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(Halifax) The Nova Scotia Highway Workers Union (CUPE Local 1867) says todays announcement of a $587-million unfunded liability in the provinces second largest public sector pension plan is bad news for public servants.

Local 1867 President Gareth Drinnan says, CUPE is deeply disturbed to learn that the Public Service Superannuation Plan (PSSP) is no longer being managed so that pensions promised to retirees and current plan members are secure.

With today’s announcement of a $587 million unfunded liability, it has become clear that the Government has been sleepwalking into a financial disaster with our pensions at stake, says Drinnan.

CUPE Pensions Researcher Kevin Skerrett says, For several years, the government has known that the contributions flowing into the plan have not been sufficient to pay for the pension being earned. The terrible performance of financial markets has made a bad situation much worse - but the government has known this and has continued to do nothing.

Says Skerrett, It is our view that the government has not taken its responsibility for funding this plan seriously enough. There should be an immediate commencement of a special contribution by the government that will be sufficient to pay off this funding deficiency within 15 years.

Adds Drinnan, Since the government retains the power to unilaterally reduce plan benefits or increase our members’ contribution rates, the responsibility for this liability rests with the Province, and we fully expect our contribution rates and benefit levels to remain as they currently are.

For information:
Gareth Drinnan, President, CUPE Local 1867 - (902) 832-1867 (o) - (902) 295-2241 (h)
John McCracken, CUPE Communications Representative - (902) 455-4180 (o)