Public Sector Pensions: a Runaway Train

With enrolments in public sector pension plans growing at twice the rate of growth for private sector employment levels, Canadians could face higher taxes and reduced government services unless action is taken soon. At the beginning of 2011, there were 3.14 million members of public sector plans – an increase of 26.6% since 2001 – while private sector pension levels remained flat. The escalating costs of government pension plans are seriously eroding the ability to deliver fundamental public services and the implications are starting to be felt. For example, the City of Montreal’s pension plan now eats up 13% of its operating budget – even more than the amount devoted to public transit.

Public Sector Pensions: a Runaway Train? is the second in a series of CFIB reports that will examine the problem of unfair and unsustainable public sector pensions. Our first report was Canada’s Hidden Unfunded Public Sector Pension Liabilities. Last year, CFIB launched the Pension Tension campaign to call for transparency of public sector pension liabilities and fairness for taxpayers.

The third report in the series is Calling in Sick: Comparing Days Away from Work in the Public and Private Sector , the fourth report is The Case for Ending Early Retirement in the Public Sector and the fifth report is Canada’s Two-tier Retirement.