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Letter to Premier Alward from Lorette Peters

Premier Alward;

It is with interest that I read and listen to all the government's feedback on the Shared Risk Pension Reform. We retirees feel we have been let down with this proposal. All of our "future" planning was done with the promise of a pension in our future.  

Remember it is our generation who had to pay double digit mortgage rate; we are the ones who accepted o% increases many times to help the provincial budget; we had little or no parental/maternity leave. When most of us retire, we have to pay for our own health insurance which is not cheap. 

I attended the session with Minister Higgs in Fredericton and was even more confused with the information given to us at the session. Some questions were not answered or answered only partially:

1. Is this proposal to help government's credit rating and then they can borrow more money for next election;

2. What is the cost for this task force? Where is money coming from?

3. Mr. Higgs commented that the pension contributions are down. Could this be because the Government is cutting positions in the public sector and then hiring contractors or outsourcing these responsibilities which may cost more?

4. When a provincial retiree turns 65, his provincial pension is reduced- have these reductions been taken into consideration when the new model was costed?

5. Why can't we see how calculations were made and with what data?

6. The new retirement age with no penalty is moving from 60 to 65. This change is being phased in over 40 years. Why can't the changes to the pension be phased in also? What money will you actually save with this change?

There are so many unknowns yet we are asked to "trust" us as this will help everyone. Sounds just like when they told me that I could count on a pension and some cost of living increase when I retired.

This letter is also being submitted to the NB Coalition of Retirees and the newspaper.

Looking forward to your replies to these concerns.

Lorette Peters