Montreal Island's two most senior political leaders are planning to ask the provincial government for a special law to help curtail the growing local tax burden associated with municipal pensions.
According to their plan, people who are currently receiving a municipal pension would not be affected. Only current and future municipal employees would see lower benefits - but not retroactively.
Current employees would keep whatever entitlements they have built up over time, based on years of service already accumulated. But changes would be made over time to reduce benefits going forward.
In Westmount, employees with 30 years of service can retire at age 50 with 75 per cent of the average of their last three years of earnings. This has encouraged a lot of early retirements in Westmount, which is why the westend suburb now has almost as many retired workers on its books (236) as full-time equivalent employees (295). Soon, Westmount will be like General Motors, with more retired than active workers.