COLUMN: Lacombe-Ponoka MLA Ron Orr on Bill 22

‘I’d like to take this opportunity to explain what actually happened’

Some teachers have been very concerned about changes to the Alberta Teachers’ Retirement Fund (ATRF). Some have written to my office with some very disrespectful emails – which I will not repeat – while others came to my office to discuss this in person and I thank them.

I’d like to take this opportunity to explain what actually happened.

Bill 22 is a budget implementation act; a budget meant to get Alberta’s spending under control. The bill mandates the ATRF to use the Alberta Investment Management Corporation (AIMCo) as its investment manager.

The teachers’ union has been misrepresenting this by claiming that government had taken over the teachers’ pensions. In reality the change applies only to the professional investment managing partner for the funds. The teachers still retain 100% ownership of the funds and through their board will have full governance and oversight of their plan and investments.

Further, they have a 100% defined benefit plan. For those that don’t know, this means that every teacher will get paid a government guaranteed pension until the day they die; no matter if the pension plan performs well or not.

Their union told them that the ATRF managers had higher returns than AIMCO.

That is very debatable; it only appears this way because the ATRF reports on a different year-end than AIMCo. Their returns are actually quite comparable, and AIMCo often out-performs the ATRF.

Albertans’ elected us to get our spending under control and balance a runaway budget.

Moving the ATRF under the investment management of AIMCo is estimated to save $41 million in administration costs annually.

Savings like this are in all Albertans’ interests. The $20 million saved by teachers will reduce their contribution rates, and the $20 million saved by government, as the employer, will be freed to fund Education more completely (don’t teachers care about that?).

Are teachers being singled out? No, every other public sector pension in Alberta has AIMCo as an investment management partner. All these plans are doing very well and so will the teachers’. Regardless, teachers still have a guaranteed plan, for life, no matter who manages it.

This change is part of our government’s efforts to manage our finances more efficiently and effectively – and this move does just that.

-Submitted by Lacombe-Ponoka MLA Ron Orr

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

City of Lacombe to spend $15,000 over five years on stocking Len Thompson Pond

Popularity of facility means further stocking necessary

City of Lacombe council approves 2020 residential and commercial utility rates

Average household will see a utility bill increase of approximately $1.14 a month over last year

City prioritizes 2020 Lacombe trail projects

Cancelled projects will remain part of City’s Trail Plan

Lacombe Athletes Earn Bid to Cheerleading World Championships

Annika McDonald, Piper Fafard and Cheyenne Bowman part of first ever Red Deer at World’s Competition

AA Lacombe Gens’ command Game 1 in NCHL playoffs with 2-1 win

Game 2 against Daysland coming Feb. 1 to Gary Moe Auto Group Sportsplex

Feds preparing plane to fly Canadians out of Wuhan, once China gives OK

160 Canadians have asked for help to leave province at centre of coronavirus outbreak

60% of Canadian workers would take a pay cut for better mental health support: survey

Survey found 77% of workers would leave for better wellness initiatives

Review of Alberta school curriculum urges focus on basic learning, standardized tests

Panel also recommends social studies include importance of natural resources to province’s economy

Air Canada cancels select flights to China as coronavirus spreads

Canada’s largest airline runs 33 flights a week to China

Canadians seek way out of Wuhan as coronavirus continues to spread

The Chinese government has cut off access to Wuhan and 16 other cities

Landowner hearings begin for Trans Mountain expansion in Alberta

Detailed route talks start in Spruce Grove, in B.C. communities soon

UPDATE: Sylvan Lake RCMP say missing female located

19-year-old Alyssa Manderville was last seen in Blackfalds on Jan. 26

Ryan Jake Applegarth, 27, charged with First Degree Murder

RCMP Major Crimes Unit seeking male wanted on first degree murder charge

Watch out for scams, clickbait in the wake of Kobe Bryant’s death: Better Business Bureau

Kobe Bryant and his daughter were killed in a helicopter crash near Los Angeles

Most Read