As part of a new collective agreement ratified earlier this year, employees at Vopak Terminals of Canada in Hamilton have joined the Colleges of Applied Arts and Technology pension plan’s DBplus arrangement, effective June 1, 2020.

“During their working years, CAAT members have less worry about saving for retirement, especially in a volatile investment market,” said Derek Dobson, chief executive officer of the CAAT pension plan, in a press release. “This benefits them and their employers by reducing financial stress that negatively affects employee health and productivity.”

With the change, the employees, who are members of Unifor, move from a defined contribution plan into a defined benefit plan. “Getting a good pension was a major priority for our members in this round of bargaining and CAAT met both our need to ensure a stable retirement income for our members while recognizing the needs of our employer,” said Phil Barbara, president of Unifor Local 2003E.

Since DBPlus was launched in 2018, 33 employers and more than 15,000 members have joined the plan.

In other defined benefit pension news, 38 employers and over 1,000 new members have now joined the OPSEU Pension Trust’s offering OPTrust Select since enrolment began in 2019.

Some of the recent members to join employ workers represented by the Ontario Public Service Employees Union. “This isn’t just a victory for the new members of OPTrust Select, it’s a victory for nearly a million workers across Ontario who don’t yet have the security of a defined benefit pension plan, including 25,000 OPSEU members working in the broader public service,” said Warren Thomas, president of OPSEU, in a press release.

“When OPSEU first proposed this idea more than a decade ago, it was because we believed then, as we do now, that all workers deserve to have access to a secure and dignified retirement and OPTrust Select is making that a reality.”

An additional 50 organizations from across Ontario are in the process of applying to join the plan.

“Nonprofit workers are essential to the well-being of our province, which means that their well-being is essential too,” said Peter Lindley, president of the OPTrust. “The need for security and predictability has never been greater and, by joining OPTrust Select, the vast majority of these workers will have access to the income security of a defined benefit pension for the first time.”