An Act to amend the Pension Benefits Standards Act, 1985

This bill was last introduced in the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session, which ended in September 2019.

Sponsor

Bill Morneau  Liberal

Status

Second reading (House), as of Oct. 19, 2016
(This bill did not become law.)

Summary

This is from the published bill. The Library of Parliament often publishes better independent summaries.

This enactment amends the Pension Benefits Standards Act, 1985 to provide a framework for the establishment, administration and supervision of target benefit plans. It also amends the Act to permit pension plan administrators to purchase immediate or deferred life annuities for former members or survivors so as to satisfy an obligation to provide pension benefits if the obligation arises from a defined benefit provision.

Elsewhere

All sorts of information on this bill is available at LEGISinfo, provided by the Library of Parliament. You can also read the full text of the bill.

EthicsOral Questions

October 20th, 2017 / 11:25 a.m.
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Conservative

Luc Berthold Conservative Mégantic—L'Érable, QC

Mr. Speaker, this week, Canadians witnessed something never before seen in federal politics.

They watched as the Minister of Finance floundered around on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. He was caught red-handed attempting to get small business owners, their employees, and farmers to foot the bill for his deficit spending.

We also discovered that he pocketed millions thanks to a bill he himself introduced, which is indisputably unethical.

Now that he has collected his bonus, will the Minister of Finance tell us if he participated in cabinet decisions about Bill C-27?

October 20th, 2017 / 8:50 a.m.
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Fiona Price As an Individual

Good morning. My name is Fiona Price. I'm here as one member of 180,000 National Association of Federal Retirees. I'm the vice-president of Peel-Halton, number 34.

Today I speak to Bill C-27, the act to amend pension benefits.

The suggested change causes trepidation. Will it affect those of us who are already retired? When we became government employees, we signed on in good faith and agreed to deferred compensation in exchange for our employment. To imply now that you are going to change how our monies are to be returned to us, after we have retired on a fixed income, is not in good faith. It's improper.

In 2015 Prime Minister Trudeau clearly promised our association in a letter to the then-president that defined plans, which “have already been paid for by employees and pensioners, should not be retroactively changed”. This seems to have been forgotten.

Retirement income security is essential for those of us who are already retired. Going forward, if you want to change the program, there will be no surprise to the younger generations signing on to work for the government, and they will be allowed to plan accordingly, as we did.

This topic also lends itself to ask that a minister for seniors be created, as we do need a dedicated voice advocating on our behalf. Seniors are the largest-growing demographic in Canada, contributing more than ever to our communities and economies.

I thank you for your time.

EthicsOral Questions

October 19th, 2017 / 2:35 p.m.
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Conservative

Candice Bergen Conservative Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, Morneau Shepell thought that the Minister of Finance had placed his shares in a blind trust. We all thought he had placed his shares in a blind trust. He had not done that and in fact he was enacting legislation that would directly benefit him and Morneau Shepell.

I have a different question. Maybe the minister will answer this. At any time, did the minister discuss Bill C-27 with Morneau Shepell while he was the finance minister? At any time, did they discuss this bill?

EthicsOral Questions

October 19th, 2017 / 2:30 p.m.
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Conservative

Candice Bergen Conservative Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, in 2013, the executive chair of Morneau Shepell said, “We need legislation enabling Target Benefit Plans...in all Canadian jurisdictions”, so he made it happen. He became the Minister of Finance and he tabled the legislation himself. To make this conflict much worse, Morneau Shepell continued to pay that minister tens of thousands of dollars a month.

The question the minister has not answered is this. Why did he not recuse himself around discussions about Bill C-27?

EthicsOral Questions

October 19th, 2017 / 2:30 p.m.
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Conservative

Maxime Bernier Conservative Beauce, QC

Mr. Speaker, this government was elected on a promise of transparency and we are getting quite the opposite today.

The Minister of Finance and his company, Morneau Shepell, have benefited from the minister's actions. His company made money and the minister still holds shares in that company. He introduced Bill C-27, which directly increased profits at Morneau Shepell.

My question is simple: when did the Minister of Finance inform the Prime Minister that he was in conflict of interest and when did he recuse himself from any discussion on this bill?

EthicsOral Questions

October 19th, 2017 / 2:25 p.m.
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NDP

Nathan Cullen NDP Skeena—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, in the few days after he personally introduced Bill C-27, a bill designed to attack the pensions of Canadians and help firms like Morneau Shepell, the value of Morneau Shepell stocks increased by 4.8%. For the finance minister's personal holdings, that represented a profit of over $2 million in just five days. That is more money than the average Canadian makes in a lifetime of work.

The minister constantly talks about serving the public. How does pocketing millions of dollars from his work as the minister do anything but serve himself?

EthicsOral Questions

October 19th, 2017 / 2:25 p.m.
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NDP

Guy Caron NDP Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, if he had such confidence in what he was doing, then why did he mislead all of his colleagues?

According to our information, in the five days following the introduction of Bill C-27, which will directly benefit Morneau Shepell and is a bill sponsored by the Minister of Finance himself, stocks in Morneau Shepell went up 4.8%. The Minister of Finance would have made more than $2 million profit on his shares.

He is an intelligent person. Does he not find there is perceived conflict of interest, since he was in a position to personally benefit from his own actions?

October 19th, 2017 / 8:55 a.m.
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Ron Watt As an Individual

Thank you, and good morning.

My name is Ron Watt. As you may have guessed, I'm a senior and I worked for the Canadian public service for 35 years. When I retired, I joined an organization that is now known as the National Association of Federal Retirees. I joined here in Windsor, am a proud member, and I continue to serve as the past president of that organization. We have about 850 members locally, and nationally we have about 180,000. That includes 60,000 ex-military personnel.

