What is the Alberta government doing to your pensions?
On Monday, Nov. 18, the government introduced Bill 22, the Reform of Agencies, Boards and Commissions and Government Enterprises Act. The bill has been controversial. If passed, it will fire the independent elections commissioner currently investigating the UCP for wrongdoing. But, buried deep within the omnibus bill were alarming changes to the pension plans many AUPE members belong to, including the Local Authorities Pension Plan (LAPP) and the Public Sector Pension Plan (PSPP).
The changes give more control to the government and take away the voice AUPE members have fought so hard to have in the management of our pensions.
AUPE seats at the table given to non-union employees
Bill 22 cuts the number of AUPE representatives on the LAPP sponsor board from two to one. We’re also losing a seat on the LAPP corporate board. Both AUPE seats are being given to non-union employees.
Government interfering in pension board appointments and management
All appointments to the corporate pension boards must now be approved by the Lieutenant Governor, meaning that we no longer have the sole authority to appoint the people we think are best qualified to protect your money.
Bill 22 also forces the pension funds to operate through AIMCo and Alberta Pensions Services (APS). It takes away the right to switch to a different provider if we think that AIMCo isn’t doing a good job or if the switch can generate better returns.
This limits the ability of pension funds to create the best and most stable retirement for members.
What happened to “joint governance” of our pension plans? Were we consulted about these changes?
AUPE members campaigned for 25 years for joint governance of our pension plans, and this move shatters all progress made to date.
There was zero consultation. These changes were made using the power of the state to impose the will of government on Albertans. It’s the same approach the government is using in bargaining of collective agreements. When its arguments are weak, government uses legislation to take away rights.
Once again, this government has shown through its actions that it does not respect you, it does not respect the work AUPE members do and it does not care about your retirement security.
Both the PSPP and LAPP are healthy. There is no financial reason to change how they operate. The only reason for these changes is to hand over more control to politicians.
This is our money.
Pension funds are made up of money that AUPE members have put aside during your careers so you have something to live on during our retirement.
These are not government funds.
This is not money from taxation.
These are your retirement savings.
The government needs to remember: Your money. Your choice. Fight back.