Pension plans are in good health

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Your Jan. 2 article, “Market rally and rising rates boost pension plans, report says,” confirms much of what the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) has been saying to naysayers and public-sector employers about the health of workplace pensions.

And contrary to what groups like the Canadian Federation of Independent Business and the St. John’s Board of Trade have been suggesting, the pension plan sky is not falling.

In fact, the report from Mercer Canada — a leading Canadian benefits company — says the health of Canadian pension plans improved to its best level in more than a decade in the fourth quarter of 2013.

Just how big was the rebound?

The company’s “pension health index” was at its highest level since June 2001.

Mercer estimated that almost 40 per cent of pension plans they surveyed were fully funded at the end of 2013, compared with six per cent at the beginning of the year.

In light of the Mercer report, the last thing anyone should be suggesting is looking to provinces like New Brunswick or Alberta who have chosen to attack and weaken longstanding defined benefits pension plans of their employees.

That attitude is shortsighted and totally unnecessary.

 

Wayne Lucas

President, CUPE NL

Organizations: Canadian Federation of Independent Business, Board of Trade

Geographic location: New Brunswick, Alberta

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  • Where are the pension plan contributions presently invested?
    January 19, 2014 - 13:39

    Where are the pension plan contributions now being invested? Is it still in the Equity/Bond Markets and the hair-brain derivatives Markets that have consistently sunk the markets every ten years or so over the past 30 years. If so we can expect another catastrophe in the next few months or so that will bring down the pension plans to their knees from the inside traders and manipulators who are always lurking in that cesspool. We don't seem to learn anything from the past performance of those markets.