Target Benefit Pension PlansPublished on 5 November 2014 Your Question Period by Senator James Cowan (retired)
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Hon. James S. Cowan (Leader of the Opposition):
My question is for the Leader of the Government in the Senate, and it’s another one in a series of questions that we have received from Canadians with a request that we ask it on their behalf. This question was received from Mr. Peter Whitaker, who is a Canada Post retiree from Orleans, Ontario. He writes as a follow-up to the exchange that you and I had and the supplementary questions that Senator Cordy asked last week with respect to the government’s plan on target benefit plans.
Mr. Whitaker’s question is as follows, and I’ll read it as he submitted it:
In the year 2000 the government granted the Canada Post Corporation the right to establish their own pension plan, and provided the Corporation pension plan the CPC employees’ share from the superannuation plan. This was after the Federal government in 1999 took $30 billion from the superannuation pension plan surplus. The federal government guaranteed those pensions and benefits accrued by CPC employees up to the year 2000 and stated they could not be touched or changed. CPC and the Federal government both guaranteed that any deficits in the pension plan would be made up by the Corporation and their sole Shareholder, the Federal government. Virtually all CPC retirees were not informed or invited to participate in the consultation on the Target Benefit Plan even though “we are on the ground with some connection to the field, either as participants or beneficiaries,” contrary to the statement made by Senator Carignan.
My question is will the Federal government live up to their commitment and the precedent that was set in 2000 that if CPC employees’ defined pensions and benefits are converted to a Target Benefit Plan, will those employees’ Defined Pension and Benefits accrued up to the date of the conversion, be guaranteed by the Corporation and their sole Shareholder, the Federal Government?