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.