DPB Pensions Under Attack -- Morneau’s Pound of Flesh
The National Organization of Retired Postal Workers (NORPW) and their coalition partners demand that Finance Minister Bill Morneau stop the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) from proceeding with changes to its instruction guide on pension amendments.
Morneau is making it easier for employers to make amendments to Defined Benefit Pension (DBP) plans through the government’s OSFI Department. The OSFI has called for consultation on proposed changes to the Instruction Guide for Authorization of Amendments Reducing Benefits in Defined Benefit Pension Plans. These changes would pave the way for employers to make amendments to DBPs.
Morneau and the Trudeau government are once more trying to achieve some of the draconian aspects of their Bill C-27 Target Benefit Plan (TBP) through the OSFI. Simply put, Morneau is now attempting to achieve via the back door the changes that the government could not achieve through their TBP legislation, which has died on the Order Paper now that the election writ has been dropped!
The proposed changes to the Guide give the employers the ability to amend Defined Benefit Pension plans. The OSFI claims there are “no significant policy changes” in the guide, but it is using some of the Bill C-27 language. These changes show the contempt Finance Minister Morneau has for workers and retirees’ guaranteed pensions! The OSFI proposed guide changes would now allow for authorization of an amendment that reduces “or could reduce” an accrued pension benefit at a later time, similar to what Bill C-27 was proposing. The 2012 guide was unambiguous and required “unanimous agreement by all affected groups” for any change to the pension to occur. With the proposed changes to the guide, unanimous agreement would no longer be required. The OSFI would now simply expect written agreement to the change by anyone (e.g. member, former member or survivor) whose pension benefits would be reduced. The OSFI also added wording almost identical to section 9.7(2) of Bill C-27 “A bargaining agent may consent on behalf of a unionized member if the agent is authorized to do so.”
Morneau Conflict of Interest Complaint - September 18, 2017
Morneau narrowly escaped being found in a conflict of interest following the complaint filed on Sept.18, 2017! He was forced to divest the one million plus shares he still held at the time in his former company, the pension industry giant Morneau Shepell. In addition, Morneau agreed that all the profits he had made from his shares in Morneau Shepell since he was elected would be paid to a charity of his choice.
Retirees and Workers Demand Trudeau Live up to His Promise
The NORPW demand that the OSFI stop the changes to the Guide for Authorization of Amendments Reducing Benefits in Defined Benefit Pension Plans! We demand that the Liberal government live up to Trudeau’s July 23, 2015 promise “that no employees and pensioners’ accrued and paid for Defined Benefit Pensions would be allowed to be retroactively converted to a Target Benefit Plan”. A Promise is a Promise! The NORPW call for Retirement Security Now!
Jean Claude Parrot
President- National Organization of Retired Postal Workers