After 12 years of governing the fat cats in the dying Progressive Conservative Government are planning to reform the inequitable, unsustainable and unaffordable pension plan for Members of the House of Assembly.
get me wrong, I know first hand from years of working with elected
representatives that there is not a pot of gold at the end of the
rainbow for most politicians. They often exit politics tainted and
finding other employment can be a challenge. It is often not easy to pick up one's professional career where it left off. Providing a pension
program that reflects the special kind of service performed by elected
officials is critical if we are going to attract top notch individuals
into the grueling life of a Member of the House of Assembly.
That said, pension reform for MHA's is overdue, if for no other reason to ensure it is sustainable.
For a nice overview of the evolution of this province's pension plan, I suggest you read chapter 11 of Justice Green's 2007 Report of the Review Commission on Constituency Allowances and Related Matters. You can find an update on the period from 2007 to 2012 in the Members Compensation Review Committee report of November 2012.
MHA Plan has the lowest funded ratio of all five provincial public
sector pension plans. It is significantly underfunded, quite lucrative
and costly. There is nothing new in these revelations. MHA Pension
reform has been on the discussion block for generations, but with only a
few exceptions, successive cabinets and caucuses have rejected attempts
fact, Justice Green's recommendation(#78) that the services of an
actuary be put in place to assist the Members Compensation Review
Committee in determining if the existing defined benefit plan
should be replaced with
a defined contribution plan or that the existing defined benefit plan be
modified to conform more closely with other public service plans, was
never provided. The result being that the two subsequent review
committees have not been able to effectively address Justice Green's recommendation of reform.
Premier Marshall, who will retire with a handsome public pension after
12 years of inaction on the reform front, promise MHA's are next makes
If the government was
truly committed to reform, why did they not lead by example. After all,
despite being the most generous provincial pension program, it impacts a
very small group of individuals. How difficult would it
have been to lead by example? They have had nearly eight years since the Green Report and two Members Compensation Review
Committee's have been provided terms of references and reported.
Pension reform should have been first and foremost. Instead it is last,
proving the reluctance of elected officials to tamper with their own
bugs me that the unfunded liability issue has not been addressed and
that our elected leaders of today have no issues with asking me and my
children to underwrite their comfortable retirement.
Same, Mr. Speaker, Shame!