Ontario nurses maintain joint control of pension plans

Government shouldn’t have attacked plan to begin with: ONA president
|labour-reporter.com|Last Updated: 10/24/2012

The Ontario Nurses’ Association (ONA) has negotiated a deal with the Ontario government that allows it to maintain joint control of the Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan (HOOPP).

Under the terms of the deal, current contribution rates will remain steady, HOOPP will be exempt from having to merge with smaller plans with funding shortages, and employers will see no contribution increases until Dec. 30, 2017. ONA represents 59,000 registered nurses and allied health workers, along with 13,000 nursing students working in hospitals, long-term care facilities, clinics and public health.

This agreement follows a similar deal the Ontario Public Service Employees Union made with the provincial government on Oct. 23 regarding public-sector pension plans.

Linda Haslam-Stroud, president of ONA, says HOOPP is a responsibly run plan and the government shouldn’t have attacked it from the start.

“The ONA members who belong to HOOPP have deferred part of their wages to pay into HOOPP and plan for their retirement,” Haslam-Stroud said in a press release. “Through extraordinarily good management, HOOPP has avoided funding deficits and has allowed contribution rates to remain stable for many years. HOOPP is an example of an extremely well-run pension plan that should have been an example for the government, not one that they should have chosen to attack.

“Approximately 80 cents of every HOOPP pension dollar paid comes from investment returns on contributions of members and their employers, not the taxpayer,” she added.

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