THE LONGEST WAIT
Military and RCMP vets fight their final battle with the federal government over CPP clawback
JOHN LABELLEóVETERANS ANNUITY CAMPAIGNóVOICE FILE PHOTO
he committee has reviewed reference a and wish to advise that some of the Ombudsman findings are considered to be misleading and not very supportive of our Military/RCMP Veterans CPP pension claw back issue.
We waited 18 months for the Ombudsmanís draft reply. It was never received. The final report was received just a few days before his retirement date. It is disappointing to read the misleading information within the report such as 6 main issues we stated. But we raised only one issue: that the introduction of the CPP plan has breached our engagement contract and provided us with no options.
Veterans Committee is requesting that as The Minister of National Defence
and former senior officers of the Canadian Forces you review our veteranís claim
and take action to have the CPP pension claw back, that affects veterans and
their families welfare in their senior years, be terminated at no cost to the
tax payers. Retro active payment is not requested. Veterans hope that you will
not pass on this request to another ministry. It is now time for the government
to step up for our paid and earned benefits. Veterans and their families have
step up and provided the Canadian government tremendous services to our country.
Minister will you also forget about us now that Remembrance Week is gone for
The crux of the issue was avoided. " The fact is that the Government of Canada has breached our enrolment contract without prior members consultation or authorization. " During our enrolment contract we were promised that we would benefit of a full pension calculated at 2% of our best 6 years for a period of 25 years of service. In 1955, when the forces contributions of 20 years to the pension plan changed to the 25 years when the CFSA plan and contributions introduced were: 8.3% CFSA and 1% for indexing.
When this change of pension
plan was enacted, the new plan was introduced to new members of the Canadian
Forces and voluntary made available to existing members. This solution was not
made available with the introduction of the new CPP pension plan.
In 1966 the CPP plan was introduced to supplement another source for an "Income Security" program to supplement the Old Age Security Pension not to claw back our Annuity plan. The original CPP plan contributions were 1.8% of basic rate of pay. Todayís CPP contributions are 4.95% of our basic rate of pay.
We maintain that contributions are not
merged and continue to be listed separately on our pay guide.
The identification of the SISIP, CPPD plans at Page 7-46 have no relation to our CPP pension claw back.
The "What is a Bridge Benefit" explanation at page 10-46 is a misrepresentation of facts. The temporary benefit at age 60 is penalised by 32%
The moving Forward, Together Statements at page 12-46 are considered political statements and provide no solutions. They now identified a simple CPP pension claw back issue into 6 unsettling remaining issues.
The statement at Para 2 of page 12-46 should have included. The CPP disability loss of benefits must be terminated. Disabled veterans need all the financial disability protection they have purchased.
Numerous statements made on the letter l posted at Annex A of page 14-46/1546 were not written by me.
Annex A letters ll and lll posted on page 17-46 to 22-46 The report chooses to identify a reply from Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre. His misleading comments that "CAF members were paying 6% of their salaries to their pension plan is false and Bill C-201 that private member bills are not ordinarily allowed to spend taxpayers money. This is not a money Bill! To simplify the matter we did not request any funds from the taxpayers. The ombudsman could have listed many other misleading statements from Conservative MPís. We received similar letters from The Hon. Peter Mackay and Mr. OíToole.
Over the years a number
of Conservative MPís have misled veterans with the amount of funds required
to resolve our CPP. They have quoted that it would take $7.4 billion dollars to
resolve our pension issue, claiming it was an unattainable amount. Note: We have
over $62 billion dollars surplus in our annuity plan and it cost only $2.3
billion dollars to pay all pensioners, including widows and children.
Annex A letters IV & V provides a clear picture of the Veterans Campaign paper. The comments listed have been identifies as true facts by the DND Ombudsman.
Comparison of CAF Pension Benefits Figures do not reveal the facts. At age 65 My CFSA was reduced by 575.00 monthly to offset my CPP benefits.
Veterans consider the
DND Ombudsman report to be incomplete and confusing. It is unfortunate that
17 months later it provided no solutions and we did not receive the promised
draft copy. We can write pages and pages of paper but it will not change the
facts that at age 60 when a veterans applies for their CPP pension they are
penalized .5% per month, (now .6%), to age 65, for a total of a 36% penalty. At
age 65, when Veterans received their CPP pension their CFSA pension, it's
reduced by a similar amount. The disabled veterans receiving a CPP disability
pension have their CFSA reduced by a similar amount. A breach of their enrolment
Your Government appears to have no difficulties in spending tens of millions of dollars for known terrorist groups, yet it canít find funds for our veterans. Veterans were all prepared to give the ultimate sacrifice for the security of our country. Unlike other segment of the population their families provided them with an unquestioned amount of support.
The report pays little attention on the
support and comments we have received from our Former Senior officers of the
Canadian Forces and RCMP.
The Harper Government
refused to accept the favourable vote of Bill C-201. The Liberal MPís have voted
yes to all our Bills presented in the House of Commons. Hon. Harjit S. Sajjan,
we now appeal to you to take corrective action and allow many of our senior
Military/RCMP veterans an opportunity to repay our families for the lost time
and services they have provided to our Canada.
Military/RCMP members are not public servants under the law. In the Ombudsmanís report Military/RCMP members are grouped together. The statement is incorrect and unfair and has no bearing on our CPP pension claw back claim. Consideration must also be given to the fact that Military/RCMP personnel employment terminates at age 60 not 65. Spouses of Military/RCMP members are unable to maintain permanent employment due to constant relocation of their career, therefore, not being able to contribute in their own CPP pension or other retirement plans for the protection of their future.
Minister of National Defence & Former Senior Officer this is your opportunity to solve this outstanding Military/RCMP CPP pension issue.
Disability or pension benefits must never be clawed back. If we purchase a $1 million dollar life insurance policy, the government does not reduce our other government life insurance policies. Military/RCMP veterans and their families have given all they have to the security of our country. Now is the government's opportunity to give back and treat them the financial dignity they paid for and deserve.
Permit Veterans to
give their families the extra dinner they have missed far too often. Remembrance
week has passed for another year. This year, prior to Christmas, would be a
great opportunity to announce your intention to resolve this veterans CPP
pension claw back issue at no cost to the tax payers. Can Military/RCMP veterans
and their families depend on you action this Christmas?
Veterans have fully paid for their Benefits. We are not now allowed to enjoy our remaining Golden Years with their families? Military/RCMP veterans and their families look to you to review our Campaign Paper, consider the fact that we are a different government provider and veterans and their families have paid for their pensions in so many different ways.
Did Veterans not step up and provided tremendous services to our Country? Now it is the Canadian government turn to step up for our paid and earned benefits in our Golden Years. Your prompt action on this Military/RCMP Veterans issue would be much appreciated.