measure-offers-... CPP scheme an ineffective half-measure, offers little for Canadian workers[/url]

Quote:
The Conservatives’ announced planned consultations on allowing for voluntary individual contributions to the Canada Pension Plan will not lead to any real help for workers worried about having a secure retirement income, says Canada’s largest union, the Canadian Union of Public Employees.

“Another ineffective voluntary retirement saving scheme is not a solution for the over 11 million Canadians without a workplace pension,” says Paul Moist, national president of CUPE. “The Conservatives’ scheme is nothing more than an election sideshow, meant to distract Canadians from what is really needed – a doubling of CPP benefits through modest, but mandatory increases in the contributions paid by both workers and employers.”

There is overwhelming consensus among provincial and territorial leaders, pensions experts, and stakeholders that an expanded CPP is the most effective, efficient and affordable way improve the retirement income security of Canadians.  It is unclear how voluntary contributions to the CPP, possibly without any matching employer contributions, would make any impact on keeping seniors out of poverty in retirement.

 

Unionist

[url=http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2015/07/16/harper-government-tries-to... government tries to derail Wynne pension plan[/url]

Quote:

In a letter leaked to the media before it was sent to Queen’s Park, federal Finance Minister Joe Oliver said Ottawa won’t provide administrative support for the retirement scheme because the Tories disagree with it.

Ontario’s proposed pension plan would “take money from workers and their families, kill jobs and damage the economy,” Oliver, a Toronto MP, wrote with an eye toward the Oct. 19 election.

“For these reasons, we will not assist the Ontario government in the implementation of the ORPP,” he said, referring to the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan, Wynne’s cornerstone election promise in the June 2014 campaign.

“Administration of the ORPP will be the sole responsibility of the Ontario government, including the collection of contributions and any required information.”

 

ygtbk

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