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View Mathieu Ravignat Profile
View Mathieu Ravignat Profile
2013-06-18 11:34
Thank you very much.
Of course, some public servants are worried about the changes being made to the plan. As you know, the employee contribution rate to the Public Service Pension Plan will steadily increase until the employer and the employees are splitting the plan's cost 50/50.
Will employees have more of a say in the plan's management, or will they continue to have their voices heard through their representatives within the Public Service Pension Advisory Committee?
What is the plan in terms of public sector unions' involvement?
Kim Gowing
View Kim Gowing Profile
Kim Gowing
2013-06-18 11:35
Currently, employees will be engaged through the Public Service Pension Advisory Committee, through their representatives.
View Mathieu Ravignat Profile
View Mathieu Ravignat Profile
2013-06-18 12:13
It would be interesting to know—you've kind of predicted what I'd like to know—when push comes to shove what you would do.
What would you do in the case where you're actually getting a pretty good return? It would be interesting; and I think Canadians and those who invest in this plan would sleep better at night knowing that at the end of the line, if a company is unethical, then their investment portfolio will reflect the ethical issues on that.
I'd like to go on to something that Mr. Albas made some reference to, and that's the aging population.
What's the percentage of working versus retired public servants? What's the ratio? Have you figured out how that ratio will change over the next 10 years? Have you done any estimates to that end? Does your plan take age changes into account? How do the ratio and fluctuations affect the financial sustainability of the pension plan?
Jean-Claude Ménard
View Jean-Claude Ménard Profile
Jean-Claude Ménard
2013-06-18 12:14
Thank you for that question.
The annual Report on the Public Service Pension Plan indicates that the ratio of pensioners to employees has remained relatively stable over the past 10 years, at around 60%. That figure is expected to hit 65% in the near future, 76% in 5 years and 84% in 10 years.
I would like to take this opportunity to reassure the member that the actuarial report already takes that ratio into account. The most recent actuarial report also shows the progression of the public service. In the long term, the growth of the public service is expected to more or less mirror that of Canada's population. The period I'm referring to is 2018 and beyond.
View Pat Martin Profile
Thank you, Jay.
That concludes the second round of questioning. We have time to get a little bit further into a third round.
I have two points for clarification. I don't believe I heard or saw in the report an estimate of the total amount of brokerage fees you might spend in an average year above and beyond your in-house costs.
Second, on the composition of your board of trustees, if you're moving to a 50-50 contribution rate, will you be moving to a 50-50 composition of the board, employer to employee? Even though some of us are of the view that all pensions are deferred wages of the employee, is that change in the composition of the board in the works? As well, give an idea of the broker fees paid for your investment.
Kim Gowing
View Kim Gowing Profile
Kim Gowing
2013-06-18 12:33
I'll start first.
I'm not so sure that we're not mixing up two particular boards. There's the Public Service Pension Advisory Board, which is made up of employer and employee representatives and reports to the president. And there is PSPIB, which has a specific board appointed as governor-in-council appointees who are chosen through a nominating committee.
View Pat Martin Profile
Very good.
Is there talk about adjusting the composition of your board to have equal representation of employers and employees, or what is the composition of it now? If they're governor-in-council appointees, who is making these investment decisions on behalf of the employees currently?
Mark Boutet
View Mark Boutet Profile
Mark Boutet
2013-06-18 12:34
I can try to answer that question.
If you look at the Public Sector Pension Investment Board Act, there is an independent nominating committee put in place, and that committee has the responsibility of proposing to the minister members to be directors of our board of directors. Ultimately, the minister would go through the process of accepting or not accepting, and asking the nominating committee to find other people and going through the process of the governor-in-council appointments.
View Irene Mathyssen Profile
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Again, thank you for your expertise.
I want to switch to more of a human relations kind of question.
In the brief, you've indicated, Madam Gowing, that of the 565,125 members, 313,652 are active contributors. We know there is downsizing going on in the public service, and I'm assuming that of the 12,000 to 13,000 jobs that will be eliminated, a number of those would be younger and contributing members of the public service.
How does that impact, first of all, the liabilities you've calculated? Second, what effect, if any, does it have in terms of the anticipated contributions? Has that work been done?
Jean-Claude Ménard
View Jean-Claude Ménard Profile
Jean-Claude Ménard
2013-06-18 12:36
We don't have a precise number on the demographic composition of the downsizing currently under way. What we do have, however, is a projection of these contributors, and according to the most recent report, we are projecting about 300,000 contributors in 2016-17. That's the number we have in the actuarial report. As such, the liabilities are both related to these contributors and the pensioners, the disabled, the survivors, and their children who are receiving benefits.
Jean-Claude Ménard
View Jean-Claude Ménard Profile
Jean-Claude Ménard
2013-06-18 12:37
We don't have precise numbers, but I'm ready to say that in 2014, in the next triennial report for the public service, we will take this into consideration and have more precise numbers in that.
Jennifer Stoddart
View Jennifer Stoddart Profile
Jennifer Stoddart
2013-06-05 15:48
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Mr. Chair and honourable members, thank you very much for inviting me here this afternoon for your study of Bill C-461, the CBC and public service disclosure and transparency act.
As you said, Mr. Chair, the senior general counsel is with me in order to respond to your more technical legal questions.
