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You can trust OPSEU Pension Trust – you can’t trust the CSN pension

Our pension: It’s critically important.

CSN wants to take away our OPSEU pension trust (OPTrust) pension plan and replace it with the Public Service Pension Plan (PSPP).

But remember: your pension is your deferred wages. You’ve worked hard to earn every penny.

Switching to CSN and PSPP puts all that money at risk.

Let’s separate the truth from the CSN myths:

Myth: CSN says you’d earn less in retirement with the PSPP but the difference is “insignificant.”

The truth: You’d earn significantly less at age 65 – and each and every year after.

As a correctional officer, youth services officer or nurse, your annual pay will be $1,000 lighter. As an Office Admin 8, you’ll have to get by with $800 less. That’s fewer dollars every day for the rest of your life and your spouse’s life.

You’ll earn even less if you’re married. That’s right: PSPP pays less to compensate for survivor benefits – just when you need the money most. Not OPTrust. It fully subsidizes survivor benefits.

Myth: CSN says PSPP members have control over their pension.

The truth: The PSPP will take all control out of our hands. It has one sponsor: the employer.

In a post-pandemic world of budget cuts, they could hit us hard – public servants with a defined-benefit pension designed for managers.

Everything could be on the table: contribution hikes, benefit cuts, cost-of-living increases, defined benefits themselves. It’s the employer’s call and the employer’s call alone.

Myth: CSN says PSPP pension is reliable.

The truth: The PSPP is not reliable because it’s not fully funded – even after the government bailed it out every single year from 2006-2019. After all the pandemic spending, don’t bank on the government bailing it out again. That would mean contribution hikes, benefit cuts, or both.

OPTrust? At more than 100 per cent funded, it’s robust and healthy.

Myth: CSN says OPTrust costs you “significantly more.”

The truth: While CSN claims the PSPP will save you $1,280 a year in pension contributions over 35 years, the actual savings are much less. Because pension contributions are 100 per cent tax deductible, your net saving would be less than $800.

What’s more, correction workers’ average years of service is just 25 years – not 35. So for most of us, those “savings’ would be even smaller.