Sometimes things are evident, just not put into context.
A good example is Defined Benefit versus Defined Contribution pension plans. This topic is at the heart of the impasse between the Co-op Refinery in Regina and its unionized workers. It’s also at the heart of the federal government’s rising deficit outlined in the fiscal update a few days ago.
It showed the deficit had grown by $7 billion, largely because of pension obligations. That’s code for the federal government’s defined benefit pension. They are largely unsustainable and government is about the organization left with any of these creatures.
Based on the rapid growth of the unfunded liability, it’s no wonder the private sector has all but dispensed with them and the Regina refinery dispute is just the latest example.
The only government that has done away with them isSaskatchewan. We turfed them in the 70’s. Yes, more than 40 years ago, because we had a finance minister named Wes Robbins who was expert in pensions andwarned if we didn’t – we’d have big problem 30 years later.
He sounds visionary today.