OPSEU SAMPLE LETTER (For OMERS members)
To MPPs re Pension Plan Changes
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I am a member of the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System (OMERS). And I’m very worried about the McGuinty government’s threatened changes to my retirement savings.
Premier Dalton McGuinty and Finance Minister Dwight Duncan claim they need to make significant changes to my pension plan. Their reasons for forcing changes are neither necessary nor acceptable. And they have failed to make a case to force changes to:
Ensure my plan is funded, stable, and viable.
Create a pension superfund the Liberals say will reduce management costs. Pension plans may be forced into the superfund.
End joint trustee representation for members and retirees, and employers and replace with forced management by ‘professional’ money managers.
Force benefit reductions for future retirees and forbid contribution increases;
Create an external dispute resolution process.
Force 50/50 funding on plans that have negotiated different funding splits.
OMERS is already:
Well-funded, stable and viable.
Large enough that it does take advantage of the cost savings of lower management fees and administration costs and are as low as can be reasonably expected in the financial industry;
Managed by people who achieve better investment returns than funds managed by ‘professionals’ that Premier McGuinty and Minister Duncan want to control my plan.
Established with funding strategies for sound, diversified investments and to protect capital and returns even throughout market downturns.
Established as a jointly-trusteed plan with equal representation of worker and employer trustees who use an internal dispute resolution system to resolve potential conflict or disagreements.
Funded 50/50 by members and employers unless otherwise negotiated.
In short, my pension plan is doing just fine. And there is no need for Premier McGuinty and Minister Duncan to interfere with pension plans that are working well.
I have worked at ______________ for ________ years. I put part of every paycheque into my pension plan. The money my employer contributed was money I would otherwise have taken in wages, vacations, or other monetary increases. My workplace pension allows me sufficient retirement income so I will not be a burden to my family or the taxpayers when I retire.
Because I put money into my retirement plan, I will have a pension of about $_______ a year. It’s not a lot, I know. But it’s mine. And I worked hard for it. The McGuinty Liberals have no right to take control of my pension any more than they have a right to control bank accounts or pensions or RRSPs of any Ontarian.
I’m asking you for three things:
Try to imagine yourself in my place. What would you say if the McGuinty Liberals just decided to take over your pension savings, take away your say, and expected you to ‘just trust’ them?
Be true to the oath you took when you were elected to represent the best interests of the people in your riding. Let Premier McGuinty, Finance Minister Dwight Duncan and his parliamentary assistant, Donna Cansfield, know that you will not support pension legislation that would take control over my retirement income.
Speak up for people who have no workplace pension plan and too little coming to them from CPP and OAS.
There is a problem with pensions – or the lack of them – in Ontario. But the problem is not with my pension plan.
I look forward to hearing about your commitment to press Premier McGuinty and Minister Duncan to fix problems, not create new ones.
c.c. OPSEU Pensions Campaign (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Dalton McGuinty, Premier of Ontario
Dwight Duncan, Minister of Finance
Donna Cansfield, Parliamentary Assistant to Finance Minister