Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Pension Apartheid in Canada - Nortel vs OMERS

Yesterday our blog looked at the huge difference between private sector and public sector pensions. Today another example has been exposed. Lets look at the OMERS (Ontario Municipal Employees) pension plan and the pension plan for Nortel. 

OMERS and the Ontario government shocked cities across the province with the news that pension costs at all city halls have to rise to fund an expected $6 Billion shortfall in the pensions for city employees. The taxpayer abuse was reported in the Ottawa Citizen, Municipal pension shortfall could affect property taxes. 

There was no debate about the increases or media discussion. It is a fait accompli, taxpayers must ante up for the Protected Class! OMERS Pension funding shortfall 

Pension Apartheid
At the same time the Finance Minister in Ontario turned down an opportunity to resurrect the Nortel pension plan that is suffering a $2.5 Billion shortfall. Duncan warns Nortel pension scheme too risky
Finance Minister Dwight Duncan has killed a scheme to give Nortel retirees the right to have their $2.5 billion pension plan run by a private firm.
Ontario Finance Minister Dwight Duncan has officially put the kibosh on a controversial scheme to allow Nortel retirees to have their $2.5 billion pension plan run by a private company.
The provincial government, which has faced noisy protests at Queen’s Park by former workers at Nortel Networks Corp., had been concerned the move would be too risky.
“It is difficult for us to endorse an unproven financial sponsorship model which could put at risk the most vulnerable of the Nortel plan members, retirees, and other beneficiaries,” Duncan wrote in a letter to Nortel Retirees and Former Employees Protection Canada (NRPC).
 In another report Duncan noted: 
Duncan also pointed out that the Ontario government added $500 million to the province's Pension Benefits Guarantee Fund last year, knowing about half of it would be needed to help Nortel workers. The fund guarantees pensions of up to $1,000 a month when companies close.
It is sad that workers at Nortel will be protected to a maximum tune of $1,000 per month. We saw yesterday the Ontario Teachers plan with a $17 Billion shortfall provides an unlimited guarantee to its employees. 

It looks like the Protected Class has once again protected its interests over those of taxpayers. 

Bill Tufts 
Fair Pensions For All

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