Author Topic: Canadian Forces Superannuation -Reduction of CPP bridge benefit at Age 65  (Read 36979 times)

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Offline Jim_Steed

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Stoffer, M.P.
Sackville-Eastem Shore
51 Cobequid Road Lower Sackville, N.S.
B4C 2Nl

February 21,2005

Dear Sir:

Subject: Canadian Forces Superannuation Benefits-Reduction at Age 65

This letter is written specifically to seek your support with regards to terminating the reduction formula that is applied to retired Canadian Forces members receiving a Superannuation at age 65.

On Jan 1, 1966 The Canadian Pension Plan was introduced. Unfortunately Members of the Canadian Forces were not given any choices of participation with regards to the reduction format applied at age 65. The large surplus the Canada Pension Plan has accumulated certainly indicates that premiums, with proper investment are sufficient to maintain the plan payout policy.

Compared to other Government Agencies, Military personnel are not compensated for extra hours of employment to satisfy daily Military requirements. Military Operational requirements often leads to extended family separation and crushes the member's opportunity of additional employment that creates extra funds for their family. Upon retirement our members are faced with uncontrollable amount of increases. Annual cost, such as increase of taxes on our homes, heating oil, electricity, gasoline and food continues to increase faster than our indexing revenues.

At age 65 retired members of the Canadian Forces deserve an exemption to the claw back procedures that are being applied to our Superannuation. When we arrive in our Golden Years, we should be given the financial dignity of enjoying our remaining years of family life to the fullest.

I submit this request for your continual and full support of Veterans. While celebrating the year of the Veterans, it would be a unique and most appropriate time for the Government of Canada to acknowledge the special and most valuable services Veterans continue to provide to our great Country by terminating this unfair claw back to our pensions. Give us the opportunity to live our remaining Golden Years with financial dignity.

Respectfully Your,
John H. Labelle
864-2456
florencejohn@ns.sympatico.ca



HOUSE OF COMMONS

Peter Stoffer. M.P. Sackville â “ Eastern Shore
    April 28. 2005

Mr. John Labelle 27 Dresden Court Lower Sackville, NS B4C 3X 1

Dear Mr. Labelle,

Thank you for your letter outlining your concerns with the pension claw back that affects retired or disabled Canadian Forces members receiving a Superannuation annuity and the Canadian Pension Plan.

I would like the federal government to review its policy on adjusting and reducing the Canadian Forces Superannuation Act (CFSA) annuity. In the next few months, I will be consulting with the legislative branch of the House of Commons to explore ways we can propose an end to the claw back.

Thank you again for raising this very important issue. I agree that in this Year of the Veteran, it would be a very appropriate time for the federal government to eliminate this policy.

Sincerely
Peter Stoffer, MP
Sackville-Eastem Shore
PS/hb Past and present members of the Canadian forces


April 29,2005

Dear friends;

Subject: Claw back to the Canadian Forces Superannuation annuity at age 65

1. Initiatives are being attempted to terminate the claw back procedures that are being applied to our CFS pension at age 65. This situation applies to all Canadian Forces personnel who are receiving a Military Annuity. This position will also apply to all serving members when they retire and receive an annuity.

2. Please read all enclosures carefully. As per the enclosed attachment we have received the support of Mr. Peter Stoffer, M.P. NDP Member of Parliament. Now the Torch is passed on to us. You can assist by responding to the following information ASAP.
A. Preferably send an e-mail with your telephone number to Mr. Peter Stoffer, M.P. by adding your name to the list stating that you fully support all initiatives that are being attempted in order to terminate the claw back procedures that are being applied to our CFS pension at age 65.

E-mail: stoffp1@parl.gc.ca

B. We further request that you forward this e-mail with all attachments to all your Military friends. Together we must distribute this initiative to all retired and serving Military personnel across Canada. It is important that we demonstrate solidarity.

3. The Leadership and Support of Senior Officers is requested. We are attempting to get other organizations to support us. Remember that we can only succeed if all members support this initiative. Numbers on the nominal list is what counts.

4. My pension reduction at age 65 was 480.56 per month. What will your deduction be at age 65????

Thank you friends God Speed

John H. Labelle CPO 1 (ret)
E-mail: Florencejohn@ns.sympatico.ca

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« Last Edit: May 06, 2017, 20:15:14 by kratz »
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Offline Redsled

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Canadian Forces Pension
« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2005, 19:15:26 »
Canadian Forces Superannuation Benefits Reduction

I Received this from several sources and as it effects a great many of us I think it is well worth reading ,passing on and taking action and maybe even talking to your local MP about the crappy treatment afforded to our brave men and women who protect and fought for our freedoms.


Letter is listed in post #1 above and a readable format.  Harris - MILNET Staff
« Last Edit: April 10, 2015, 11:21:53 by Harris »
& Then ?

Offline mbhabfan

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Re: Canadian Forces Pension
« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2005, 19:21:40 »
so I am currently 31 and just in the recruiting process.  Does this mean that after I turn in my 25 years of service I will be 56.  Only nine years after when I turn 65 my forces pension would be reduced?  Am I reading this correctly?

Offline Redsled

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Re: Canadian Forces Pension
« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2005, 21:20:30 »
Yes you are.
Do to the narrow minded people up top in goverment, we get nailed when we get indexed.
My point is we pay or paid into the pension for however many years we should recieve the whole amount reguardless of age. Seems unfair dosen't it ?
& To make things worse we pay into UI all our time  in the CF & we can not collect it when we get out. Unless you are a female on Mat leave or use a few tricks with employment after you get out.
Not so much that I'm gripping but we spend so much time away from home & family that it would be nice not to have these things going on & having a bit more money coming in to home always makes things easier.   
& Then ?

Offline mbhabfan

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Re: Canadian Forces Pension
« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2005, 21:49:29 »
as an older recruit candidate this disturbs me.  I will have paid into the plan for 25 years and only get 9 years of pension.....going to make me think a bit here.

