Posted on Jun 5, 2020
NDP LABOUR CRITIC AIMS TO DEFEND ALBERTA PENSIONS FROM UCP
NDP Labour Critic Christina Gray has put on notice a Bill to undo damage caused to Albertans’ public-sector pensions as a result of the UCP’s corrupt Bill 22.
Bill 203: Pension Protection Act, has been put on notice for introduction to the Alberta Legislature.
Once introduced, the Bill will be referred to the Standing Committee on Private Bills and Private Members’ Public Bills, who will consider if they want to hear from stakeholders on the subject and if the bill should be debated in the legislature. To date, the UCP majority on this committee has never let an opposition bill be debated in the Legislature.
“Albertans deserve to have their voices heard. The UCP rammed through Bill 22 with no consultation, and now the UCP is mismanaging Albertans retirement money; savings earned during a lifetime of working hard to build our economy, our public services, and our province,” said Gray.
“To hold the UCP’s feet to the fire, I am relaunching my website YourPensionIsYours.ca today so Albertans can let the committee members know they want Bill 203 to be debated in the Legislature.”
If passed, Bill 203 will also prevent any move to withdraw Alberta from the Canadian Pension Plan against the wishes of thousands of Albertans and reverse the changes made to public sector pension plans in Bill 22, returning workers say in their pension governance.
Over 15,000 Albertans have already voiced their opposition to the UCP seizing control of public sector pensions, through a website campaign launched by Gray last fall.
“The UCP government continues to gamble with the retirement savings of Albertans, even though we learned this week that AIMCo has had significant losses, higher losses than most pension plans,” Gray said.
According to the Local Authorities Pension Plan (LAPP), which has 275,000 members, its total asset losses sustained by AIMCo were $5.1 billion for the quarter.
“Albertans deserve to have confidence their money is being well managed - the UCP’s changes are costing taxpayers millions of dollars.”
Recent ATRF analysis shows that over the past seven years, from 2013 to the end of 2019, the teachers pension fund would be worth $1.3 billion less if it had been managed by AIMCo. The data shows that Alberta Teachers’ Retirement Fund (ATRF) outperformed AIMCo in each and every year from 2013 through 2019.
Part of Premier Kenney’s secret Fair Deal Panel report was to explore Alberta’s withdrawal from the Canada Pension Plan even though that plan has earned record high returns this year.
“Albertans want and deserve their say now more than ever - the committee should give Albertans the opportunity to see this bill debated in their Legislature.”