Pension Plan Update – April 2007

At the end of November 2006, the senior administration convened a meeting with representatives of all the employee groups on campus. The University’s actuarial consultant reviewed the various strategies and proposed changes to the Plan that have been considered over the past two years. The slides from that presentation are posted here.

It now appears that the University’s chief concern is not so much with the current unfunded liability in the Plan but rather with the longer term potential risk that the liability could mushroom and significantly increase the amount of additional money that the University would be required by the regulators to contribute to the Plan.

In early January, 2007 the QUFA Executive met with our actuarial consultant to review the information provided at the November meeting and to prepare for the next meeting with the Administration. As of March 14, 2007 this meeting has yet to be called. The Administration decided to defer further discussion of the Pension Plan until collective bargaining with the three CUPE locals had concluded. Now that bargaining is over we expect a meeting soon.

The Deans have been advised to prepare for a potential 4 percent cut in operating budgets for 2007-08. These cuts are not related to the Pension Plan issue. They stem from the fact that Queen’s is receiving less of the new provincial funding to the post-secondary education sector than initially anticipated. If the University is required to increase its contributions to the Pension Plan to amortize the unfunded liability, QUFA has been informed that the contributions will NOT be financed out of the operating budget.