Report vindicates Albertans who rallied against Redford’s attack
on public sector pensions
Edmonton – Albertans can add one more item to the long list of things that Alison Redford was wrong about.
This summer, Alberta’s largest pension plan – the Local Authorities Pension Plan (LAPP), which provides pension coverage to nearly 237,612 working and retired Albertans – released figures showing that it is now close to being fully funded.
According to the LAPP’s latest 2014 Audited Financial Statements, the plan now has 93 per cent of the funds necessary to cover its long-term obligations – up dramatically from 85 per cent two years ago.
“Alison Redford tried to score cheap political points by going after the retirement savings of thousands and thousands of Albertans,” said Alberta Federation of Labour president Gil McGowan, who led the coalition that rallied to defend Alberta’s public sector pension plans.
At the time, Redford and her Finance Minister, Doug Horner, said the plans were unsustainable. We countered by pointing out that they were just recovering from the global recession of 2008 and that plans were in place to restore the pensions to good health. In short, they screamed ‘panic’ while we counselled patience. What this report shows is that we were right and they were wrong.”
Former premier Jim Prentice eventually backed away from Redford’s attack on public sector pensions in the face of unprecedented public protest and after being presented with evidence from a coalition of unions that the plans were, in fact, well on the way to recovery without cuts to benefits.
“The next time right-wing fear mongers try to panic Albertans into making unjustified concessions and swallowing unnecessary cuts, I hope we all remember how wrong they were when they claimed our pensions were insolvent,” McGowan said.