P.E.I. Pension Reform Shows the Way

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  • Given that the stock market returns were strong for 2013, we the taxpayer should expect to be relieved of the burden to fund underfunded public sector pension obligations from here on in. And if the PS pension funds go into surplus,or nearly so, the funds provided by the taxpayer in years past should be returned via a NS debt pay down. How about it Mrs Whalen?

    Greg | January 2, 2014 | Reply

  • As a retired teacher who began teaching with a BA, BEd. in 1968, I was paid approximately $5800.00 and had no choice but to contribute to the NS.Teachers’ Pension Fund. This fund was controlled by the NS government and we were unable to ascertain anything about the status of our pension fund for many years. It was our understanding that it was used and perhaps abused by the government but we never received any accounting of that fund until much later.

    When did our pension fund become underfunded? This is something worthy of your investigation!

    When I began teaching in NS,, we were ineligible to contribute to RRSPs, another way of funding for one’s retirement. This changed in the 1980s or thereabouts but I cannot find the exact date. What is worth noting, is that when we were permitted to purchase RRSPs, we had very defined limits,Thus, teachers who retired prior to 2006 are truly dependent on their teachers’ pensions.
    For a full pension, teachers contributed their share for 35 years during many lean salary times and cutbacks (6% when inflation was 12% in Buchanan’s era; wage freeze for 2 years during Cameron’s era and 4 days unpaid during the Savage government times) to name a few.

    What is the average pension for retired teachers in our province? This information should be included in your articles in order to give a complete picture of the provinces’ expenses.

    Since most teachers’ pensions are reduced considerably after they reach sixty five years of age and they begin to draw Old Age Security,we need to know how many are in this category and how that has impacted the fund?

    We are the least of the problem when you look at government pensions and yet you begin with us every time you write about pension issues.

    Surely MLAs who work only six years, contribute one dollar for every twenty three we donate and are then entitled to a full pension, deserve your scrutiny more than we!

    Correction: Retired teachers who left the profession prior to 2006, get cost of living – 1% This year, we received no increase while expenses continue to climb. Interestingly, this cost of living formula created by the government does not include or reflect escalating energy costs!

    You should also bear in mind, that Nova Scotia Teachers encouraged by Teachers’ Union Personnel voted to eliminate indexing in 2006 in order to lower their pension contributions.They took two highly questionable votes to accomplish the provincial governments’ mission whereas my contemporaries would never have agreed to that.

    We need to provide for people rather than remove benefits from those who contributed in good faith for same.That’s where I would prefer to see you place your emphasis.

    Jean Llewellyn | November 4, 2013 | Reply

  • Great article on the public pension plans.There is no time to waste on addressing this problem. Nova Scotians I think would agree especially where many in the private sector do not have any pension plan at all other than what they’re contributing to CPP. I think a pension commission needs to be struck by the Minister of Finance comprised of individuals who have the knowledge and capability to address this growing problem. Its fixable but everyone especially the unions have to recognize the party is over.They need to have the foresight and honesty to recognize there is a problem and these current public pension plans are holding all Nova Scotia hostage to a brighter economic future.We can not continue to take away from health and education and other important services just so we can finance these pension deficits as what happened in 2010 at a cost to tax payers of $500 million.That was one of the worst govt deceptions I have ever witnessed.The Minister of Finance at the time told me via email that this was borrowed money and therefore didn’t cost the tax payers anything.Talk about smoke and mirrors.I almost gagged the fumes were that strong.
    I only hope the new Minister of Finance can see past the politics and forget about populism for the sake of all of us.I have seen Diana Whalen in action since she was a Councillor for HRM and I have the highest regard for her ability to get the job done.I ‘m confident in the case of our public pension plans this problem will be addressed during her watch.

    John | November 4, 2013 | Reply

  • Pension reform is sorely needed, as present unsustainability is slowly being recognized as a “trend”. Whether the Minister is to be a trend setter or the usual reginal follower, remains to be seen; but, if her ‘productivity’ can be measured by her lust for another public holiday, in a region that needs anything but, there is room for doubt.

    gordon a... | November 3, 2013 | Reply

  • why is it that we revisit pension shortfalls when it comes to union run pension plans. It is great to collective bargain a fantasy for retired members but the reality is Unions generally are a collection of people who dont live in a real world . In a real world nothing is free and as Maggie Thatcher once said the problem with socialism is you eventually run out of other peoples money to borrow.

    paul | November 1, 2013 | Reply