Is your pension really secure?

Image from Creative Commons, original image Nick Youngson, labelled for reuse

Have you been depending on your pension to supplement your income when you retire?  

Currently, workers at both Sears Canada and Northstar Aerospace in Milton, Ont., are facing deep concerns about their pension prospects because of the problems plaguing their employers.  These are just the tip of the iceberg, as the Globe and Mail shows here, as bankruptcy becomes more common and investors take advantage of Canada's bankruptcy laws to reap profits.

When Sears Canada filed for insolvency, they left their pension underfunded by more than $250 million. Secured creditors like banks and bondholders are in line to be paid out first. The scraps, if any, will be scattered among other creditors; pensioners will be lucky to see pennies on the dollar towards their pension deficit.   Meanwhile, before filing for bankruptcy, Sears Canada paid 600 million dollars in dividends to shareholders and retention bonuses to many of their senior executives.   We need legislative changes to make sure that workers, who depend on their pensions for retirement, are not short changed.

Justin Trudeau offered platitudes and said workers, many of whom had worked at Sears Canada for decades, should turn to EI and CPP for support.  That doesn't come close to meeting the needs of workers.   

CARP held a lobby day and demanded action from legislators in February 2018 and will continue to demand action.  You can find more information about what making retirees and pensioners 'super creditors' would mean, and ways to email your political representatives and demand action here.

Many Canadian unions, like the United Steelworkers,  are supporting the NDP MP Scott Duvall's private members bill to demand changes to the bankruptcy law.  

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