Quebec municipalities press for pension changes

Proposals would end indexation, increase retirement age
||Last Updated: 05/31/2012

The Union des municipalités du Québec (UMQ) is urging the provincial government to take “concrete “ steps to ensure the viability of pension plans for municipal employees.

The UMQ estimates the current actuarial deficit of Quebec’s municipal pension plans at close to $4 billion. During recent budget consultations, the UMQ pushed for more equal sharing of the costs and risks of the defined-benefit plans.

It is appealing to the government to follow Ontario’s example and limit future contributions by municipalities. Among the specific actions requested are:

  • Moving to defined-contribution plans;
  • Removing indexation of benefits;
  • Eliminating early retirement with full pension;
  • Increasing the retirement age; and
  • Modifying rules on the use of plan surpluses.

Claiming that municipalities lack the ability to achieve these changes through either negotiations or interest arbitration, the UMQ hopes it will be able to convince the Technical Committee on Pension Plans created by the municipal affairs ministry (Ministère des Affaires municipals, des Régions et de l’Occupation du territoire) to craft legislative changes to achieve them.

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