The board of the Local Authorities Pension Plan (LAPP) has made its report to the Minister of Finance regarding the future of the plan.
The report says the plan is sustainable as a defined benefit plan, without making changes to ‘core’ pension benefits. The report also indicates that the board agrees the plan can be sustainable without taking away benefits already accrued by plan members.
While this sounds encouraging, plan members should know that the LAPP defines ‘core’ benefits very narrowly. And the promise to protect existing benefits, while reassuring to current retirees, does nothing to comfort plan members still in the workplace. Retirement security is an issue for all workers, not just those who are already retired.
The board has also indicated it is reluctant to increase contribution rates beyond 25% of salary.
As we’ve indicated in the past, CUPE is open to plan changes to support sustainability, if they are needed, and if members have a full say in those changes the largest public sector plans in other provinces tend to have joint trustee structures meaning both members and employers have an equal say in how the plan is governed, along with an equal responsibility to keep the plan financially healthy. In Alberta, the Minister of Finance can make changes to LAPP. Members have almost no formal role.
So it is a small, but positive step that the LAPP board has agreed to look at a number of issues going forward, including governance changes that would support a jointly trusteed plan.
Finally, we also take it as a positive sign that the LAPP has indicated that the results from its highly flawed survey of members will not be received by the board, and will be permanently set aside.
Contact: Lou Arab, Communications Representative