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March 2, 2000
For immediate release

Province Announces Proposed Pension Changes For Civil Servants

Provincial Treasury

The Honourable Pat Mella, Provincial Treasurer, announced today the government's intention to introduce changes to the Civil Service Superannuation Act which will positively affect the pension benefits of long-service employees. The proposed changes will allow active contributors of the Civil Service Superannuation Fund (CSSF) who have a minimum 30 years of pensionable service, and who are a minimum age of 55, to retire without penalty. Minister Mella stated the government will seek the approval of the legislature to amend the Act to effect these changes. If approved, it is anticipated that the changes would come into effect on September 1, 2000.

Minister Mella noted that the 1998 Collective Agreement between government and the Union of Public Sector Employees contained a commitment to study early retirement options. Similar provisions are available within the pension plans of other provincial governments and the federal government. The minister is pleased to report that the study confirmed that prudent financial management of the fund and excellent investment returns made it feasible for government to introduce these changes at this time.

This initiative will acknowledge the major contributions made by employees who have dedicated their careers to the service of Islanders. As well, this earlier retirement option provides an opportunity for renewal of the public sector. With the aging of the public service workforce, this initiative will allow for some employees to retire earlier and facilitate a more gradual transition while providing a continuity of quality service to Islanders.

The Provincial Treasurer estimated that by the end of the year 2001, 150 employees will be eligible to benefit from this enhancement. However, it is unknown how many will exercise this early retirement option.

"This early retirement initiative provides an opportunity for renewal, and equally important, it is an acknowledgement of the major contributions made by our long-service employees," said Minister Mella.

Media Contact: Patricia Mella
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