CARP Asks Feds to Protect Defined Benefit Pensions

April 2019: New mini tool-kit available for consumers to use when advocating for pension protection and improved financial measures for older Canadians.

While CARP was supportive of the inclusions of many of its recommendations that were reflected in the 2019 Federal Budget, many advocacy efforts were unaddressed. The government’s failure to protect defined benefit pensioners in the event of corporate insolvency was extremely disappointing, and will remain high on CARP’s advocacy agenda in the coming months. Two new resources are available to help individual Canadians do the same.

Use the newest backgrounder about the Financial Security pillar in the FACES of Canadian Seniors policy platform to stay up-to-date about what the 2019 Federal Budget proposes for older adults.

Share this template and encourage others to write a letter to your MP and local party candidates demanding protection of defined benefit pension plans.



Why Pension Protection and Super-Priority?


Why won’t the Government make pensioners a priority?

In recent months, Sears Canada was exposed for paying out millions to its executives and owners, while walking away from its pension obligations . Sears’ funding priorities and subsequent insolvency has put more than 16,000 pensioners at risk of losing 20% of their pension, as well as their health, dental and life insurance benefits. Imagine if your employer asked you to take a 20% cut in pay?

The problem with this – other than the obvious – is that Sears’ actions are legal. Legislation allows companies to maximize its returns and pay out secured creditors, like banks and bondholders, before its pensioners. That’s why CARP, the Canadian Federation of Pensioners and Leadnow are demanding that the Liberal Government show leadership and change the law to make pensioners a super-priority. To move them to the front of the line so pensioners are paid in full before secured creditors are paid a dime.

What action is needed?

Specifically, CARP and its supporters are asking the Federal Government to amend the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act and the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act to give pensioners super-priority.
More than 40,000 concerned Canadians have taken action to support amendments to Canada’s bankruptcy laws to protect pensioners by giving them super-priority.

But the Government hasn’t responded to the public, and pensioners’, concerns.

Why the silence?

There’s a myth that it’ll have a significant negative impact on the bond market. But history – and CARP’s latest White Paper refutes this. Read Super-priority for Pensioners: An Impact Assessment and Policy Prescription.

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