Offline Gunner

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Re: Canadian Forces Pension
« Reply #5 on: June 23, 2005, 22:57:03 »
as an older recruit candidate this disturbs me.   I will have paid into the plan for 25 years and only get 9 years of pension.....going to make me think a bit here.

mbhabfan, before you get your knickers in aknot and make a hasty (and bad) decision, make sure you educate yourself with something more reputable than comments made on a website.

Quote
SECTION B - COORDINATION OF CPP/QPP AND PENSION - The CPP came into effect on January 1, 1966, and is applicable to all Canadians engaged in employment. The plan provides a maximum annual retirement benefit that is equal to 25 percent of the average of the Yearly Maximum Pensionable Earnings. The contribution rates under the federal pension plans were coordinated with those under the CPP, rather than added to them (see page 12).
\\

http://www.admfincs.forces.gc.ca/pension/handbook_e.asp?sel=null

We, CF members, could receive the full CPP and continue our full pension if the plan was designed that way. It is not (and I'm unsure if this is common amongst pension plans or is characteristic of our own) and our pension contributions reflect this.  There is no such thing as a free lunch and if you are willing to pay more into your pension, maybe this can be changed.

Most outsiders (and insiders) consider the military pension plan to be very lucrative.  You are only 31 years old and in the space of 25 years, you are going to receive a 50% pension based on the best five years of a very good salary.  I don't think you are going to be eating cat food when you are 75.
Had a wonderful ~26 years in the military and still miss it.

Offline Gunner

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Re: Canadian Forces Pension
« Reply #6 on: June 23, 2005, 23:12:01 »
More about CPP and why our pensions are reduced.

http://www.admfincs.forces.gc.ca/pension/cpp_qpp_e.asp?sel=cpp

Canada and Quebec Pension Plans

When the Canadian Forces Superannuation Act and Canada/Quebec Pension Plan were integrated in 1966, the Canadian Forces Superannuation Act contributions and resulting benefits were adjusted accordingly. At that time, the benefits of the Canada/Quebec Pension Plan became available to the participants under the Canadian Forces Superannuation Act without any increase in their monthly pension contributions. In effect, the contribution amount remains the same, but a portion is used to pay for modified coverage under the Canadain Forces Superannuation Act. As a result, all the annuities payable under the Act are reduced once the contributor becomes eligible to receive Canada/Quebec Pension Plan benefits at age 65, or earlier upon receipt of Canada Pension Plan disability benefits. In essence, the resulting reduction in contributions to the Canadian Forces Superannuation Account while a member was serving necessitated a corresponding adjustment to the benefits, such as annuities, that this fund could support.

The authority for this reduction, and the formula to determine the amount of reduction, are contained in sub-section 15(2) of the Canadain Forces Superannuation Act. In accordance with the formula, the basic Canadian Forces Superannuation Act pension will be reduced the month following the member's 65th birthday. When a pensioner opts for an earlier retirement pension from the Canada/ Quebec Pension Plan, he therefore draws a reduced Canada/Quebec Pension Plan pension, with no impact on his other federal pensions. However, when the pensioner reaches the age of 65 his federal pension must be reduced as explained above.

This reduction also causes a diminution of the benefit received for indexation. The Canadian Forces Superannuation Act annuities are indexed to reflect the increase in the cost-of-living as provided for under Part III of the Canadian Forces Superannuation Act, Supplementary Benefits. As the Supplementary Benefit is calculated as a percentage of the basic annuity entitlement, it is also necessary to recalculate the supplementary benefit payable based on the reduced basic annuity.
Had a wonderful ~26 years in the military and still miss it.

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Re: Canadian Forces Pension
« Reply #7 on: June 24, 2005, 11:09:38 »
I work for the Ontario govt and our pension is the same way. The day I hit 60 I walk and will make xxxxx dollars per month, but when I hit 65 and the CPP kicks in, my pension drops by the same amount.
 Both seem better than most plans where you retire at 65.
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Offline Canadian Sig

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Re: Canadian Forces Pension
« Reply #8 on: June 24, 2005, 16:13:12 »
My wife, who is also a member, asked an interesting question; are our Members of Parliment's pensions affected in the same way? Will Mr. Chretiens pension go down the same amount as his CPP?
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Offline Gunner

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Re: Canadian Forces Pension
« Reply #9 on: June 24, 2005, 19:34:43 »
My wife, who is also a member, asked an interesting question; are our Members of Parliment's pensions affected in the same way? Will Mr. Chretiens pension go down the same amount as his CPP?

Now that you have this knowledge, I expect you will ask your candidate for Parliament in the next election what his stand on this is.  Please post your answer afterwards.
Had a wonderful ~26 years in the military and still miss it.

Offline Gunner

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Re: Canadian Forces Superannuation Benefits-Reduction at Age 65
« Reply #10 on: June 25, 2005, 18:00:14 »
If you are interested or concerned about this topic, you can tune in to Peter Warren tomorrow when he speak with "MP Peter Stoffer on how the feds are screwing our Canadian soldiers, sailors and airmen out of their rightful pensions."  Peter Warren Broadcasts on the Chorus radio network between 1200-1500 hrs on Saturday and Sunday.  You can listen via the internet through:

630 Ched in Edmonton http://www.630ched.com/
 
980 CKNW in Vancouver http://www.cknw.com/  CKNW has a wonderful audio vault in case you aren't available tomorrow afternoon or would like to hear it after the program is completed. 

I expect it will only be a short 10-15 minute segment to state what his position is.  If you don't know, Petter Stoffer is the NDP Veterans Affairs critic and his biography (federal) is located here:

http://www.parl.gc.ca/information/about/people/key/bio.asp?lang=E&query=9158&s=M
Had a wonderful ~26 years in the military and still miss it.

