‘Yes’ vote for pension plan relief

By

Brenda Still

The pension office received the approval needed from the plan members enabling them to ask the provincial government of Ontario to consider a three-year relief period. Photo: Gunnar Pippel
The pension office received the approval needed from the plan members enabling them to ask the provincial government of Ontario to consider a three-year relief period. Photo: Gunnar Pippel

The General Synod Pension Plan has received the member votes it needed to ask the Ontario government to grant it a three-year period to improve the plan’s funding level and avoid pension reductions of 20 to 30 per cent.

Announcing the vote count so far, the director of the Anglican Church of Canada’s Pension Office Corporation, Judy Robinson, thanked all members who sent in their voter cards. The pension office needed the approval of at least two-thirds of the plan members in order to ask the provincial government to consider the three-year relief period.

So far, 85 per cent of active members and 89 per cent of retired members of the plan have voted in favour. The plan has 2,356 non-retired active and inactive members, and 2,683 pensioners. Votes have been received from only about 60 per cent of inactive members because those people have been harder to track down, said Robinson, but the other numbers were high enough that plan administrators could send the vote results to the staff at the provincial ministry of finance who will write a report for the minister of finance. “Hopefully that report is going to recommend a regulation to be presented to cabinet to give us the three years,” said Robinson, noting that she doesn’t expect to hear more until November.

Robinson noted that the Anglican pension plan is in a unique situation because “the registration status that we hold with the province of Ontario and the registration status that we hold with the federal government, and the laws as to the ability to contribute to the plan, conflict.”

Robinson said she has been getting many calls from pension plan members. “They’re worried. The report sent to the government already outlines the plans for fixing the problem. If the relief is approved, Robinson says the next step is to go “full steam ahead with the work, and hope that the markets continue to act in our favour.”

In a previous interview with the Journal, Robinson outlined exactly what aspects of the pension plan are at issue. See article here.

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Leigh Anne Williams

Leigh Anne Williams

Leigh Anne Williams joined the Anglican Journal in 2008 as a part-time staff writer. She also works as the Canadian correspondent for Publishers Weekly, a New York-based trade magazine for the book publishing. Prior to this, Williams worked as a reporter for the Canadian bureau of TIME Magazine, news editor of Quill & Quire, and a copy editor at The Halifax Herald, The Globe and Mail and The Bay Street Bull.

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