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Unifaith Pension Fund Proposal – An Open Letter



Nora Sanders,

General Secretary The United Church of Canada

200-3250 Bloor St W,  Etobicoke, ON M8X 2Y4


23 July 2019


Dear Ms. Sanders,


Greetings to you from the members and Executive Board of Unifaith.  


We congratulate the Pension Board on its success in growing the Fund over the past several years to its present healthy state. We are encouraged that the General Council Executive has now asked for an exploration of how the Plan might upgrade the pension after many years of no increases. In response to concerns about the Pension Plan raised by Unifaith members, Unifaith has been researching and reflecting on the Plan in depth for two years.


We understand that you have been tasked to work with the Pension Board to consider all of the possibilities outlined in a large number of proposals submitted to the last General Council with a view to reporting on any affordable means to provide additional support or benefits to retirees. We write with our special interest, being the primary author of some of those proposal. The information and analysis in the proposal none of us could have discovered on our own. They are a result of our being an association of United Church employees and retirees, and allied with Unifor, Canada’s largest private sector union and a force for progressive social change.


The proposal contains our detailed and researched suggestions for the Plan, arranged in various sections. In general, Unifaith is recommending: - methods to supplement pension incomes after a decade of no increases; - a commitment by the United Church to regular pension increases (based on new sources of revenue and a different assumption about fund solvency); - more transparency about the Board’s assumptions and plans, and specifically more clarity about fund solvency; - rebuilding trust with Plan members by restoring a former limit on the power of the Pension Board to reduce pensions.  


We trust that our data and point of view will add to the breadth of the review you and General Council Office staff are undertaking. We would be pleased to meet with you to discuss our proposal further.



Rev. Dr. Chris Levan, President

Rev. Dr. Robin Wardlaw, Past President

 cc.  United Church Pension Board;  media

A proposal to Ms. Nora Sanders, General Secretary,

The United Church of Canada

by Unifaith Unifor Community Chapter July, 2019

Ways and means to honour the pension covenant

between The United Church of Canada and Pension Plan members,

achieve an upgrade for pensioners, and protect members from inflation

> more <