Offline Redsled

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Re: Canadian Forces Superannuation Benefits-Reduction at Age 65
« Reply #11 on: June 26, 2005, 09:09:23 »
Well I'm glad I posted this. & I wasn't blasted.
My whole point is we do so much for our country. & we sometimes pay a big price; most of us have already in some form or other.
Any type of compensation?
We are not looking for a hand out just leave our pensions alone. Because afterwards when we are doing our golden year things, the cost of everything is always going up. There are a lot of pay issues that can be sorted out. Why not take care of the ones that effect all the members that are in or where in.
Give some dignity back to the troops & their families when ever possible.
Not only is this the year of the veteran. This is also a big year for the military as well. We on the whole don't ask for much. We serve our country everyday & everywhere. Gone are the days of some one watching out for you. You have to be good at everything from your own admin to ordering your kit now. & the big CYA is now in effect system wide. (Cover Ye A--).
Any way enough on this topic.
Hopefully this will get it's due reading & hopefully the MP's In Ottawa during all that banter will cut us some slack & vote in favour of the Troops past & present.       

 
& Then ?

Offline Gunner

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Re: Canadian Forces Superannuation Benefits-Reduction at Age 65
« Reply #12 on: June 26, 2005, 16:36:47 »
Well, Peter Stoffer spoke about this initiative but I can't say he said anything that wasn't already known. 

If you are interested in hearing what he has to say, go to the CKNW website and go to the audio vault (you wil have to log in - very easy to do).  Click on Sunday, 26 Jun 05, and choose 11 am time.  The interview is around the 45 minute mark.

From what I know of this, it is simply due to the way our pension plan (as well as many other government pension plans) is structured.  There is a lot of rhetoric being used by the proponents of this initiative and you should be guarded in how you view this.  I have to admit that the use of a NDP MP makes me very leery about this.

There will be a website developed shortly so I hope someone will post it.

Cheers

Had a wonderful ~26 years in the military and still miss it.

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Re: Canadian Forces Superannuation Benefits-Reduction at Age 65
« Reply #13 on: August 05, 2005, 18:39:59 »
http://www3.ns.sympatico.ca/military.pension/page-01.htm


I am not sure if this website has been provided on this topic.  For those of you interested in your pension and how CPP is reduced at 65 I suggest you take a look through the website.  Pay particular attention to a paper written by LCol (Retd) Jim Lumsden. 

I still do not believe they have been unfairly treated but he makes a passionate argument and he does raise the point as to whether we should be contributing more towards are pension in addition to CPP.  The last I heard there was a considerable surplus in the CFSA account over and above what is required to pay out pensions.  The federal govenrment, as the sponsor of the plan, is slowly siphoning off the surplus, maybe some of it should come back to the member...

   
Had a wonderful ~26 years in the military and still miss it.

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Donnie Cappler "recent" letter to MP ref pension clawback
« Reply #14 on: May 26, 2008, 13:33:18 »
There were some very out of date topics referring to this same subject - decided a new topic could bring a fresh look into a not so new procedure.  Very interesting points I must say.

Copy.......and.........Paste!

April 14, 2008


The Honorable Jean Crowder;
 MP NDP Nanaimo/Cowichan.,
British Columbia

       
 Dear Jean;

            Please allow me this opportunity to [A] Identify myself state the purpose of this letter [C] provide you with some back ground and [D] explain my position on the matters at hand., which at times may cause you some concern knowing your position on Vancouver Island.
          I am Donnie Cappler, a retired member of the Canadian Military who served 25 years , I currently reside in Nanaimo with my wife June, and may be reached at 250-714-0588 or e-mail djcappler@yahoo.ca..
…….  The purpose of this letter is to bring to your attention the unjust procedure of the Canadian Government to CLAW BACK military pension at age 65.
            I enlisted in the Canadian Military in Aug 1960 and served for 25 years retiring 25 Aug 1985, during these 25 years I saw duty across Canada, and served 7 years with NATO in West Germany in the Cold War era. Though Germany was considered a good posting there were always the threat and constant reminder of the tension between two super powers and we were in the middle.
             As a member of the military I was compelled to pay a portion of my monthly salary towards my “end of career” pension, for the purpose of this letter I am going to use  MY exact figures or as close as I can get as they pertain to my pay, and allowances and claw back in an effort to drive home the unfairness of the claw back, and to paint a true picture.
            Upon my retirement at the end of 25 years service I was awarded a military pension of $1219.00 with no chance of indexing for 18 YEARS, to qualify for indexing a soldier has to obtain the magic number of 85 [age plus years of service] I joined at age 17 and retired at 42. In 2003 at age 60, I was indexed and my pension rose to by approx. 57% to $1913.00, I continued to receive indexing for the next 5 years and  my pension reached a grand sum of $2152.00 by January 2008. Then came the good news, as of the month following my 65th birthday [February 2008] my pension would be clawed back on a two tier system. The original pension of $1219.00 would be reduced to $1008.11 and the indexing would be reduced by prorating it over a 23 year time frame [though I only drew the indexing for 5 years] to reflect my new gross pension of $1811.98 a drop of $340.00 per month….Happy Birthday…oh did I forget to mention I now receive OAS of $ 504.00 per month..
            In comparing pensions I see federal MPs qualify for a full pension after 6 years of SERVICE and it is indexed immediately, I fully realize there are many times when you are away from your home, neighborhood, and family, and carry on employment in two cities, as a member of the military I to was away from home, an average of 200 days a year for all of my 17 years in combat ready units, yet no extra compensation was ever offered. Twenty five years vs six years. Now comes the BIG kicker…at age 65 MPs pensions are not clawed back…why is that? Seems strange that both the politicians and the military work for the same government yet there are different rules when it comes to pensions….Now that seems fair?  Oh I know that OAS for MPs may be reduced or cut out if their total income exceeds the federal allowable amount, of $64,000.00 the same rules apply to military members, the difference is the military pension is so much less it very rarely plays a part. To stress this fact, my yearly pension a combination of CPP, OAS, and Military pension is $32,880.00, may I add this of course is gross, prior to any deductions. There is a reason for that and it based on dollars earned over the years, I do not have any problem with MPs earning a fair salary which relates to a larger pensions that I understand, from a military pay of $64.00 per month in 1960 to a high of $2783.00 in 1985 after 25 years service and obtaining the rank of Master Warrant Officer [MWO] equates to a pension of $1219.00, I ask you where is the justice. The claw back also has far reaching aspects, when a military member dies after age 65 the “spouse” is entitled to 66% of his/her pension, [this was just increased in 2007 from 50% the finework of the NDP ] lets look at the figures…..$2152x66%=$1420.00 compared to $1811.00 x 66%=$1195.00 a net loss of $211.00 per month, this many times is the difference between living and existing, and often strips the “spouse” of their dignity, and financial independence.

