The president of the Canadian Labour Congress has spoken out against the federal government’s proposal to introduce target benefit plans (TBPs).

“Don’t be fooled by anything the government says about this initiative. It’s about attacking DB pension plans, pure and simple,” explains CLC president Hassan Yussuff. “If the government thinks the labour movement is going to stand idly by and watch employers tear up retirees’ pension cheques, they’ve got another thing coming.”

The CLC says the proposed framework would involve workers paying more for reduced and less-secure benefits. It would also allow once-secure pension benefits, earned for past service, to be reduced if the plan suffers a shortfall.

“The government’s proposed plans don’t ‘share risk’; they shift it onto the backs of workers and pensioners,” he says. “This will do absolutely nothing to address the crisis in retirement security and will actually make the problem worse. Picture 75-year-old pensioners relying on monthly pension cheques having to cut their food budget and turn down the thermostat, all because their pension plan has a temporary funding shortfall. That’s what we’re talking about here.”

The CLC, its affiliates and a host of retiree associations all criticized the government’s target-benefit initiative. Together with union affiliates, pension experts, youth groups, anti-poverty associations and retiree associations, the CLC calls on the federal government to improve retirement security for all Canadians by expanding the Canada Pension Plan.

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Susan Attenborough:

I agree with the CLC. Target Benefit Plans allow employers to reduce your benefits even after you retire. What was a stable and predictable retirement income will be threatened by these plans. TBPs threaten the economic security of seniors and economic repercussions will follow when retirees have less to spend.

Monday, July 07 at 1:05 pm | Reply

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