Sample Script for a Phone Call to Your MP
- Hello, my name is _____________________________. I am a constituent in your riding. I’m very concerned about Bill C-27. I understand that it had first reading in October 2016, and it may be brought before the House for second reading at any time.
- I’m very opposed to Bill C-27 because it clearly threatens the security of defined benefit pension plans, which is the kind of plan I have as a retired teacher of BC.
- Here is why I am worried about Bill C-27:
- The language of the Bill emphasizes how secure defined benefit pension plans can shift to become target benefit pension plans which are riskier for employees and retirees. If this Bill is passed, employees and retirees will assume all the risk for any funding shortfall. The employer will be off the hook. The expected pension will be a target, NOT a guaranteed promise.
- If the Bill becomes law, employers will be able to persuade or put pressure on employees and retirees individually to shift from secure defined benefit pension plans to insecure target benefit plans. How can a lay person or ordinary person, unfamiliar with the complexities of pension plans fully understand the implications of switching to a target benefit plan? What kinds of “carrots and sticks” can be used by employers to get people to surrender their pension security? I think employers will be eager to rid themselves of their pension obligations to employees and retirees.
- The Bill says that retirees with defined benefit pension plans can choose to stay with those plans. But if all the active participants of the defined benefit pension plan surrender to a target pension plan, will the defined benefit pension plan remain able to pay the pension promise. Will the fund be adequate?
- Defined benefit pension plans are the strongest, most secure retirement system. Why is the government asking citizens to surrender the benefits they now have with their defined benefit pension plans? Bill C-27 uses the word “surrender” more than a dozen times. Clearly, something will be lost by employees and retirees. This is very frightening to us because we have planned our lives around the pension plans we have paid into and pensions that have been promised.
- Please oppose Bill C-27. As it stands it threatens the security of ordinary middle-class citizens who have paid into a defined benefit pension plan all their lives. They have faith in the promise made to them by their employers. Do not allow the pensions they depend upon to be clawed back.