Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada

Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada

December 23, 2009 16:46 ET

The Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada Is Appalled by the C.D. Howe Institute's 'Misleading' New Pension Study

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Dec. 23, 2009) - "The C.D. Howe Institute's latest Pension Paper is a biased document which ignores 40 years of well-documented data, by comparing apples to... automobiles" commented David Gray, CGA, Vice-President of the Institute. "For example, the data presented includes total debts for the public service pensions but only includes the amounts paid in from 2000 forward. It fails to include the $30 Billion paid in by public service employees, or the $62 Billion set aside by the employer as its contribution. Finally it fails to mention the additional $30 Billion pension surplus that was seized by the government in 1999 and used to pay down the national debt."

The latest in a series of 'Pension papers' prepared by the C.D. Howe Institute and released on the eve of the Finance Ministers' Meeting in Whitehorse, the study underhandedly tries to influence key stakeholders. Because public sector wages and pension plans are coming under increasing fire from right-of-centre commentators, the Institute wants to remind Canadians that pension benefits are in reality a deferred salary, where public service members contribute between 8.4 and 10.15 per cent of their annual salary.

Pension plans, whether private or public, are an essential component of the overall compensation package provided by employers to offer competitive recruitment and retention incentives.

Instead of promoting a "leveling down" approach to retirement, the private sector must make every effort to improve the benefits it provides to its own workers, and its priorities should be redirected towards the needs of all Canadians instead of constantly indulging the never-ending desire to improve the bottom line of corporate interests.

Public service workers effectively traded wage increases and other improvements over the years, in exchange for receiving their pension.

In fact, earlier this year, federal employees were targeted by Government of Canada legislation that restricts their wage increases to 1.5% in both 2009 and 2010. These modest gains will actually fall below an anticipated 2.2% inflation rate in 2010.

The Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada is a national union representing 57,000 professionals and scientists in Canada's public sector.

Contact Information

  • Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada
    Chantal Lecours
    Section Head, Communications
    613-228-6310 extension 2229
    613-864-4368 (cell)
    or
    Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada
    David Gray
    Vice-President
    250-508-3939 (cell)