Current News

Cost of Living Adjustment

by Owen Corcoran, BCRTA Past President This article first appeared in the BCRTA Spring 2005 edition of Postscript and is published here with the permission of Owen Cocoran. Great news! You are to receive a 1.8% COLA [Cost-of-Living Adjustment] to your pension this year. If you are fortunate enough to receive a $45,000.00 p.a. stipend this works out to an increase of $810.00 annually, before tax – and any claw back on your Old Age Pension and escalation in your Pharmacare deductible. Don’t get me wrong! I consider the 1.8% COLA a reasonable increase, especially when one considers what our... Read More

Johnson Inc. Report on Healthcare

A lot of good information is available in reports on the national health scene prepared by Johnson for the RTO/ERO. See them below: November 2012 February 2013 March 2013 August 2013 January 2014 June 2014 July 2014 December 2014 February 2015 March 2015

Pension Funds

They are good for the economy! See several articles (click on the Articles button on the left) for information on an important study of Canada’s ten largest public pension funds. Also added are articles on political dangers to pension plans, ways to support CPP, and why Defined Benefit Plans are better than Defined Contribution Plans.

Seniors Vote

Seniors Vote is a collaboration of seniors, retirees, professional and advocacy groups are raising common concerns of older Canadians – financial security in retirement and healthcare reform. Their recommendations for the upcoming federal budget and priority issues for the 2015 federal election are HERE.

Add your voice to the call for a National Seniors Strategy

A project of the Canadian Medical Association, supported by ACER-CART. Add your voice to the call for a National Seniors Strategy. By doing so, you will be part of the movement that will help bring about the change we need. Find more information and participate at

PAPER: Court Challenge to Universal Health Care

This paper by Colleen Fuller looks at recent attempts by private sector advocates to challenge the right to universal public health care in the courts, with a focus on the current Charter challenge before the B.C. Supreme Court. It reviews national and international evidence on efforts to reduce wait times, and looks at the potential impact a successful bid could have on Canada’s most valued and cherished public program: health care. Download the paper in PDF format.

Cambie Corp. Goes to Court: The Legal Assault on Universal Health Care

April 2015 Colleen Fuller In November 2015, the British Columbia Supreme Court is scheduled to hear an unprecedented constitutional challenge to Canada’s public health care system. This is not the first or only Charter challenge to provincial and federal medicare laws. However, it poses the most serious threat to the principles of equality and universality that Canada’s public health care system is built upon. This paper takes a brief look at recent attempts by private sector advocates to challenge the right to universal public health care in the courts, with a focus on the current Charter challenge before the B.C.... Read More

Canada needs a national seniors’ strategy

January, 2015 Christopher Simpson, MD Morel Caissie Karima Velji All levels of government are at risk of being overwhelmed by Canada’s growing senior population and the health system’s inability to meet their needs. A national plan to deal with health care for seniors should be high on the agenda for Canada’s premiers when they meet in Ottawa on Jan. 30, 2015. As Canada’s premiers prepare to gather in Ottawa on Jan. 30 to meet as the Council of the Federation, we would like to remind them why a national seniors’ strategy must be high on their agenda. Read Full Article ... Read More

Pension Pulse: The Brutal Truth on DC Plans?

October 9th, 2014 Janet McFarland of the Globe and Mail Converting large public sector pension plans into defined contribution savings accounts for employees could cost governments up to 77 per cent more to provide the same retirement benefit for workers, a report argues. Read Full Article

Shifting Public Sector DB plans to DC: The experience so far and implications for Canada

October, 2014 Robert L. Brown, PhD.FCIA, FSA, ACAS Craig McInnes What would be the impacts and implications of converting many of Canada’s major public sector pension plans from their current arrangements into individually controlled defined contribution (DC) plans? This is a worthwhile question to ask because several provincial-level political parties and a few policy advocates have been calling for a wholesale conversion of public sector pension plans to DC arrangements. Read Full Article  

Hear My Voice

ACER-CART Directors at the 2013 and 2014 AGMs agreed to support the Canadian Teachers’ Federation “Hear My Voice” campaign. The campaign aims to shine a light on excessive government secrecy, corruption and waste, attacks on unions and the decline of democracy, while highlighting the messages that good government means listening to all voices and that teacher organizations speak for individual members.

CPP Expansion: A critical part of the solution

Prepared by the Pensions Committee FEI Canada Policy Forum May 1, 2014 Debate has intensified on how best to help Canadians plan for retirement with adequate retirement income, and rightly so. Approximately 60% of Canadians moving towards retirement are expected to lack savings to make ends meet during their retirement; about half are expected to still carry a mortgage1 . There is a fundamental issue that Canadians appear to be suppressing and that is the fact that a majority need to increase their actual savings along with developing a sufficient understanding and importance of commencing retirement savings early in one’s... Read More

Canadian pension plans face further restructuring, survey says

November 6th, 2013 Janet McFarland of the Globe and Mail Canadian pension plans have taken major steps to restructure because of ongoing funding problems – and a new survey suggests more change is coming. A survey of pension plans in Canada by consulting firm Aon Hewitt shows 71 per cent of pension plans in the public sector are considering requiring more contributions from members, and about one-third say they are considering reducing discretionary benefits or reducing inflation indexation. Read Full Article

Bold solutions needed to avert a pension crisis; Outgoing head of Teachers’ plan calls on Ottawa to improve defined benefit plans, CPP

November 4th, 2013 Ellen Roseman of the Toronto Star As Jim Leech gets ready to retire as head of Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, which hehas led since 2007, he wants to put his views on the record. Canada is facing a pension crisis, in his view. More than 60 per cent of employed Canadians don’t have a workplace pension and haven’t saved enough to support their lifestyles in retirement. If you’re in the $30,000-to-$100,000 income group, you may fall short when adding up your old age security and Canada PensionPlan benefits, plusregistered retirement savings plan and tax-free savings accounts. Canadians... Read More

Tories sharpen their wedge issues, eye cuts to public-service pensions

November 4, 2013 John Ibbitson of the Globe and Mail While everyone was parsing Stephen Harper’s speech and trying to eavesdrop on delegate gossip at the weekend’s Conservative policy convention, the real news centred on a pair of resolutions that could serve as an overture to a major confrontation between the government and public-service unions in 2014. Apart from being consonant with conservative values – and don’t underestimate that – confronting public servants by clawing back their benefits would serve as a powerful wedge issue leading up to an election. Read Full Article  

Pension Envy

August 26, 2013 John Lorinc Ontario teachers have the world’s best-performing retirement fund. Is it a model for the rest of us? Retirement came as a surprise—a pleasant surprise,” muses Vic Genova as he moves around the kitchen of his rambling Toronto home one chilly evening, preparing chai. “I knew it was coming, but I didn’t think about it.” He was having lunch in his school’s staff room one day when a colleague mentioned, almost in passing, that he would soon be eligible to start collecting his retirement savings, which are invested, managed, and disbursed by the mighty Ontario Teachers’... Read More

Retired Teachers of Canada Endorse Principles to Guide Health Care Transformation in Canada

August 12th, 2013 The Canadian Medical Association (CMA) today announced that the Canadian Association of Retired Teachers (ACER-CART), Canada’s pre-eminent retired teachers association, has endorsed the Principles to Guide Health Care Transformation in Canada. “By unanimously endorsing the Principles to Guide Health Care Transformation in Canada, the Canadian Association of Retired Teachers proudly lends its 121 000 members to the common struggle to preserve and enhance our medicare system,” said Dr. Thomas Gaskell, president of CART. Read Full Article