         I would hate to see the mess in this fine nation would be in if the treaty payments  given to our First Nations people were to ever be diminished or welfare and social assistance were cut like that of the military pension, nor can I imagine what the government would do…..on second thought I know what would happen. They would call upon the military to restore order. I do not bring this up just to aggravate you or berate our First Nations people or poke fun at those in need simply to bring to full light the serious unjust manner in which our soldiers, airman, and sailors, vets included are being treated.
        I recall several years ago that the Canadian government saw fit to rectify an injustice to the Chinese people of our country by awarding them a settlement of SEVERAL BILLION dollars, despite the fact the injustice was done with the best interest of the Canadian people being foremost. In essence if the government can go back 200 years and rectify some of the problems with the First Nations and 65 years and do the same for the Chinese why is there such a problem with undoing the injustice imposed by the  government upon our military that was established in 1966. We are not looking for retro active payments just stop the CLAW BACK, and do it now. Give the soldier the fairness and justice he deserves.
         It is not the military Commanders, Commanding Officers or even the Chief of Defense Staff that determine where the military serves, where they go, what they are to do, when they are to do it, these decisions are made by the members of parliament, those that make up our Nation’s government. It behooves me to understand how politicians can play with the lives of the military member the very lives that gave him/her their freedom and protect their country yet [with the exception of a few] do not support them when unjust and unfair practices are placed upon them. Something that is within their power to do, there seemed to be no problem changing legislation to facilitate the rectifying of “unjust” practices to others.  They have no problem committing them to theatres of operations yet sit on their hands when asked to support a Private Members bill  introduced by Peter Stoffer MP NDP Sackville-Eastern Shore, Nova Scotia to abolish the military pension claw back in 2006.
          It is a known fact the last Liberal government with Paul Martin as the finance Minister extracted approximately $16,000,000,000.00 [BILLION] from the Canadian Military pension fund to pay down the national debt of Canada. Is the national debt not the responsibility of EACH Canadian, oh I understand the military and it’s employment require a good number of $$$$$$$$ to get their job done as the government deems fit and it adds to the debt of Canada, then again so do infrastructure, medical care, OAS and EVERYTHING else that cost money to run a nation. I did not see the government extract any money from one of the richest pension funds available, that of the teachers, why is that? Because they have no control, but they do control the military!
           Here are men and women who have written blank checks to the people of Canada to provide a service to the Nation and its protection even if it means giving one’s life, this is a bill paid in advance. These are the same men and women that spent months fighting the flood of the Red River, quelled the Oka uprising in Quebec, cleared the streets of Toronto of snow, commit them selves to aide to civil authority and aide to civil power, lined the streets of Montreal during the FLQ crisis, and currently giving their lives in Afghanistan, all part of that blank check.  Each and every month I see politicians traveling around the world visiting our troops, sitting among them, sharing stories, etc, I do not however suspect that one MP that visited Kandahar  mentioned the fact that upon retirement and reaching age 65 we will claw back a portion of your pension…..This is not a subject that is NOT known to the “HILL PEOPLE” in Ottawa…Peter Stoffer MP NDP Sackville Eastern Shore, has raised in the house on several occasions, and as mentioned  introduced a bill in 2006, and is about to reintroduce yet another private member’s bill [bill 502] to effectively  abolish the CLAW BACK of the military pension. We as a “people” of Canada need and look for your support in the passing of this bill. I regress just a moment to say thanks to the NDP for their latest upgrades of the Veterans Act, in 2007 it for sure was a step in the right direction, again my personal, thanks. Ironically while composing/writing this letter I learned of General Hiller’s decision to step down as the Chief of Defense Staff, seems he also has had enough of the policies of the current Conservative government and the unfair way and unjust measures imposed upon his troops.

            It is common knowledge that our Prime Minister Mr. Harper and his party favor  the status quo, it will take the combined support of all other parties or the convincing of many of the Conservative members to bring a resolve to this improper and unjust act, even if it means a change in legislation .


        Respectively submitted;


            Donnie Cappler 
            Sergeant Major
                 Retired




Bin

Offline dapaterson

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Re: Donnie Cappler "recent" letter to MP ref pension clawback
« Reply #15 on: May 26, 2008, 14:17:45 »
There is no claw back.  I say again, there is no claw back.

The Canadian Forces Superannuation Act and its related regulations specify what members will receive on their retirement.  It is in plain, clear black and white that a portion of the annuity is a bridge benefit, which expires when an individual reaches age 65 and begins to collect benefits under the CPP (or QPP).  If, on release, an individual chooses to ignore the briefings where this is explained, there is not much else that can be done.

Contributions are based on the full amount for the life of the member (and suvivors) plus the bridge benefit to age 65.  If someone want to increase the benefit, they have to be ready to pay for it.
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Offline Redeye

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Re: Donnie Cappler "recent" letter to MP ref pension clawback
« Reply #16 on: May 26, 2008, 14:27:39 »
I've always been amazed by the screaming about this - the CFSA is, like most pension in Canada, integrated with CPP - that is, the final benefit is designed to be combined with the CPP, which is designed to replace 25% of the average industrial wage in Canada.  The veterans' complaints about their pensions are founded on a complete lack of understanding of how pension math works in Canada.  The amount one receives over and above what they start to receive at 65 is a bridge benefit, it's not an amount that's clawed back, it is an additional payment provided for by the CFSA to enhance incomes before one is able to receive OAS and maximum CPP.  There's no thievery here, it's how most Canadian civilian pensions work.

