CANADA - New Democrat member of Canadian Parliament John Rafferty tabled a bill which would grant ‘secured' status to pension funds during bankruptcy proceedings and restructuring.
Rafferty's bill would give underfunded pension plans priority over other creditors following any bankruptcy or restructuring process.
"Shoring up Canadians' retirement security is a top priority for New Democrats. But a full month after his Throne Speech committed to help workers on the brink of losing their pensions, Stephen Harper [Canadian prime minister] still hasn't acted," New Democrat leader Jack Layton said.
The bill was prompted by recent cases, such as the one of Nortel, where the company went into administration last year and the fate of its pensioners is still uncertain. (Global Pensions, March 12, 2010)
New Democrat Critic for Seniors and Pensions Wayne Marston said the problems faced by former Nortel workers were another prime example of why the pension security bills are necessary.
"Nortel made pension commitments to its people, and it should follow through on those commitments," Marston said. "The government must act to protect pensions, otherwise the taxpayer will end up picking up the tab for the social assistance that folks will apply for."
The office of the canadian prime minister did not immediately reply to an email seeking comment.
Coats' pension scheme members are not entitled to annual increases of 5%, the High Court has ruled in a rare instance of a court overturning a decision of The Pensions Ombudsman.
Trustees of the Airways Pension Scheme (APS) have been granted permission to use more than £1m of scheme assets to fund an appeal over discretionary increases.
Chancellor Philip Hammond is being pressed to tackle the impact of pensions allowances on the NHS' ability to recruit and retain staff.