Tens of thousands of AUPE members belong to modest but secure defined benefit pension plans – either the Local Authorities Pension Plan, or the Public Services Pension Plan.
These plans have been managed well after the 2008 stock market crash and have recently been able to reduce the premiums that members pay into the plans. The plans continued to maintain stable retirement benefits through the 2008 crash and the recent downturn in oil prices.
Despite this, AUPE members were forced to defend their pensions when then Premier Allison Redford tried to cut them in 2013. She tried to justify her proposals with misleading talk of unfunded liabilities in an aim to pit Alberta voters against public sector workers.
AUPE members spoke loud and clear about the value of their plans, and the need to improve how they are managed. We asked the government to adopt joint governance of the plans – this would give workers a seat at the table with our employers instead of leaving the plans under the control of the Minister of Finance.
Our voice was heard and in the fall 2018 Legislative session the law was updated so that by March 1, 2019 the pension plans will finally be under joint governance.
The Official Opposition are signaling a return to Redford era attacks on our pensions. “Unfunded liabilities” are again being used as justification for pension “reform”.
AUPE believes that our modest pensions should remain secure in a defined benefit plan, with workers having a seat at the table. AUPE members have been clear that they will oppose any attempt to cut these plans regardless of which party is in power.