Member Update – PSPP Issue
The Executive continues to work on this issue with our lawyers and actuary. We have met with the BCGEU and PSPP Representatives regarding the Plan Partners’ Agreement in Principle (AiP). The AiP proposes certain changes to the PSPP, however those changes – at least insofar as they affect Paramedics – have not been confirmed or finalized. If they WERE to go ahead, those changes, according to our actuary, would mean that a Paramedic starting Full Time at, or after, the effective date of the new AiP rules would lose approximately 30% of his or her benefits after a 25 to 30 year career compared to the benefit he or she would receive under current pension rules. That is NOT acceptable to us.
We have been clear with the Plan Partners and other PSPP representatives that we will not accept any changes to the Plan which are not designed to preserve the value of our Factor 80 benefit and provide those windows to early retirement that are so important to our members. Our actuary is working with Plan representatives to obtain the information she needs to calculate impacts and propose better alternatives. We know from what we have been told by the BCGEU that Corrections employees (BCGEU members) will maintain their unreduced early retirement benefits under special provisions and agreements despite changes to the Plan that will remove those for other members. Paramedics are a special category of workers who have bargained differential treatment as well.
President Barter has met with senior government and employer representatives on this issue. The legal and political pressure appears to be working. We understood the Plan Partners (BCGEU and Government) wanted an agreement in place by early March. This has not happened and it appears Paramedic concerns are being heard.
It is important to note that, to date, no final agreement to change the plan is in place between the Plan Partners that we are aware of. Members should not make decisions on their pension or retirement based on this communication, or any speculation as to what the Plan Partners are negotiating. Wait until the full extent of the changes, if any, are known.
Provincial Executive Committee
Ambulance Paramedics and Emergency Dispatchers of BC
CUPE Local 873
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