First, for some context, from the outset I'd like to acknowledge that the amendments to the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act in the bill raise complex and highly topical issues related to open government. We take it as given that most citizens would like to see greater openness in public institutions. Accountability plays a central role in our democracy and in Canadian society. Indeed, in September 2010, all of Canada's federal, provincial, and territorial access to information and privacy commissioners signed a resolution to promote open government as a means to enhance transparency andaccountability.
As you are aware, Bill C-461 amends both the federal Access to Information Act as well as the Privacy Act.
As Privacy Commissioner, I will limit my remarks to those amendments that implicate privacy. I understand that you have already had the opportunity to hear from my colleague Ms. Legault, the Information Commissioner, on the amendments pertaining to access to information.
At a high level, Bill C-461 revises the definition of "personal information" found in section 3 of the Privacy Act to specify that certain categories of information are "non-personal" information for the purposes of release under access to information requests.
Specifically, the elements no longer deemed personal information would include: the classification, salary and responsibilities of any federal employee whose salary is equal to or greater than the minimum salary of the first level of the Deputy Minister category, currently set at $188,600; the classification, salary range and responsibilities of any position held by a federal employee whose salary falls under the first level of the Deputy Minister category; and the details of any reimbursed expenses incurred by any federal employee in the course of their employment.
Now I will tell you about existing practice in government.
To better situate these proposed amendments in the broader drive for openness and accountability, I would like to briefly touch on comparable measures that already exist in various sectors and at various levels of government.
The Public Service of Canada already makes publicly available its rates of pay for all of its positions, up to and including those at the Deputy Minister and Chief Executive Officer levels. Similarly, for Governor-in-Council appointments, the Privy Council Office website lists detailed salary ranges for each position, which incidentally include those of the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada.
The Treasury Board Secretariat has also implemented a series of measures that apply across the federal public service for the proactive disclosure of financial and human resources-related information such as travel and hospitality expenses for senior government officials, the reclassification of government positions, and contracts above $10,000.
At the provincial level, some governments use thresholds to disclose the salaries of public sector officials. According to our research, Manitoba has the lowest threshold at $50,000, whereas Ontario and Nova Scotia adopted $100,000 thresholds, and British Columbia a $125,000 threshold. While Manitoba, Ontario and Nova Scotia disclose the names and salaries of all officials and employees earning over the established threshold, British Columbia only releases the names and salaries of a public sector organization's CEO and the next four highest ranking executives.
In the private sector, publicly-traded companies must also disclose all compensation paid to their Chief Executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer and next three top-paid executives. This includes all shares, options and bonuses, and applies to those earning more than $150,000 in total compensation.
Given these examples, it would appear that disclosure of salaries for individuals in leadership roles within organizations, in both the Canadian public sector and private enterprise, is already best practice.
In the opinion of my office, and taking into account best practices elsewhere in Canada, the disclosure of the salaries of the most senior officials in the federal public sector does not represent a significant privacy risk relative to the goal of transparency and the broader public interest. With respect to the disclosure of position classifications, job descriptions, and reimbursed expenses, my understanding is that this kind of information is already disclosed upon request in many government departments and agencies under the existing access to information regime.
Within my own office, our director of human resources and our chief privacy officer indicate to me that were we to receive an access to information request tomorrow for an employee's classification, salary range, work description, or reimbursed expenses, we would disclose this information. This would be in accordance with our access to information and privacy responsibilities and our general commitment to transparency and accountability to Canadians.
Given current practice, and the broader public policy aim of institutional transparency and accountability, these disclosures do not represent serious privacy implications.
I thank you once again, Mr. Chair, for this opportunity to present my office's views on this bill. I look forward to your questions.
View Chris Warkentin Profile
Thank you very much, Mr. Chair.
I think many of my constituents would disagree with Mr. Boulerice. Many of my constituents do have some questions about CBC and do want those things answered. But we have to get a bill through this committee, one that will work and that will respect, obviously, the balance that's necessary in terms of protecting journalistic rights, the rights of a journalist to keep their sources confidential, and of course, the right of the public to know where their resources are being allocated. We're working on just that—to get the balance right.
You said in your testimony, Commissioner, that currently, if somebody were to ATIP your office, you would release the information with regard to an employee's classification, their range of salary, their work description, and the reimbursed expenses that they have received.
Do you know if that's the same requirement that CBC would be under right now?
Jennifer Stoddart
View Jennifer Stoddart Profile
Jennifer Stoddart
2013-06-05 16:03
I can't speak to the practice at CBC, but that's our reading of our obligations in terms of access to information legislation.
View John Carmichael Profile
I just want to make sure we're properly assessing all of the input relative to journalistic integrity, protecting journalists who come forward and giving adequate thought to this. So I appreciate that. I'll let that part go then.
I want to go back to some of your material today. In your presentation you talked about the sunshine list, and granted, while the disclosure of information that we're talking about today isn't really a sunshine list, could you comment, give us your thoughts, about the differences among the various provinces as to their position on what level is appropriate for disclosure of salaries, bonuses, etc.?
I'd also like to get your position or your perspective on this. When you talk about private corporations and publicly traded companies—and obviously we've limited that to the top three or four people—do you think that goes deep enough? Again, we're dealing with a situation here where we have...and I want to come back to that specifically after I hear from you on this.
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