New Brunswick launches public sector pension review

Differences from private sector to be examined

The New Brunswick government has launched a review to ensure public sector pension plans are affordable, sustainable and have secure benefits.

"We need to ensure that public sector pension plans are managed as efficiently and transparently as possible and are reasonable for both the public service employees and New Brunswick taxpayers," said Finance Minister Blaine Higgs. "This review will include consultation with the public, including employees, contributing employers, union representatives and pensioners. The objective is to ensure the long-term financial viability of the plans and also to ensure we are following the best possible governance and management practices."

Issues to be considered during the review include:

•the differences between provincial public service pension benefits and retirement provisions and those offered by private sector employers, in the context of overall employee compensation

•the needs of the provincial public service to recruit and retain qualified employees with consideration given to competing employers

•the need to ensure future pension benefits are reasonable throughout the public service •how risk should be shared between the government and employees.

The review will be completed by the task force that is currently examining private sector pensions for the Department of Justice and Consumer Affairs.

"The fact that these experts have already been studying various pension plans and regulations in a New Brunswick context means they have already accumulated significant information and established key relationships with stakeholders," said Higgs. "This will allow them to conduct this review more efficiently than a newly appointed group."

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