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Stop paying government workers to retire early BC

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Hidden "bridge benefit" perk amounts to an extra $8,190 per year in BC

Toronto/Vancouver, March 3, 2016 – The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) is calling for an end to the unfair and costly “bridge benefit” perk – a little known incentive for government workers who retire early.

When workers in the private sector choose to take CPP/QPP early, they receive a lower benefit for the rest of their lives. For most public sector workers, however, the bridge benefit essentially ensures that they receive their full CPP/QPP benefits even if they retire well before age 65.

“Government workers already enjoy much more generous pension benefits than most Canadians could dream of,” said Dan Kelly, CFIB president. “Asking taxpayers to give even more so government workers can get those rich benefits sooner is, frankly, completely unfair.”

The bridge benefit varies across public sector pension plans and can benefit a typical government worker an amount in the range of $7,500 to $8,800 in 2015. In 2010-2011, about 55,000 federal civil servants received the perk at a total cost of more than $385 million to taxpayers. "With massive deficits ahead for most provinces and the federal government, making changes to this entitlement for the future could provide meaningful fiscal relief," Kelly added.

More than 80 per cent of public sector retirees who left the workforce between 2007-2011 did so before age 65, compared to 60 per cent of private sector retirees, and 47 per cent of self-employed.

Bridge Benefits

“It’s costing British Columbians a lot of money to allow public sector workers to retire earlier than those in the private sector,” said Richard Truscott, Vice-President, BC and Alberta. “The BC government should take a stand and ensure that all workers are treated equally.”

To arrange an interview with Dan Kelly, please contact Ryan Mallough at 416-222-8022 or [email protected].  To arrange an interview with Richard Truscott, please contact 604-684-5325 or [email protected].

CFIB is Canada’s largest association of small- and medium-sized businesses with 10,000 members in BC and 109,000 members across the country in every sector and region.