Little-known pension plan benefits select government workers

The decimating of Alberta’s fair and equitable public service pension plans came to light recently when readers learned from an Edmonton Sun article that ex-health executive Jack Davis scored a jackpot annual retiring pension of $268,908, providing him with a monthly pension of $22,409.

The decimating of Alberta’s fair and equitable public service pension plans came to light recently when readers learned from an Edmonton Sun article that ex-health executive Jack Davis scored a jackpot annual retiring pension of $268,908, providing him with a monthly pension of $22,409.

Unknown to many Albertans, the Alberta Tories established a Supplementary Pension Plan on July 1, 1999 for select government management employees.

About then, judges were also provided with an additional pension, the Unregistered Pension Plan.

Had these additional plans not been introduced, any of those retiring now with a full 35 years of contributing service with salaries in excess of $111,000 annually, would have qualified for only the maximum of approximately $70,000 annually.

With the introduction of the supplementary and unregistered pension plans, many of those who would qualify one of those plans, would receive a pension in six-digit numbers – depending on service and earnings.

In effect, our government established a two-tier pension benefit that flies in the face of the Equality Rights of Section 15 (1) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Funding for these additional plans are also being subsidized in part by the tax revenues of our province.

Sadly, almost 80 per cent of Albertans working in the private sector whose employers do not provide them with a retirement benefit plan and yet who in turn find their tax dollars in part subsidizing the public service pension plans and the double-dipping pension plans for the select government workers referred to, are entitled to be treated fairly and equally also as citizens of our province.

Although the Tories have been in power now for 38 years and have been musing for well over 10 years on how to resolve this inequity, Albertans working in the private sector going into retirement today still have only the Federal Old Age, the Canada Pension and the federal Guaranteed Income support program, if they qualify for the latter two, to provide them with a minimal standard of living in their retirement years.

The wheels within our democratic process have ground to a halt in our province in this area and should be one of its highest priorities to correct this inequity that they have allowed to continue to this date.

Come on you Albertans, it is time for everyone to contact their local MLA.

Send an email to Premier Ed Stelmach and insist our government correct this inequity they introduced since the first supplementary pension plans were brought into effect in our province.

Michael Marlowe

Seniors Advocate

Edmonton

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