Judgment on the law 15: The cities might have to pay more than$ 300 Million to their retired employees

Jugement sur la loi 15: Les villes pourraient devoir verser plus de 300 M$ à leurs employés retraités

The municipalities that have ceased to index the pensions of their retirees, in the last few years, could be forced to pay more than$ 300 Million in compensation following the recent ruling which invalidated the provisions of the act 15.

This estimate comes from the actuaries hired by the Association of the retired staff of the City of Quebec (APRVQ).

They arrived at this figure by extrapolating the data contained in the report of Retired Quebec, in October, 2019, on the implementation of the Act to foster the financial health and sustainability of the schemes defined benefit pension plans in the municipal sector (law 15).

Central trade union consulted by The Newspaper and another actuary argued that this valuation of$ 300 Million, holds the road. Some even$ 350 Million. At this stage, however, it is extremely difficult to get a precise figure. The calculation is very complex, because each retirement plan is different and needs to be updated.

One thing is for certain, the invoice will ad salt to the larger cities such as Montreal, Quebec city, Laval and Longueuil, who count in their ranks more white-collar, blue-collar workers, executives, professionals, police officers and firefighters, so more retirees to compensate for losses incurred since January 1, 2017.

Appeal judgment

All this, however, is highly theoretical at this stage, since the judgment of Benedict Mill, which remains seized of the matter for the claims of pensioners – could be overturned by the Court of appeal or the supreme Court.

The canadian Union of the public service has already announced its intent to appeal to challenge other parts of the judgment that disadvantage employees, the assets of the municipalities. The battle in the courts is therefore far from being complete.

This is the reason why the City of Quebec did not want to venture on the slippery ground of estimates. The Union of municipalities of Quebec, for its part, has already expressed a need for several “weeks” to assess the impacts of the judgment, for its members.

Offsets on the ice

Gaston Verreault, who represents the retirees of the City of Quebec, welcomes the victory of all the pensioners of the province in the judgment of the superior Court, but he feared now that a procedure call “retards” folder and penalizes its members who are hoping for a refund. As this saga will not be completed, no compensation will be paid.

He hoped that the cities or the government will not contest the judge’s findings Mill on the indexation of pensions. Recall that the magistrate was given reason to retirees, declaring unconstitutional the provisions of the act, 15 that allow cities to unilaterally suspend the indexation of pensions.

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