Monday, October 18, 2010

NRPC September newsletter

The Canadian NRPC published a newsletter on their website for September 2010.
The following is the NRPC President Don Sproule's summary.

NRPC Newsletter – Sept. 2010
President’s Letter

A big thank you goes out to over 2000 people who turned up at Queen’s Park on Sept. 15th. You came by the busload from Ottawa, Kingston, Belleville, Brampton, London, Hamilton and Kitchener. Many more drove in from across the GTA. And thanks to the Canadian Federation of Pensioners and the CAW for their support. The large turnout demonstrated to the Ontario government that we will not be silent on the issue of winding up our plan by annuities.

After the rally, Mike Moorcroft and I then proceeded into the Legislature where we were introduced in the Assembly. The first 8000 of our petitions were broken up into two lots, with Yasir Naqvi, my MPP, tabling the first 4000 and Mike's MPP, Charles Sousa, tabling the next 4000 petitions to demand that the Government not wind-up our pension funds with annuities. Since that event, Minster Duncan has indicated that he will not consider our proposed alternative for several unsubstantiated reasons. NRPC representatives had an opportunity on Sept. 23 to speak with Minister Duncan and Premier McGuinty to explain why it will be financial suicide to lock in our losses at this critical low performance level for annuities. We are also requesting their cooperation to complete the Request for Proposal (RFP) process so we have some solid proposals to review with them. Both the Ontario Conservative and NDP parties are very supportive of our proposed alternative and have been keeping the issue alive in Question Period and other legislative venues. Read the Ontario Hansard on-line and see what is happening on our issues. As more petitions roll in, we will also be using them to continue our press on the Government.

For several days, starting on Sept. 29th, the CCAA Court judge will hear a motion on division of the assets of the Health and Welfare Trust (HWT). After careful analysis of the HWT documentation, the court-appointed Monitor recommended that the money in the trust be allocated on a pro rata basis between pensioner life insurance, LTD wage replacement, LTD life insurance, LTD optional life and Survivor Beneficiaries based on their relative claims. Please note that Survivor here refers ONLY to spouses of individuals who died while in active employment by Nortel. It does NOT apply to those spouses of individuals who died as pensioners. After careful, reasoned and principled analysis, your court representatives, the court representatives of the LTD group and the CAW counsel all support that recommendation. While final tabulations will not be made until December 31, 2010, if the Monitor’s recommendation is approved, distributions would be similar to the following estimates:
- $35.05M for Pensioner life insurance
- $30.30M for LTD wage replacement, life insurance and optional life
- $ 6.85M for Survivor Beneficiaries

Outside the courts, the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) has just announced that the Morneau Sobeco company will be the Administrator of our pension funds for the wind-up process starting Oct 1, 2010. They must evaluate the plans’ assets and determine the liabilities as of Oct 1, 2010, and then calculate the actual wind-up level of the plan. It is our understanding that no reduction of our pensions will take place until the new Administrator has had time to evaluate the funding level of the plan as of Oct 1, 2010. We expect this analysis to take 4-6 months, if not longer. At that time, they will then present a wind-up plan that must receive approval of the Superintendent of Pensions. In the interim, we will be pursuing ways of ensuring that the plans’ assets are not put into annuities. We will continue to express our strong concern that the fate of all pensioners across Canada must be considered. In addition, we will continue to pursue tax related considerations with the Federal Government to minimize the impact on any lump sum payments resulting from funds disbursement.
Don Sproule

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