City Council to assume responsibility for Police / Fire Pension Plan

On October 13, 2017, the Superannuation Board of the City of Fredericton Police / Fire Pension Plan voted to remove its Plan actuary.  The decision put the Plan at risk of not being able to meet its legislative and regulatory requirements. 

As a result, Fredericton City Council will vote on a bylaw amendment at its next regular Council meeting that will remove the authority of the current board to serve as the Plan administrator, and instead, confer responsibility for the normal operation of the Police / Fire Pension Plan on City Council, using an “Employer Administrator” model of governance.

There will be no change associated with this action as it relates to benefits, contributions or any other parameters of police and fire member pensions.  The decision will allow for the Plan to meet filing deadlines imposed under the Income Tax Act and the New Brunswick Pension Benefits Act. 

“This is an unprecedented but necessary action on Council's part in response to a decision that puts the Plan in peril,” said Fredericton Mayor Mike O’Brien. “In order for a pension plan to exist, it must have an Administrator, whose job it is to ensure that the Plan is in compliance with statutory and regulatory requirements. The decision to dismiss the actuary means that the Administrator cannot do its job and it would be irresponsible of Council to allow the actions to negatively impact the plan.”

First and second reading will be given to the bylaw amendment at the regular Council meeting of November 13, 2017.  Third and final reading will be given to the change at the meeting on November 27, 2017. 

This decision has no effect on the Pension Plan for other City of Fredericton employees.

Background:

  • The Plan, officially referred to as the Superannuation Plan for Certain Employees of the City of Fredericton, is the pension plan for employees associated with the Police (UBCJ 911) and Fire (IAFF 1053) unions.
  • The City of Fredericton is the Plan Sponsor and had conferred upon the Board a specific responsibility to serve as the Plan Administrator. By legislation and bylaw, City Council has the right to make changes to the Plan text, including administrative structure, as it sees fit.
  • The current Board, chaired by Coun. John MacDermid, and is made up of five Council nominees – three councillors (with one current vacancy) and two staff, along with five member nominees, including two Police representatives, two Fire representatives, and one retiree.
  • Mercer (Canada) Inc. served as the Plan actuary.