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SAVE THE DATE – February 7 a day of action to stop Bill C-27 and save our pensions!

Dear CMG members at CBC,
The federal government is proposing new legislation – Bill C-27, An Act to amend the Pension Benefits Standards Act – that would allow  the employer to break its commitment on our pension plan.

Your union believes these changes would make retirement benefits unpredictable for current employees and retirees, not to mention future generations of CBC workers. 

Some CMG members have already contacted our MPs, asking them to withdraw this proposed legislation that threatens our retirement savings.

To continue pressing  the federal government, February 7 has been set as a day to lobby MPs to drop Bill C-27 and focus instead on making sure more Canadians have access to a secure retirement. Look for more information next week on the different ways everyone can do their part that day.
In the meantime, members have asked for more information on the proposed changes and the CBC defined benefit pension plan:

1.What kind of pension do we have at CBC and how does it differ from what the new bill proposes?
If you are a permanent employee or a contract employee (employed continuously for more than 2 years and have opted into the pension) then you are in the CBC pension plan. This plan is a defined benefit pension plan (DB) and entitles you to a set payment upon retirement based on your years of pensionable service and pensionable salary.

DB plans provide predictable and secure benefits at retirement. Bill C-27 has the potential to weaken those retirement incomes.

The proposed changes would allow employers to push workers to give up their legal protections safeguarding their pensions in exchange for benefits that can be retroactively reduced.

2.How healthy is my CBC pension plan currently?
The CBC pension plan continues to be in sound financial shape. That was the message delivered to the Consultative Committee on Staff Benefits at its June meeting. The plan’s CEO, Debra Alves, gave us an overview on the plan’s performance in 2015. The $6.5-billion-dollar plan continues to be healthy, especially when compared to many other defined benefit plans in the country. However, Bill C-27 is designed to undermine all defined benefit pension plans – More

3.Who will be affected by these proposed changes?
Employees in crown-corporations and all federally regulated industries with stable DB plans will be affected by the new law.

The change could affect active employees and retirees retroactively. CMG believes that the best approach is for MPs to put more efforts into ensuring more Canadians have access to a secure retirement.

4.How would employers go about implementing these changes?    
Experts believe that if this legislation were in place, employees could be pressured in various ways into abandoning their DB plan for a less stable option. 

5.What can I do?
Let’s all plan to take part in the lobby day scheduled for February 7. We will send you more information and ways to contact your MP and the Finance Minister as he puts together his 2017 budget – Watch for details next week.

CMG members who’ve already taken up the call, and have contacted their MPs and the Finance Minister are making a difference for all of us.

Jonathan Spence
CBC Branch President CMG 

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