New Brunswick makes amendments to Pension Benefits Act

The Government of New Brunswick reconvened the legislative assembly on Tuesday to make amendments to the Pension Benefits Act that will enable retirees under the Fraser Papers’ pension plans to immediately benefit from increased pension payouts.

“We have worked in co-operation with Twin Rivers to ensure the mill continues to provide valuable employment in the Edmundston area, and to protect the pensions and the retirees who depend on this significant source of income,” says Justice Minister Troy Lifford. “These changes benefit all former members of the Fraser Papers plans, both active employees and retirees.”

The amendments allow beneficiaries of the pension plans to be paid immediately and retroactively at the previously projected level, rather than the reduced levels in place since June 1.

They also allow for the plans themselves to be converted to shared-risk plans before October.

Twin Rivers bought the Edmundston mill and has agreed to invest in the pension plan for hundreds of its workers and retirees.

The company has committed to make payments of between $12.5 million and $52.9 million over the next four to 15 years into a shared-risk pension plan. This will allow hourly workers to collect upon retirement 64.6% of their salary instead of the current 56% while salaried workers will see the percentage of their salary collected at retirement increase to 69% from 65%.