CMG members at TVO to vote on the new pension plan
The CMG Branch Executive and our staff representatives were able to hear a presentation by the Ontario Pension Board officers to TVO’s union and non-union staff on Monday, June 19. We were gratified to learn that TVO is planning to make this move to ensure comparable compensation to all of the different union members and non-union staff and management. This move will shift employees represented by CMG into a stable and well-funded, defined-benefit plan administered by the Ontario Pension Board, something we’ve been asking for for a long time. The new pension plan is guaranteed by the Government of Ontario.
While we do have some concerns about the cost of the member contributions to this plan, we found that the explanation for these higher costs was very reasonable and ensures maximum benefit to members when they start drawing the pension. This pension fund has healthy solvency ratios. It represents a total of $25 billion dollars in funds and is comprised of everyone in the Ontario Public Service who is not OPSEU, so it’s a perfect fit for all of our members. The new pension will provide a greater, more secure retirement benefit to individual members than our current Defined Contribution pension plan.
There will be a mechanism to buy-back service, up to the number of years that you have already accrued. Each individual will have to look at their specific calculation as the cost of buying back a year of service will be based on your actuarial profile, but you will be entitled to use some or all of your existing Defined Contribution funds to do so. Additionally, other monies, including funds from other retirement investments you may have could be used to buy back past service. We were told that, on average, the cost of buying back a year of service is approximately $10,000. That number could be lower for younger employees and will certainly be higher for those closer to retirement age. So, this figure cannot be seen as any more than a very rough guide.
The new plan also offers, through its website, financial literacy education to help members understand their transition into retirement. It has online tools to plan for your retirement based on your current financial situation. As well, Certified Financial Planners are on staff with OPB to assist you in making the best decisions when it comes time to exit the workplace, look at your financial situation, and move into retirement.
Electronic vote June 23-26
The CMG Branch Executive will hold an electronic vote on Friday, June 23 through to Monday, June 26 so that CMG members may indicate acceptance/rejection of this plan to move to the defined-benefit pension plan under the Ontario Pension Board.
The Branch Executive is unanimously recommending that CMG members accept TVO’s proposal to convert its existing pension plans to the Ontario Pension Board. We will follow this email with instructions about when and how to vote. If you recall from our Collective Agreement ratification vote, the same process will be utilized.
We urge you to attend all future information sessions with regard to this move, and also to seek out the advice of a financial planner to discuss your personal options and how this change to a healthy DB pension plan will enhance your compensation package.
CMG Branch Executive at TVO
Gregg Thurlbeck, President
Mark Brosens, Vice President
Mike Fitzgerald, Treasurer
Sandra Gionas, Secretary
Christine Lee, Pension Management Committee Rep
Terri Monture, CMG Staff Rep
Matt Douglas, CMG Staff Rep