New legislation gives workers greater say over pensions

The Report: August 1999 vol.20 num.2

On July 5, the provincial government introduced legislation that will, for the firsttime, give working people a direct say in how their pension plans are run.

The Public Sector Pension Plan Act allows the four provincial pension plans (includingthe Municipal Pension Plan which covers HSA members) to establish joint trusteeshipbetween public sector employers and employees. The changes will not have any impact onbenefit levels but will allow working people to have direct input into decisions about howtheir pension plans are operated and managed.

HSA President Cindy Stewart says joint trusteeship is especially necessary to preventgovernments from unilaterally siphoning money when pension funds are in a surplusposition.

“The federal Liberal government recently stripped $28 million from the federalpublic service pension plan without consulting employees,” Stewart points out.“Joint trusteeship will ensure that this never happens here in BC, regardless ofwhich party is in power.”

As part of their pension reform initiatives, the government will establish two newcrown corporations: BC Pension Corporation, which will administer the plans, and BCInvestment Corporation, which will manage investment of the funds. Both will be jointlytrusteed by the unions and employers. These changes bring BC in line with the publicsector pension plans in most other provinces.

HSA members wanting more information about pension reform should contact their employerto obtain a copy of Pension Reform: A New Management Model for Public Sector Pension Plansin BC.

More information on pension reform can be found on the Superannuation Commission’s website.