Headlines (Campus Updates)
Laurier receives approval for stage-one pension funding relief
Communications, Public Affairs & Marketing
Wilfrid Laurier University’s application for stage-one temporary pension funding relief has been approved by the provincial government. Under recent provincial legislation, universities facing significant solvency funding deficits for their pension plans were given the opportunity to apply for temporary funding relief. The application required the submission of a Sustainability Plan detailing proposed plan changes that, if implemented, will make the Pension Plan more sustainable and affordable in the future.
The stage-one approval means that Laurier is exempt from making solvency special payments for a period of three years from the last actuarial valuation (Dec. 31, 2009) and is not required to perform another valuation of the plan until Dec. 31, 2012.
The approval provides stable pension funding requirements for the University over the three-year period, and allows a window in which the University can negotiate with its employee groups to make changes to the Pension Plan that will improve its sustainability.
Under this same legislation, in 2013 the University may have the option to fund any solvency deficits over 10 years instead of the current five years. To qualify for this stage-two relief, Laurier must show that sufficient progress has been made towards the Sustainability Plan.
“The stage-one approval is good news” says Jim Butler, Laurier's vice-president finance & administration, “but it’s important to remember that the relief is temporary, and only applies to solvency deficits. Laurier’s Pension Plan has a going concern deficit of $60 million and is only 82 percent funded. The government relief does not address this.”
Butler encourages faculty and staff to educate themselves on the Laurier Pension Plan and the funding issues it’s facing. A video of the recent pension town hall meeting is available online as well as information on the sustainability application and other related resources on the Human Resources web page.