The other matter discussed, survivor pensions - 2/3s of full pension to a survivor is better than most civilian pensions offer (the standard is 60%, some people elect 50% to get a higher payment in their lifetime but the spouse must waive their right to 60% to do so under most laws, including Ontario's), so there's a good deal for members of the CFSA here too.

The bottom line is that the CF pension is better than most civilian pensions, especially for those who serve most of their working life and make the Factor 85 cut.  Incidentally, only a few civilian pensions have Factor 85, most are 90.

With all due respect to the gentleman who wrote the letter, he really is not getting a raw deal at all.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2008, 14:32:09 by Redeye »
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Re: Donnie Cappler "recent" letter to MP ref pension clawback
« Reply #17 on: May 27, 2008, 09:21:31 »
Contributions are based on the full amount for the life of the member (and suvivors) plus the bridge benefit to age 65.  If someone want to increase the benefit, they have to be ready to pay for it.
 
Exactly the issue.  Due to a lack of understanding of his own benefits he now wants an increased benefit for which he has not paid. Who will pay if this private member's bill is passed the next time around?  Not those currently receiving their pensions.  It will be those of us still serving and contributing to CFSA. 

It is every individuals responsibility to understand their pension benefits long before they retire and plan accordingly.

Offline dapaterson

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Re: Donnie Cappler "recent" letter to MP ref pension clawback
« Reply #18 on: May 27, 2008, 10:52:13 »
Ah, individual responsbility.  What a novel concept...
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Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms: freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication
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Re: Donnie Cappler "recent" letter to MP ref pension clawback
« Reply #19 on: November 17, 2008, 03:36:01 »
I've always been amazed by the screaming about this - the CFSA is, like most pension in Canada, integrated with CPP - that is, the final benefit is designed to be combined with the CPP, which is designed to replace 25% of the average industrial wage in Canada.  The veterans' complaints about their pensions are founded on a complete lack of understanding of how pension math works in Canada.  The amount one receives over and above what they start to receive at 65 is a bridge benefit, it's not an amount that's clawed back, it is an additional payment provided for by the CFSA to enhance incomes before one is able to receive OAS and maximum CPP.  There's no thievery here, it's how most Canadian civilian pensions work.

The other matter discussed, survivor pensions - 2/3s of full pension to a survivor is better than most civilian pensions offer (the standard is 60%, some people elect 50% to get a higher payment in their lifetime but the spouse must waive their right to 60% to do so under most laws, including Ontario's), so there's a good deal for members of the CFSA here too.

The bottom line is that the CF pension is better than most civilian pensions, especially for those who serve most of their working life and make the Factor 85 cut.  Incidentally, only a few civilian pensions have Factor 85, most are 90.

With all due respect to the gentleman who wrote the letter, he really is not getting a raw deal at all.

"When is the reduction factor applied to CF pensions?

CF pensions are reduced by a formula specified in the pension legislation:

    * When a retired CF plan member reaches age 65, which is the normal age of eligibility for a CPP
       benefit, or
    * When a retired CF plan member becomes entitled to a CPP disability benefit.
The CPP benefit may be more or less than the reduction of the CF pension since the provisions and the benefit calculation formula of the CPP are different from those of the CF pension plan."

This reduction of pension benefits happens at age 65 to a huge number of retirees in Canada,
CAF, RCMP, Public servants and many  private sector pensioners.
Perhaps those who are screaming about this "clawback" should re-familiarize themselves
with the Questions  contained in the URL below.

http://www.forces.gc.ca/dgcb/dpsp/engraph/faq_e.asp
« Last Edit: November 17, 2008, 04:08:55 by baccalieu »

Offline George Wallace

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John Wayne MacMullin "recent" letter to MP ref pension clawback
« Reply #20 on: April 08, 2015, 21:59:42 »
This letter is making the rounds.  It is yet another attempt to affect change:

Quote
Good Day

 

FYI my friends, I have written this letter to the PM in the hope that he will take action to correct this issue and travesty.

Subsequently, if you would be so kind as to assist in helping express your frustration in this policy it would be greatly appreciated by more than you can know.

I am hopeful that the more Canadians who know of this travesty and what their government is doing to their soldiers, the more the PM will be forced to take action and correct this wrong doing.Thankyou.

 

Mr. Stephen Harper, PM

I speak with thousands of people on a regular basis as I am very involved with the Community. When we gather in a group, subjects are discussed in length and vary significantly. In fact, in such a short period, it is amazing how several discussions can take place and be dissected to the core.

As I am sure you are aware and can appreciate, almost always, the discussion will make it's way around to politics, religion, freedoms, policies and beliefs. The one thing however that should be noted, at the end of the day, everyone walks away agreeing as one.

Mr. Prime Minister, the travesty I have outlined below is within your power to correct, if you do nothing else for the rest of your current tour, you must correct this travesty:It will also more than likely solidify your position for another tour:

Background:

Our men and women of the Canadian Armed Forces, those who have served Canada and all Canadians, decide to retire.

They get an extremely meeger pension as long as they have served a minimum of 20 years.

Once they turn 65 years of age, the Canadian Government takes back (claws-back) from these men and women the amount equal to their Canadian Pension Plan (CPP). Subsequently, this meeger pension simply becomes a token with little value after all they have given. Truly an insult.!

Current:

The issue I have, and I believe all Canadians would have (if they were made aware of it), is that these very same unique men and women, pay into and contribute to the Old Age Security (OAS) program their entire lives. They pay into and contribute to the Canadian Pension Plan (CPP) their entire lives. They pay into and contribute to the Employment Insurance (EI) program their entire lives. However, at age 65, the government of the very Country they have sworn to protect decide to penalize them, simply for growing older.

The Canadian Forces pension plan that they work towards every moment of their lives//career is their right, more so, than any other plan.

The OAS program in which they have participated and contributed to their entire working life is simply, their right.

The CPP program in which they have participated and contributed to their entire working life is simply, their right.

At no time should one reflect upon the other.

What is being done to these phenomenal men and women is a travesty and I find it discussing and I am embarrassed knowing what I know and that the Canadian government see's nothing wrong with this.

