CANADA - A government plan to revise the management of the C$36bn Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System (OMERS) has been criticised for making the plan unaccountable to members.
The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Ontario has demanded that Dalton McGuinty's Liberal government make drastic amendments to the OMERS Bill 206.
Brian O'Keefe, secretary-treasurer of CUPE said: “There will be 40 directors on two boards, with neither board, nor an individual director, held accountable to anyone. CUPE cannot allow this to happen.”
OMERS is currently sponsored by the government of Ontario which, while it makes no direct contributions to the plan, appoints employer and employee members to the board to oversee administration and investments.
Bill 206 would transfer the government’s role to the “Sponsors Corporation” of employer and employee representatives, along similar lines to the structure of other major public sector plans such as the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan.
But CUPE have said the decision-making capacity of OMERS has been limited by the recent inclusion of a two-thirds voting majority requirement for the Sponsors' Corporation board, which it said made it “virtually impossible” to take decisions about members' benefits and contributions.
OMERS has said that as plan administrator it cannot enter into public disputes on these matters.“While Bill 206 is an important piece of legislation that will have an impact on the OMERS governance model, OMERS day-to-day focus will not change and OMERS pensions remain secure,” it said.
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