The Retirees' Newsletter
The Faculty and Librarian Retirees' Association, University of Windsor, Windsor, Canada
Issue # 21 -- February, 1997
FROM THE EDITOR'S NOTEBOOK
WHAT CAN BE SAID about the pension debacle described on page 3 of this issue? Maybe there is a lesson to be learned.
IT IS HARD TO IMAGINE how those directly involved could have stumbled into such an embarrassment, apparently without realizing it. Both sides in the negotiations seem to have been remiss in not realizing that what they were agreeing to on behalf of the retirees was certain to cause problems with Revenue Canada.
THE MOST SERIOUSLY AFFECTED BY THIS, of course, were the retirees themselves. Three weeks before Christmas, they were given to understand that their levels of Minimum Guaranteed pension were being increased, including a retroactive payment to July 1st. Three weeks after Christmas they were told this was all a mistake, and the extras already received were being taken back.
NO HINT WAS GIVEN to them as to why this had happened, or what was to happen next. In fact, in my opinion, the letter they received from our pension administrators, the Canada Trust Company stands as a model of insensitivity and ham-handedness. I was among those who received the letter, and I could hardly believe that a company which deals with the public in the 20th century could have been associated with such a letter. Parts of the letter are quoted on page 3.
Like just about everything we receive from Canada Trust, the increase in the first instance had been unidentified. We were left to figure for ourselves what it was meant to reflect by trial and error with a calculator. Indeed, I myself would not have known that such an increase was part of the new agreement had I not read it in The Retirees' Newsletter -- and, I can tell you, even that worthy source was not informed of it in any official way, but had to ferret out the news for itself.
SUCH IS THE RATHER BENIGHTED STATE OF COMMUNICATIONS in which University retirees seem to be left. Is Canada Trust, as pension administrator, too busy with other aspects of their business to communicate information to our retirees? Or are there just too many levels of administration involved in the pension (the University, the Faculty Association, Canada Trust as administrator, the actuaries, the fund managers, and goodness knows how many other functionaries) so that they can't get their act together, with the result that the retirees often slip through the cracks and become the forgotten people in the pension picture?
For now, retirees will be waiting for word on the response of Revenue Canada to the joint appeal. I feel confident that, in the end, retirees will receive their fair and equitable share of the pension surplus. But it will have been through a needlessly long and tortuous route. Bill Phillips
The Faculty/Librarian Retirees' Association at Windsor was formed in 1990, to give a unified voice to retirees; to provide a bridge for communication with the University; to encourage social contact among the retirees; and to open a few doors through which retirees could continue to contribute to the University of Windsor.
Thus the Association is meant to fill what could otherwise be a void in the lives of retirees possible isolation from the University and from their former colleagues; and possible lack of understanding of vital pension and health issues that affect them directly.
There are only two meetings of the full membership per year: in the spring and the fall. An informal social committee arranges several other events per year dinners, plays, picnics, and so on all of which are paid for by those who take part. The Association encourages smaller special interest groups to form as occasion and their interests warrant. Because of extreme economy of operation, dues have been kept at the level of $10 per year. This includes five issues of The Retirees' Newsletter .
Officers of the Association are:
President: Edwin Habib
Secretary: (Temporarily vacant)
Treas'r & Membership: Bill Phillips
Elected Members of the Executive Committee:Bob Chandler; Idalia Rappé
Ex Officio Members of the Executive Committee: (Founding Pres.) Shklov; and (Newsletter Editor) Phillips.
The Association's Address is:
Faculty/Librarian Retireess' Association,
University of Windsor Post Office,
Windsor, ON. N9B 3P4
Home Page: http://www.uwindsor.ca/newsstnd/uwflra/index.html
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