TORONTO – After years of fighting for autonomy in the governance of the OMERS pension plan, hundreds of thousands of OMERS retirees and plan members “will finally have wrested control of their pension plan from the bureaucrats now being investigated by FSCO and sued in the courts by CUPE,” says Sid Ryan, the Ontario president of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE).
Legislation introduced today by the provincial Liberals is on course to extend governance autonomy to the plan stakeholders, which includes CUPE and other labour unions that are members of the OMERS Coalition for Pension Fairness. CUPE, the largest union stakeholder, represents over 44 per cent of the OMERS plan members and retirees.
Although Ryan categorizes the move to autonomy for OMERS as positive, he is critical of the governance model outlined in the Bill.
The proposed model, says Ryan, “was soundly rejected by 85 per cent of the active plan members in 2002. We are sorely disappointed that the proposed legislation does not give us the kind of autonomy we are seeking. It is not the governance model we are prepared to support.”
CUPE and the OMERS coalition will be mobilizing to ensure the new governance model will, in fact, give plan members and retirees a real say on how their money is invested and how surpluses are used to improve benefits for retirees.
“The government is wrong to attempt to predetermine the outcome of what the new governance model should look like. The stakeholders — the unions representing plan members and retirees and the employer groups — should be the ones to decide what governance model should be adopted,” says Ryan.
For more information, please contact:
Sid Ryan, President, CUPE Ontario, 416-209-0066 (cell)
Stella Yeadon, CUPE Communications, 416-578-8774 (cell)