The Unifor ACL Bargaining Committee would like to clarify some key information after receiving a number of inquiries from members about the Defined Benefit Pension Plan changes announced by Bell this past year.
Currently members can retire with an unreduced pension if:
- The member is 55 years of age and has 25 years of service;
- The member is 60 years of age and has 15 years of service; or
- If the member has 30 years of service.
With this announcement, Bell is effectively withdrawing automatic consent for early unreduced pension. In other words they are attempting to eliminate these three early retirement options for our long serving members.
As you may be aware, from now until the end of the negotiations, the company is unable to make changes to the pension plan because the collective agreement clearly states under Article 28.01 b):
"The Company commits not to diminish the level of benefit provided by the Bell Aliant pension plans during the life of this Agreement."
While negotiations are ongoing, the current collective agreement remains in full force, with all provisions, including the early unreduced retirement clauses. These remain intact.
Your union Bargaining Committee stands firm. In order to secure a new contract, all early retirement options including unreduced provisions must be renewed.
The Bargaining Committee is hearing that, to avoid being affected by the employer’s proposed changes, some members are submitting requests to retire immediately. We would like to assure all members that we are vigorously defending your interests at the negotiating table. This defense, of course, includes protecting all early retirement options of the Defined Benefits Pension Plan. If a decision is required to be made about your retirement future from Bell, you will be provided ample time to make an informed choice.
If you have questions please contact Roch Leblanc, Unifor National Representative Roch.LeBlanc@unifor.org (902)455-1120 or your Unifor ACL Bargaining Committee
Your Bargaining Committee