NSGEU welcomes pension benefits legislative review

NS government announces three-person Expert Committee to review Nova Scotia’s Pension Benefits Act

Halifax (19 Feb. 2008) – The Nova Scotia Minister of Environment Mark Parent announced the appointment of a three-person committee to review Nova Scotia’s pensions benefits legislation. It will not apply to the Public Service Superannuation Act.

The committee will include Bill Black (former President and CEO of Maritime Life), Ron Pink (an experienced labour lawyer and pension expert) and Dick Crawford (former CEO of Maritime Life and former president of the Canadian Institute of Actuaries).

They are expected to issue a discussion paper in May, hold consultation meetings in June and to make recommendations to government in late fall.

According to NSGEU President Joan Jessome, “There are a wide range of issues and concerns that our members and all working people have about the protection and enhancement of their pension benefits. It has been ten years since the last review was conducted so it is long overdue for a comprehensive review to be carried out again.”

Jessome added: “We were very pleased that the government acted in the fall sitting of the Legislature in response to the pressure of unions and their members to introduce amendments to the Act. These amendments ensure that pension plans are to be fully funded when a company leaves the province or winds down their pension plan.”

“But much more needs to be done, especially after we learned in 2006 about employers with the Nova Scotia Association of Health Organizations (NSAHO) Pension Plan using partial contribution holidays to cover a growing portion of their contributions.”

“With increasing pressures on our members’ pension plans such as possible moves from defined benefit to defined contribution plans, we look forward to our participating in this review,” Jessome concluded.

 

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