The saga over the City of Regina employees’ pension plan is over after the final changes were unanimously approved by City Council Monday night.
The plan has been a problem for years, with workers wanting to keep the defined benefits, but the City saying it was just too expensive. Everything came to a head last summer when the City got word the plan was in danger of being axed by The Financial and Consumer Affairs Authority.
Mayor Michael Fougere spoke to the plan, saying its approval came with great satisfaction.
“This is a huge relief, I think, for everybody who has worked for the City, has a pension who was concerned about that, current workers for the City and the other employer groups, as well as the employee groups.”
He applauded the people who had worked on the plan, even recognizing some people by name.
“It has seemed for so long it was almost impossible to get this working properly. To have a sustainable fund that dealt with a proper governance structure, that we could make decisions and move forward. That we could deal with the unfunded liability. That we could provide a pension plan to the future, that the other plan was not sustainable,” said Fougere during the meeting.
The solution to the dispute was reached in principal in November 2014, but it took this long to get an actuarial evaluation, have the various outside employers ratify the plan, and get the legal documents squared away.
Changes to the plan include a new board created that will make changes to the plan easier in the future, the removal of the guaranteed cost of living allowance, removal of overtime from pensionable earnings, moving from the rule of 80 to 85 (age plus years of service), and a 60/40 sharing of the plan deficit between the employer and employees.