We have been very busy as an organization since the last time I sent you an update.
Fair Pensions For All is now formally a not-for-profit organization dedicated to pension reform through advocacy. It is incorporated and we have a Board of Directors and an Advisory Board to guide us into the future.
I am very proud of the team of people who have agreed to aid in this important endeavor.
The journey started for me when I saw that private sector companies were having problems with what are known as “legacy costs”, mainly in the form of pensions. It occurred to me that if companies such as Stelco, Dofasco, Air Canada, GM, and Nortel were having pension problems, then public sector pensions must be in the same shape.
Public sector pensions are much more lucrative and generous than anything found in the private sector and sure enough they are in crisis. The concern for taxpayers is that politicians act as if there is a bottomless pit of tax dollars to pay for these pensions.
Today we have pension apartheid in Canada as a typical public sector employee or politician will retire with a pension worth more than $1 million. The typical Canadian reaches age 65 with an total pension account of only $60,000.
The gap between the haves and the have nots has increased dramatically since the market collapse of 2008. Most Canadians have seen their RRSP and their investments lose significant amounts while public sector pensions continue to be guaranteed 7% returns funded by the taxpayer. As a result public sector pensions are now short over $300 billion. If changes are not made, this shortfall will be paid for by all of us through increased taxes and reduced services!
We cannot continue to ignore the growing inequality in our retirement system. This same scenario is occurring across the Western World. The events in Greece for example, should cause all of us alarm. Cities in the US are now facing bankruptcy over legacy costs, and Canada is just a step behind.
Our job at Fair Pensions For All is to bring this issue to the forefront of every political discussion. Most Canadians are blissfully unaware that our system in horribly broken, and that they are personally liable for the mistakes made by previous governments.
Without you changes will not happen. Thanks for being part of our organization.