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Beware of retroactive pension reform - Glen Wilson

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR, Aug 2 2013 Telegraph Journal

I see the word entitlement used in a negative way in articles about public servants and their pension contract with government. Entitlement means to give a right. The government has a contract with its active and retired employees. That contract gives employees certain rights including the right to a pension - a pension which they were required to pay into during their years of work.

Retired public servants, served their time, fulfilled their obligations under the contract and earned their pensions. They planned their retirements based on their contract. Now that they are retired and rely on their pension income, government is changing the rules! There is no fairness in that and government has no right to take back the right after the fact! Rules may be changed for the future but imposing new rules to the past is like changing history. It can't be done and it is wrong.

The government has put public servants in an uncertain position with its poorly planned pension reform and they must stand up to protect their pension contract.

With the changes the government is planning, public servants are being asked to shoulder a greater burden to fix the mismanagement of successive governments more than any other segment of the population.

As taxpayers, they like other New Brunswickers are paying higher income taxes, higher property taxes, and higher government fees for everything. There is no equity for pensioners in the government's shared-risk pension plan.

If the government can apply new rules to retirees, it can impose new rules on any contract. New Brunswickers beware!