Posted on Jun 8, 2020
NDP LABOUR CRITIC INTRODUCES BILL TO PROTECT ALBERTANS’ PENSIONS
EDMONTON - NDP Labour Critic Christina Gray has introduced a bill to undo damage caused to Albertans’ public-sector pensions as a result of the UCP’s corrupt Bill 22.
If passed, Bill 203: Pension Protection Act will reverse the changes brought in through Bill 22 to pension plan administration, management and governance for over 400,000 Alberta workers' pension plans, including the Local Authorities Pension Plan, Special Forces Pension Plan, Public Sector Pension Plan and Alberta Retired Teachers Fund.
Bill 203 would also ensure pension holders have the right to consultation prior to any changes to the Governance structure of their Board along with the pension plan administration and management.
“This is a major issue for Albertans, particularly during the economic uncertainty of this pandemic,” Gray said. “More than 15,000 Albertans have signed a petition I launched to tell Jason Kenney and the UCP to keep their hands off their pensions.”
"The UCP must allow my bill to be debated in the legislature because Albertans deserve to have their voices heard. Pensions belong to Albertans who have worked hard to earn them, not Jason Kenney.”
Gray’s legislation would also make withdrawing Alberta from the Canadian Pension Plan, against the wishes of Albertans, illegal and reverse the changes made to public sector pension plans in Bill 22, returning workers say in their pension governance.
The UCP’s corrupt Bill 22 took control over board appointments, decreased pension holder representation on the board, made Alberta Investment Management Corporation the only investment manager possible and made Alberta Pensions Services Corporation the only administrator.
Before it can be debated in the legislature, Gray’s Pension Protection Act will be referred to the Standing Committee on Private Bills and Private Members’ Public Bills, where members will consider if they want to hear from stakeholders. To date, the UCP majority on this committee has never let an opposition bill be debated in the legislature.
“Bill 203: Pension Protection Act, is significant and it deserves to be discussed and debated in the legislature,” said retired teacher and administrator Dianna Millar. “This is an opportunity for the UCP Government to build trust and demonstrate integrity and leadership. The UCP government owes it to Alberta citizens, to its retirees, and to democracy.”
Last week, MLA Gray relaunched her website YourPensionIsYours.ca so concerns would be emailed directly to the committee members. Nearly 2,000 Albertans have already demanded the committee members debate this bill and over 500 have requested to speak at the committee meeting as a stakeholder.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 Jason 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.