Today we have three points that we would like to leave you with for your consideration in the 2018 budget: one, secure retirements; two, strong health care; and three, a national seniors strategy. We feel these are the best ways to help seniors and their families.

On retirement security, I urge the government to scrap Bill C-27. This bill would introduce a new type of pension plan and target benefit pensions, while taking away retirement security and killing off a good defined benefit plan that people have worked for and that bring benefits back to their communities and their families.

For budget 2018, I believe the federal government should lead a national seniors strategy that builds on the home care and seniors housing investments that have been made so far. The strategy needs to include a national palliative and end-of-life care strategy and better pharmacare for seniors, and it must continue to tackle infrastructure investments with age-friendly communities and universal design standards in mind. To ensure residential needs are met, the government should appoint a minister responsible for seniors. This would allow public policy to be heard that impacts our age group.

In summary, these actions would lead to better productivity and a stronger economy, not just for seniors but for their families and Canadian communities.

Thank you for giving us the opportunity to appear. Good luck with your ongoing work.

EthicsOral Questions

October 18th, 2017 / 3 p.m.
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NDP

Jenny Kwan NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, everyone knows that Bill C-27 furthers the private interests of the finance minister. The Conflict of Interest Act states that a minister is in a conflict “when he or she exercises an official power...to further his or her private interests or those of his or her relatives”.

Will the Prime Minister just admit that his Minister of Finance has violated the Conflict of Interest Act, or is he just too busy working hard for the French villa owners, or those who are working hard to become French villa—

PensionsOral Questions

October 18th, 2017 / 2:50 p.m.
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NDP

Scott Duvall NDP Hamilton Mountain, ON

Certainly not supporting the middle class that is for sure, Mr. Speaker.

Workers at Sears Canada are very worried about whether their pensions will be protected, but guess who has been appointed to administer the Sears Canada pension plan? Morneau Shepell. This is a company that advocates transferring more risks from employer to employee.

The government promised it would fix our bankruptcy laws but it has done nothing.

Furthermore, if Bill C-27 becomes law, the finance minister will profit off workers getting stuck with weak pensions.

I have a simple question for the Prime Minister. Is this the real change he promised working Canadians?

EthicsOral Questions

October 18th, 2017 / 2:45 p.m.
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NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, the boss at Morneau Shepell told investors in 2013 that legislation was required to go after defined pension benefits and, voila, he introduced Bill C-27. Morneau Shepell told investors this legislation would be a game-changer.

The Prime Minister is talking about a gold standard of ethics. Gold for who, for the finance minister, who is now making $150,000 a month? A blind trust will not cut it. Will the Prime Minister withdraw Bill C-27, and his finance minister's blatant attack on the pension benefits of Canadian workers?

EthicsOral Questions

October 18th, 2017 / 2:40 p.m.
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NDP

Ruth Ellen Brosseau NDP Berthier—Maskinongé, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Finance stands to make millions in profit from a bill before Parliament that he himself wrote.

This may be the most blatant conflict of interest in history. It is undeniable that, if Bill C-27 were to become law, Morneau Shepell would reap greater profits, which would pour into the finance minister's pocket. That is totally unacceptable.

Will the Prime Minister admit that his Minister of Finance has utterly betrayed Canadians' trust?

EthicsOral Questions

October 18th, 2017 / 2:30 p.m.
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NDP

Guy Caron NDP Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, a finance minister's responsibilities may be in conflict with a company he controls. For example, in a 2013 speech given by the minister, then a principal at Morneau Shepell, he said:

“We need legislation enabling Target Benefit Plans and Shared Risk Plans in all Canadian jurisdictions.”

In 2016, he introduced Bill C-27, which does exactly that and will benefit his company. I know my definition of “conflict of interest”. Perhaps the Prime Minister would like to share his?

EthicsOral Questions

October 18th, 2017 / 2:25 p.m.
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Regina—Qu'Appelle Saskatchewan

Conservative

Andrew Scheer ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

That is what they would like us to believe, Mr. Speaker, but what the Liberals were actually doing this whole time was protecting wealthy millionaires and those trying to hide it.

We know that the finance minister still owns $40 million in shares in his family business, Morneau Shepell, a business that the minister is responsible for regulating. That business will directly profit off of target benefit pensions, which the Liberals are introducing in Bill C-27. Therefore, can the Prime Minister confirm that his finance minister recused himself from any and all discussions on that bill?

October 18th, 2017 / 8:55 a.m.
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Daniel Morin As an Individual

Good morning.

I represent the Montreal chapter of the National Association of Federal Retirees.

Today, I would like to highlight the three best ways of helping seniors and their families: ensure retirement security, provide judicious health care, and adopt a national seniors' strategy.

Regarding retirement security, I urge the government to withdraw Bill C-27. This bill would introduce a new type of pension plan, that is to say the target benefit plan, while diminishing pension security and eliminating defined benefit plans that are valid, for which people have worked, and which provide benefits to local and national economies. Let's not forget that seniors, who are increasingly numerous, actively participate in the country's economy.

As for Budget 2018, I think that the federal government should establish a national strategy for seniors based on investment in home care and seniors' housing. That strategy should include national measures on palliative and end-of-life care, as well as better pharmacare for seniors. We must continue to invest in infrastructure with an eye to senior-friendly communities.

Finally, the government should appoint a minister responsible for seniors, in order to ensure that public policy decisions always take seniors' viewpoints into account. These measures would contribute to improving productivity and strengthening the economy, not only for seniors, but also for their families and for Canadian communities as a whole.

Thank you.