In fact, I have spoken to 1000's of others whom all agree that this travesty must stop and they are appalled that our government would do this to our soldiers.

These are the very bravest of the men and women among us, they are so full of Canadian Pride that they willingly give up their freedom to protect ours. They give of themselves 100% to protect Canada and all of her people.

They ask for nothing in return other than to be treated with the same respect they have so willingly fought for. These proud men and women do not complain that their being mis-treated, they do not demand their rights to be upheld through protest, they do not demand their rights be upheld through striking, they do not demand their rights be upheld by setting up blockades and displacing other Canadians, they do not demand that their rights be upheld by rioting and causing property damage, they do not threaten, they simply take a deep breath, they swallow their pride and they soldier on.

These proud Canadians have given so much of themselves and of their own families that my thoughts wander.......... and the only thing that comes to mind, is.........WHAT IN HELL ARE WE DOING.

I believe if the people of Canada were made aware of this outdated, unfair, almost un-constitutional policy, that, they would rise as one and demand that changes be put into place immediately to protect their Freedom Protectors. They would demand that their Freedom Protectors receive and be treated with the same respect that all Canadians at home demand for themselves.

Mr. Harper, If you want the support of the hundreds of thousands of retired service personnel, their families, in fact all Canadians, listen to what I am saying. If you want to make a difference, if you want to make a stand, you will rise as a proud, caring, compassionate and thankful Canadian and you will demand for all to hear, that our soldiers, those very unique men and women will be treated with respect when they come home and they will be treated with respect upon completion of their tour of duty. They will not be forgotten, they will not be taken advantage of, we will not mistreat them and we will not forget what they have sacrificed. Their tour of duty means something and we value it.

A soldier can retire, a soldier can be removed from service, but a soldier is always a soldier and in or out of active service a soldier honours, protects and gives of themselves 100% of the time, until death.

I put my trust in you and I ask you to take steps to right this very wrong.

You see, Mr Harper, I am not only a Canadian who is appalled by this policy, I am one of those very proud Canadian Soldiers who have fought to protect the freedoms and values of Canada and of all of her people. I continue to do so today.

John Wayne MacMullin, CD1

Retired Warrant Officer

604-819-2997

johnwayne1957@gmail.com

 PS:  "Mr. Harper, after I proofread this letter..........I cried"........so should you!!!!


Please read this reply and understand fully what is in fact happening.



There is no claw back.  I say again, there is no claw back.

The Canadian Forces Superannuation Act and its related regulations specify what members will receive on their retirement.  It is in plain, clear black and white that a portion of the annuity is a bridge benefit, which expires when an individual reaches age 65 and begins to collect benefits under the CPP (or QPP).  If, on release, an individual chooses to ignore the briefings where this is explained, there is not much else that can be done.

Contributions are based on the full amount for the life of the member (and suvivors) plus the bridge benefit to age 65.  If someone want to increase the benefit, they have to be ready to pay for it.


We have been down this road before, on a seemingly regular basis.  Perhaps we can stop this never ending cycle of petitions by those who are ignorant of the facts. 
« Last Edit: April 08, 2015, 22:07:57 by George Wallace »
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Re: Canadian Forces Superannuation Benefits-Reduction at Age 65
« Reply #21 on: April 08, 2015, 23:00:03 »
I put a comment on the FB page that had that letter.......surely I'll get crucified there.   Oh well......
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Offline George Wallace

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Re: Canadian Forces Superannuation Benefits-Reduction at Age 65
« Reply #22 on: April 09, 2015, 09:09:45 »
It is popping up on all kinds of FB pages now. 
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Offline Pusser

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Re: Canadian Forces Superannuation Benefits-Reduction at Age 65
« Reply #24 on: April 09, 2015, 11:06:08 »
Wow!

I'm am absolutely amazed that anyone could possibly describe our pension plan (CFSA) as "meeger" [sic] (should be "meager" - hint: when writing indignant letters, check your spelling).  Really?  Most people outside the CF/PS/RCMP would give up appendages to draw the same kind of retirement benefits we do.

Every once in awhile, I review the numbers and reflect upon the fact that although I never thought about retirement benefits when I joined, I have:

1)  seen the world;
2)  done some really cool stuff; and
3)  made some amazing friends;

The best part is that they've actually paid me to do all this stuff and in just a few years time, I'm going to be able to sit back for the rest of my life and draw a pension that still puts me in a higher income bracket than an awful lot of people working a lot harder than I do even now.  Some folks just don't realize how lucky they are.

The thing that scares me is that if these idiots keep screaming about benefits we're NOT being denied, then other folks are going to start looking more closely at the ones we actually do get and start to complain that they're too generous and should be reduced.  Case in point was Treasury Board's hissy fit when it discovered that a retiring general was moved across town at public expense on retirement (as was his legal entitlement).  In a spiteful move (largely because said general decided to throw his hat in with another political party), the rest of us have all lost that benefit.
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Offline MCG

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Re: Canadian Forces Superannuation Benefits-Reduction at Age 65
« Reply #25 on: April 09, 2015, 11:17:53 »
Don't let facts interfere with a good sense of entitlement.

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Re: Canadian Forces Superannuation Benefits-Reduction at Age 65
« Reply #26 on: April 09, 2015, 11:32:09 »
Wow!



The bigger "WOW!" is who have been initiating these petitions.  In 2005 it was a CPO1, then in 2008 a retired Sergeant Major, and now a Warrant Officer.   You would expect these guys to know better.
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Re: Canadian Forces Superannuation Benefits-Reduction at Age 65
« Reply #27 on: April 09, 2015, 11:42:05 »
What many people don't realize is that this is a form of what's called 'CPP integration'. That is, your retirement benefits are reduced by the amount of your monthly CPP cheque. So instead of getting your CFSA payment in full, with your CPP cheque on top of that, you get a portion of your CFSA cheque topped up by CPP. I'm currently a federal civil servant, and when I retire at 60, but start collecting CPP at age 65, the same thing will happen to me.

