Nova Scotia

Teachers' union, province agree to pension plan review

Premier Stephen McNeil told reporters Thursday the agreement was reached outside the teachers’ collective agreement and would see an independent committee of three actuaries who are pension specialists take on the task.

Independent commission to make recommendations for tackling unfunded liability

Premier Stephen McNeil says recommendations will be due by the end of August 2021. (CBC)

The Nova Scotia Teachers Union and provincial government have agreed to have a committee review the ongoing challenges facing the teachers' pension plan.

Premier Stephen McNeil told reporters Thursday the agreement was reached outside the teachers' collective agreement and would see an independent committee of three actuaries who are pension specialists take on the task.

The committee has yet to be named, but must be in place by Jan. 8, 2021. A report with recommendations is due by Aug. 31, 2021.

McNeil said the committee would have direct access to teachers "to communicate to them the challenges with their pension plan and bring back solutions to be able to solve it."

A 2018 report showed the pension plan was only 75.3 per cent funded at the end of 2018, down from 78.4 per cent the year prior. The unfunded liability at the time had reached $1.6 billion.

Paul Wozney is the president of the Nova Scotia Teachers Union. (David Laughlin/CBC)

In a statement, NSTU president Paul Wozney said details of the process are still being finalized, but the union wants to collaborate with the province on ensuring the plan's long-term health.

"A framework is currently being developed by the parties to study, educate and provide non-binding recommendations about how to protect and strengthen the plan in both the short and long term."

McNeil said he's pleased the committee will have access to teachers.

"Many of them who have been involved, either with the union or on committees, would have some expertise in and around that pension plan, and it's important for rank-and-file teachers to understand the complexity of this plan and the vulnerability of it," he said.

The premier couldn't say if consultations would include retired teachers.

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

now