Posted on Dec 3, 2020
NDP INTRODUCE BILL TO PROTECT ALBERTANS’ PENSIONS
EDMONTON - NDP Finance Critic Shannon Phillips introduced a private members bill to protect Albertans’ retirement savings after the UCP government has proven unable to manage the province’s finances and continues with its plan to pull out of the Canada Pension Plan (CPP).
“We know Albertans are worried about Jason Kenney’s plan to take their CPP away from them and put in a smaller fund managed by AIMCo that puts their retirement at risk,” said Phillips. “AIMCo just lost $2 billion on an investment gamble that destroyed Albertans’ savings. Albertans have worked hard their entire lives and deserve to know that their money is safe and free from political interference. This money belongs to Albertans.”
If passed, Bill 208: Alberta Investment Management Corporation Amendment Act, will:
- require a referendum before pulling out of the CPP;
- remove the ability of the Finance Minister to issue investment directives to AIMCo; and
- give each public pension plan board a seat on the AIMCo board.
The bill comes in response to changes the UCP made in Fall 2019 that forced all public sector pension plans, the Workers' Compensation Board and Alberta Health Services to use AIMCo to manage their long-term investments.
The NDP introduced Bill 203 this past summer that would have stopped the UCP government from withdrawing from the CPP. However, the UCP used their majority to defeat the bill.
Premier Jason Kenney is actively planning to pull Alberta out of the Canada Pension Plan and tasked the Fair Deal Panel to study the issue. In his mandate letter to the panel, Kenney included withdrawing from CPP as part of the UCP’s strategy to "advance our vital economic interests," leading to speculation that the UCP would direct how the money was invested. Subsequently, in September, Kenney hired an outside consulting firm to work out the mechanics of leaving the CPP.
“In just their first year in office, the UCP have already demonstrated they can’t be trusted to manage the province’s finances,” said Phillips. “Jason Kenney and the UCP shouldn’t be anywhere near Albertans’ pensions. We need to make sure there are checks and balances and oversight to ensure their money is protected.”