It's really just a way to make your pension last longer and keep the CFSA/CPP pension plans solvent. It's all money coming out of the same pot of general government revenues, anyway.

Offline MCG

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Re: Canadian Forces Superannuation Benefits-Reduction at Age 65
« Reply #28 on: April 09, 2015, 12:32:37 »
So instead of getting your CFSA payment in full, with your CPP cheque on top of that, you get a portion of your CFSA cheque topped up by CPP.
It is the other way around.  You get your full CFSA payment with CPP cheque. Prior to that, you get your full CFSA payment with bridge payment.  Retirement benefits are not reduced; they are topped-up until CPP kicks-in.

Offline Jed

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Re: Canadian Forces Superannuation Benefits-Reduction at Age 65
« Reply #29 on: April 09, 2015, 12:41:55 »
It is the other way around.  You get your full CFSA payment with CPP cheque. Prior to that, you get your full CFSA payment with bridge payment.  Retirement benefits are not reduced; they are topped-up until CPP kicks-in.

So for someone who put 15 years into the work force as a provincial govt employee than 18 years as a Reg soldier. Than goes as a Res soldier for 2 yrs and civi self employed and back to paying into CPP,  how does that work?

I am not to up on this but when I hit 65, and they reduce my 'top up' half my CPP input as a civi does not get accounted for.
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Re: Canadian Forces Superannuation Benefits-Reduction at Age 65
« Reply #30 on: April 09, 2015, 14:09:21 »
So for someone who put 15 years into the work force as a provincial govt employee than 18 years as a Reg soldier. Than goes as a Res soldier for 2 yrs and civi self employed and back to paying into CPP,  how does that work?

I am not to up on this but when I hit 65, and they reduce my 'top up' half my CPP input as a civi does not get accounted for.


See a retirement specialist.......from what I've witnessed it's well worth the money.
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Offline mariomike

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Re: Canadian Forces Superannuation Benefits-Reduction at Age 65
« Reply #31 on: April 10, 2015, 07:26:00 »
Most people outside the CF/PS/RCMP would give up appendages to draw the same kind of retirement benefits we do.

Has there been any discussion about a Supplemental Plan?  S.P. includes a 2.33% accrual rate to bring retiring members a 70% pension in 30 years.
Also, there is a “best three years” earnings formula.

Ontario municipalities can negotiate agreements to provide Supplemental Plans for their Police Officers, Firefighters and Paramedics.   
« Last Edit: April 10, 2015, 07:38:57 by mariomike »
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Offline MCG

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Re: Canadian Forces Superannuation Benefits-Reduction at Age 65
« Reply #32 on: April 10, 2015, 08:01:50 »
It is a pension designed for the Canadian Forces.  Why would there be a supplement, which is designed to elevate a standard municipal pension to recognize the unique services of emergency responders?

Offline Brihard

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Re: Canadian Forces Superannuation Benefits-Reduction at Age 65
« Reply #33 on: April 10, 2015, 10:43:47 »
Every time I see 'CPP Clawback' I want to punch a kitten. And I love kittens. But ignorance abounds, and it puts the kittens at risk of bodily harm.

There. Is. No. Such. Goddamned. Thing. Our pension is INTEGRATED with CPP. Frankly, as a taxpayer, I'd be appalled were it not. The CAF/RCMP/PS have a great pension plan as is. The bridge payment replaced with CPP is NOT a 'clawback', nor is it some unjust deprivation, and I loathe the fiction that it is.
Pacificsm is doctrine fostered by a delusional minority and by the media, which holds forth the proposition it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end.

Offline ProPatria05

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Re: Canadian Forces Superannuation Benefits-Reduction at Age 65
« Reply #34 on: June 17, 2015, 10:17:47 »
Makes me angry as well. Either they're too stupid to understand how it works, and that our monthly contributions are reflective of it, or they do understand it and are yet another attempt to milk the 'we are national treasures' bandwagon. Maddening either way, but perhaps moreso the latter. And there's no point trying to have a rational debate with them. I read a good quote the other day (paraphrasing):

"Debating with idiots is like playing chess with a pigeon. Even though it's losing it will knock all the pieces over, crap on the board, and strut around as if it won."

Offline George Wallace

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Re: Canadian Forces Superannuation Benefits-Reduction at Age 65
« Reply #35 on: September 20, 2015, 09:13:57 »
This link may help to explain the situation a little better than the Bridge Benefits FAQ on the Government pages.  Please take note to the reference to the CPP being lowered if a CF retiree does not work for a period prior to reaching age 65, and does not contribute to CPP.  It explains that it is the CPP being lowered, not a CLAWBACK to the CF pension.

http://thepinnaclesrealm.blogspot.ca/2012/02/why-canadian-government-does-pension.html

Quote
THE CANADIAN GOVERNMENT EXPLAINS THE PENSION CLAW BACK

Here is the story on Bill C-201. Where the CF is referred to, please assume a reference to the RCMP. Any reference to the Canadian Forces Superannuation (CFSA) should also be taken as a reference to the RCMP Superannuation (RCMPSA).

In 1966, members of the CF were paying 6% of their salary into the CFSA. When the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) was integrated with the CFSA (as were all other public service pension plans), CF members continued to pay 6% of their salary into pension benefits. The only change was that 1.8% now went to CPP and 4.2% went to CFSA. Upon retirement, the member receives 2% of his/her best five-year average salary per year or partial year of service.

Members of the CF typically retire well before age 65. When they collect their CFSA upon retirement, it consists of two parts. The larger part (approximately 70%) is the “lifetime benefit” and that amount will continue until the member dies. The smaller part (approximately 30%) is termed the “bridge benefit” and serves to “bridge” the pensioner’s income at the full 2% until age 65, when most people start collecting CPP. Both parts are indexed when the retiree reaches the combination of age and years of service equaling 85, but not before age 55. At the combined 85 and age 55 point, all back-indexing to retirement date is added to the pension benefit and annual indexing commences.

In most cases, the amount of CPP that commences will be at least equal to the amount of the bridge benefit that ceases, thus giving the pensioner a consistent income flow throughout retirement years. This will not be the case under two circumstances.

