Calgary councillors promise action on pension reform
CALGARY, AB: In light of upcoming pension discussions at city hall, the Canadian Taxpayers Federation released a list of councillors who promised to place new city employees, and council members, in a less costly pension plan. Councillors who promised to support pension reform include:
- Sean Chu;
- George Chahal;
- Jeff Davison (indicated support for council reform);
- Jeromy Farkas (indicated support for closing the compensation gap with private sector), and;
- Shane Keating.
Farkas is bringing forward a motion to cut the mayor’s second pension and shrink benefits for council.
“The current pension system at the city is costly and unfair for Calgary taxpayers,” said Franco Terrazzano, Alberta Director for the CTF. “A number of councillors promised to work on pension reform when they were campaigning for votes and this is their chance to keep that promise. When the pension motion comes to the floor on Monday, it should have a lot of support.”
Leading up to the 2017 municipal election, the Canadian Taxpayers Federation asked each candidate whether they would introduce or support a motion to place new city employees, and council members, in a less costly pension plan (defined contribution). Five councillors indicated they would support pension reform.
In 2018, the Canadian Taxpayers Federation released a report that shows Calgary council pensions cost taxpayers more than Edmonton, Vancouver and Ottawa combined between 2007 and 2016. Calgary’s mayor is the only mayor of a major Canadian city that is eligible for two pensions.
Defined benefit workplace pension plans are scarcely available outside of government. According to the Fraser Institute, 76 per cent of Albertans outside of government are not covered by a workplace pension at all. Of those that are, only 30 per cent are covered by defined benefit pension plan.
“Taxpayers expect action on council pension reform immediately, not down the road,” said Terrazzano. “The current proposal to reform council’s pension is more respectful to taxpayers and still provides generous benefits for council members. Given the current situation in Calgary, the only reason council members wouldn’t support this motion is because of their own greed.”
You can find the results of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation’s 2017 municipal election survey here.