Territory unhappy with pension changes

Retiring Yukon government employees can expect to wait as long as five months to be paid their pensions.

Retiring Yukon government employees can expect to wait as long as five months to be paid their pensions.

That’s thanks to a federal plan to centralize the management of its pension program, which territorial government employees fall under.

The changes will also require Yukon government workers who seek pension-related information to directly contact the Public Service Pension Centre, rather than depend on territorial staff to do this for them.

Elaine Taylor, minister responsible for the Public Service Commission, said November 2 she is “making overtures to the government of Canada” to express her reservations with the changes.

Yukon officials are collaborating with their counterparts in the Northwest Territories and Nunavut to “make a joint representation to Canada on this very important issue,” she said.

“The government certainly does not support any move that would dilute the integrity of our public-sector pensions, including the delivery of pension services that would result in longer wait times as well as less access to pension services information,” said Taylor.

The Liberals’ Eric Fairclough asked Taylor why she hadn’t travelled to Ottawa to petition the government directly.

Because the Liberals won’t let her, she said. Past attempts to “pair” with Liberals – an agreement in which an opposition member agrees to abstain from voting while a government member is away – have been rejected, said Taylor.

“Any time the member opposite wants to pair with me, you bet, I’ll be very pleased to go to Ottawa,” she said.

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