UCP QUIETLY REMOVE TEACHERS CONTROL OVER PENSIONS
EDMONTON – Jason Kenney and the UCP have quietly gone back on their promise to teachers, that teachers would maintain control over their pension funds.
On December 23, 2020, the UCP signed a Ministerial Order imposing an investment management agreement (IMA) giving the under-performing Crown corporation, AIMCo, a veto over anything the Alberta Teachers’ Retirement Fund Board instructs it to do with pension funds.
This comes after Bill 22, the Reform of Agencies, Boards and Commissions and Government Enterprises Act that was passed in November 2019, which required ATRF to use AIMCo as its exclusive investment manager. This bill was introduced without consultation with teachers or with ATRF. Many teachers expressed their outrage and surprise over the bill, but the UCP reassured them that the ATRF would still retain control over its own investment decisions.
The ATRF was informed about the order on January 4, 2021, twelve days after it was signed. This Ministerial Order does not appear to be available anywhere on the government’s website.
“This is the UCP ripping up their contract with doctors all over again,” said Alberta NDP Critic for Labour & Immigration, Christina Gray. “They used the cover of the pandemic to sign the order and waited until the day that teachers were swamped with the return of students to online learning to mention they were giving coercive control of their pensions to AIMCo.”
Alberta NDP Finance Critic, Shannon Phillips, introduced a private members bill in December 2020 to protect Albertans retirement savings. If successfully passed, the bill will remove the ability of the Finance Minister to issue investment directives to AIMCo and give each public pension plan, like ATRF, a seat on the AIMCo board.
“The UCP have repeatedly disrespected teachers and their hard earned pensions since they were elected.” said Gray. “Throughout debate on Bill 22, the UCP promised ATRF would control investment policy. Once again they lied. “
The deadline established in the UCP’s Bill 22 and the IMA would see the management of all assets to be completely transferred by December 31, 2021.