The Canadian Union of Public Employees says the analysis used in a recent Fraser Institute report about provincial public sector DB plans is flawed.
The report said that those plans required taxpayer bailouts and the period examined, beginning in 2000, was a period of low interest rates bookended with the global financial crisis.
“What the Fraser Institute conveniently ignores are the periods before 2000, when employers—including provincial governments—benefited greatly from defined benefit pension plan surpluses,” says a statement from CUPE. “Particularly during the 1990s, employers were able to reduce, and even eliminate, their contributions to DB pension plans.”
Paul Moist, national president of CUPE, adds that portraying DB plans as excessive or gold-plated ignores the value they have for workers.
CUPE is calling on provincial governments to ignore distractions like the Fraser Institute study and renew focus on real measures that can help Canadians retire with a decent income, such as expanding Canada Pension Plan benefits.
“Provincial governments need to get past the red herrings that only aim to drag down pensions,” says Moist. “We must concentrate brining retirement income security to those who need it most—the 11 million Canadians without a workplace pension plan.”