Ottawa adopts riding association’s bid for pension security probe

January 28, 2019   ·   0 Comments

By Mike Baker

The Dufferin-Caledon Federal Liberal Association says the federal government has completed a month-long consultation it requested aimed at strengthening pension security and protect employee pension plans.

“Earlier last year, the Liberal Party of Canada officially adopted Employee Pension Protection Strategy as official party policy – a policy resolution, drafted and sponsored by Dufferin-Caledon’s own federal Liberals,” the association said in a press release. “Among the resolution’s goals were calls to consult relevant stakeholders, consider all options available, and ultimately close the existing loopholes in federal bankruptcy and insolvency law that leave employee pension plans vulnerable.”

The release said the consultation “is an important first towards developing a plan that protects retirees and their workplace pensions from corporate mismanagement.”

Coinciding with the consultation by Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, the Seniors Ministry had released a green paper discussing a variety of options it could pursue to protect employee pensions plan. 

Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada said in November that recent insolvency cases had “raised significant stakeholder concerns about potential gaps in the pension, insolvency, corporate and employee benefit regulatory environment. The Government welcomes views on whether additional measures are necessary to better protect employee pension and benefit claims against the risk of employer insolvency.”

The consultation’s green paper discusses regulatory changes that could be made to pension-funding rules, insolvency law, executive compensation and corporate transparency rules, all ultimately with the hopes of ensuring employee pension claims hold priority over secured creditor claims and are better protected in the event of bankruptcies and insolvencies. 

Since coming to power in 2015, the Trudeau government had made retirement security a key priority, having reversed the rollback of Old Age Security eligibility from 65 to 67 and expanded and strengthened the CPP, OAS, and GIS. 

“We’re pleased to see the government considering to go one step further in protecting employee pension plans. Employees pensions are deferred pay that belong to workers, their protection is a matter of fairness,” the riding association said.

The consultation ran from Nov. 23 to Dec. 21.

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