Pension Life - Summer 2020

Going strong

Going strong - image

80 years of sustainability

For the past year, we’ve celebrated the plan’s sustainability and long life. For 80 years strong, the plan has been providing a secure retirement income for hundreds of thousands of members. While COVID-19 continues to affect the world, you can have confidence that your pension will be there when you need it. Your pension payments will be paid on time, today and into the future.

Your plan is also well positioned to withstand the turmoil in the financial markets and the slowing global economy. The plan’s investments are broadly diversified. The plan’s investment management agent, British Columbia Investment Management Corporation, had anticipated a shift in the market and the Municipal Pension Board of Trustees (board) remains dedicated to a disciplined, long-term approach.

Temporary premium reduction for group benefits

Many of our retired members are part of the plan’s post-retirement group benefits (PRGB) program. We are aware that, due to COVID-19, you have not been able to access your full benefits, so we have two actions in response.

  • Pacific Blue Cross will apply a temporary 75 per cent reduction in dental premiums for three months.
  • The board has approved a temporary 8 per cent reduction in extended health care premiums for three months.

The reduced premiums will be applied to your July, August and September pension payments. This will be automatic; you do not need to take any action to receive the reduced premiums.

Your input to the group benefits review

The board has been doing a comprehensive review of PRGB. We know these benefits are important to you, and that’s why one of our priorities is to provide access to group benefits. We regularly review the program as part of good governance, but this is different. We promised a review of the dental program after two years of experience with the changes made in 2017. We started the review last year and will receive our final report around the time you read this.

Alongside our benefits experts’ technical review of the program, we invited members to tell us what’s most important to them when they think about group benefits. We are grateful that more than 4,000 of you participated in our survey. You’ve provided important insights about the program.

We realize there has been a lot of uncertainty this year. One thing you don’t need to worry about is your pension—the plan’s funding is secure. We know this because at least every three years, an independent actuary performs a valuation. The last valuation found the plan is 105.1 per cent funded on the basis that current contributions continue.