The pension benefits of Fraser Papers’ retirees will be the subject of a special session of the New Brunswick legislature on July 29. The legislature is being recalled for a one-day session to amend the Pension Benefits Act, which, according to a story by The Canadian Press, will allow “people who once worked at the pulp mill to immediately benefit from increased pension payouts. The changes would also see their pension plans converted to a shared-risk model in September.”
Members of the Fraser Papers pension plan have already voted in favor of the changes. More than 1,200 people would benefit from them.
Fraser Papers filed for bankruptcy protection in 2009. The mill in Edmundston, N.B. has been operated by Twin Rivers Paper Co. since 2010.
Government house leader Paul Robichaud told The Canadian Press the legislature needs to reconvene in order to make the changes immediately. “It is great news for the employees of Twin Rivers and the former employees of Fraser Papers because their pension is now safe and secure," Robichaud said. “It will represent a significant increase of revenue for them."
Robichaud said the former Fraser employees were getting 54% of their expected pension and the changes will increase that to almost 65%.