If the member does not earn taxable income from CF retirement age to age 65, he/she will not have contributed to CPP for that period. Therefore, the amount of CPP eligibility will be less and will likely be less than the bridge benefit, which ceases at age 65. In most cases, working or not is a decision the member makes.

Canadians can draw CPP as early as age 60, with a reduction of 0.5% per month before age 65. Total reduction at age 60 would, therefore, be 30%. That is the amount (plus indexing) that the pensioner will receive for the rest of his/her life. A CF pensioner taking CPP at age 60 will, in effect, be double-dipping the bridge benefit and CPP for five years. This is a good thing, but he/she must be prepared for a reduction in overall benefit when the bridge benefit ceases at age 65. At that point, the remaining integrated CFSA (lifetime benefit) and (reduced) CPP pension benefit will likely be less than the combination of lifetime benefit and bridge benefit. The total pension benefit continues to be indexed. The decision to take CPP early rests with the member.

The CFSA and CPP are working exactly as set up and paid for and do provide for a consistent, indexed level of retirement income for CF members.

The essence of the argument in Bill C-201 is that CF (and RCMP) pensioners should be able to collect both the bridge benefit and CPP beyond age 65. This would amount to “stacking” the CFSA (lifetime and bridge benefits) and CPP, amounting to an approximately 30% increase, even though they haven’t paid for a stacked pension plan. It’s as simple as that.

The cost to implement Bill C-201 would be enormous, with one-time costs (for the CF) being approximately $7 billion and annual costs being approximately $110 million and increasing, according to the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions. Proponents of Bill C-201 suggest that the annual cost of implementation could be covered by diverting CF members’ EI contributions. Annual EI contributions by CF members total only $54 million and would cover less than half the annual cost. In addition, approximately 3,000 CF members use EI benefits every year for maternity leave and parental leave; and those important benefits would be denied. Implementing Bill C-201 would mean an additional contribution amount for each CF member of approximately 2%. For a soldier making $50,000, that would mean $1,000 less take-home pay. Most CF members are above that salary level.

Our government has acted. With the Budget Implementation Act, 2006, the Government approved an amendment to the Canadian Forces, Public Service, and Royal Canadian Mounted Police pension arrangements. In the case of pension arrangements provided under Part I of the CFSA, this amendment, which will operate in the plan member’s favour, alters the formula used to calculate the pension adjustment for those reaching age 65 in 2008 and beyond. This changes the calculation of the lifetime benefit in that the adjustment factor will be lowered from .7 percent to .625 percent, resulting in an increase in the lifetime pension benefit. Therefore, the dollar amount reduced at age 65 will be less, resulting in increased long-term pension benefit.

The very well organized advocates of Bill C-201 propose a number of what are essentially red herrings.

They point to the lack of consultation and input by CF members in 1966. CF members were not consulted, nor were members of other public pension plans that became integrated at the same time. The CF is not a union and doesn’t get to vote on pay and benefits. The leadership of the CF makes such decisions on behalf of the organization and that will always be the case. Communication of this change was sporadic, at best, but the overall integrated pension benefit remained the same.

They suggest that MPs have exempted themselves from what they call a “clawback” of the bridge benefit. MPs have no input into their pay and benefits package. MPs come and go at all ages and do not collect their pensions until age 55. Like all other public service pension plans, an MP pension is a fixed amount based on years of service and salary (defined benefit) and is indexed in the same way as other pensions. MPs do not collect any bridge benefit from or to any age; therefore, there is nothing to “claw back”. Stirring up resentment against public figures is always easy, but it is intentionally misleading in this case.

They point to petitions signed by 100,000 people in support of Bill C-201. It would be normal for anyone to sign a petition that holds an implied promise of more money. Many former senior officers have signed the petition, even though conversation with many of them reveals that they know it cannot go anywhere. There are a great many more who have not signed. These include many former Chiefs of the Defence Staff and leaders who are acknowledged as being strong supporters of the troops. They know that is simply not a legitimate issue.

Many retired members have responded angrily when Government members have not supported the bill. They send in copies of their CFSA statements that show that, at age 65, their CFSA will be reduced by $xxx per month and that they will lose indexing on that amount. What they don’t include is their CPP statement that says they will receive $xxx per month and that it will be indexed.

They propose emotional arguments about how members of the CF have served and sacrificed – themselves and their families. That is true and we all respect and are grateful for that. Canadians serve voluntarily. They are well paid, well treated, and get excellent trades training and experience for future employment. Retirement benefits are generous by any contemporary standard.

The CF / RCMP pension plans are set up exactly the same way as all other public service pension plans, and most other defined benefit pension plans; e.g. teachers plans. Where would the dominos stop and at what cost, if this bill were to be implemented? Given that Bill C-201 would require a Royal Recommendation, it has no chance of being implemented in any event.

The bottom line is that CF pensioners are getting 100% of what they have paid for and that the integrated CFSA / CPP pension is working exactly as it was set up.

Our Government has taken many steps to improve the quality of life of our veterans and their families. There will always be more that we would like to do. There are issues that are worthy of further action and government is pursuing many of those. We will never break faith with those who have given so much to Canada.

Posted 22nd February 2012 by Rick Thomson
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Offline Greymatters

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Re: Canadian Forces Superannuation Benefits-Reduction at Age 65
« Reply #36 on: October 28, 2015, 13:34:49 »
Thanks for the posting George, that explains things very well.

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As an interesting note, under the recently passed Pension Reform Act, as of 2016, Parliamentary pensions will be CPP integrated as well.
Pacificsm is doctrine fostered by a delusional minority and by the media, which holds forth the proposition it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end.

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Re: Canadian Forces Superannuation Benefits-Reduction at Age 65
« Reply #38 on: January 06, 2016, 08:57:09 »
See a retirement specialist.......from what I've witnessed it's well worth the money.

There's the best advice I've seen on this thread! Talk to an SME. Sounds familiar doesn't it, guys?
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