MONTREAL, Feb. 11, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - The Bell Pensioners' Group (BPG)
says that it will double its efforts with the federal government to
secure protections for its pensioners in the event of a pension
sponsor's bankruptcy following the recent Supreme Court of Canada
decision in the Indalex case.
"It is not fair that pensioners who have contributed to their pension
plans or have foregone higher wages to participate in a plan should
stand to lose their right to a reasonable pension when assets exist
that could be used to cover the pension plan's liabilities," said Dan
Mc Donald, President of BPG. "The impact of such an event could be
financially catastrophic for people who are, for the most part, unable
to recover their losses. While the Supreme Court decision has given
some clarity and recourse to those pension plans under Ontario
jurisdiction, no such protections exist under federal jurisdiction."
Mc Donald also noted that the Supreme Court decision put the onus on
government to decide what protection should be given to pension plans.
"While the protection of pension plans is an important objective, it is
not for this Court to decide the extent to which that objective will be
pursued and at what cost to other interests….Parliament considered
doing so before enacting the most recent amendments to the CCAA, but chose not to."
BPG has previously provided the government with a number of alternatives
that could be pursued to enhance security for defined-benefits. These
included amendments to the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act (BIA) and the
Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA) as well as changes to
regulations that would strengthen the financial position of a pension
plan generally. If plan funding were more robust, employer insolvency
would not pose such a substantial risk to its pensioners.
"The issue remains unresolved from our point of view," said Mc Donald.
"The government needs to strengthen bankruptcy and pension laws so that
they will provide greater protection for pensioners."
The Bell Pensioners' Group (BPG) is an association of pensioners from
Bell Canada and its affiliates. It is a not-for-profit organization
incorporated in 1995 and advocating on behalf of the more than 30,000
retirees of Bell and their beneficiaries, a third of whom are paying
members. Its activities are financed solely from membership dues.
The BPG is a founding member of the Canadian Federation of Pensioners, a
growing network of pensioner groups, that together represent 250,000
retired individuals across Canada.
For information on BPG, please visit www.bellpensionersgroup.ca.
Image with caption: "BPG comments on Indalex Supreme Court decision. (CNW Group/The Bell Pensioners' Group (BPG))". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20130211_C4681_PHOTO_EN_23550.jpg
SOURCE: The Bell Pensioners' Group (BPG)
For further information:
Dan Mc Donald, 450 464-4911