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The House of Assembly Management Commission voted Wednesday evening to grandfather the freshman class of MHAs into the older, more lucrative pension plan.

The commission amended a recommendation by the Members’ Compensation Review Committee. The new, less lucrative MHA pension rules were supposed to apply to all MHAs who were elected for the first time on Nov. 30, 2015.

Justice Minister Andrew Parsons said he had a problem making the new pension rules retroactive to last year.

“I think it’s unfair for these members who signed up for one thing to have it changed midstream,” he said. Parsons added that in a different employment context, changing the pension plan could be a form of “constructive dismissal”.

PC MHA Keith Hutchings also had a problem with the making the rules retroactive. Natural Resources Minister Siobhan Coady and Liberal MHA Mark Browne recused themselves from the issue because they were directly affected by the motion.

Sandra Burke, the chair of the compensation review committee, warned the commission to be careful about grandfathering in the pension changes because it would add $3.6 million to the unfunded liability of the MHA pension plan.

In the end, the commission voted to make the new pension rules applicable to MHAs elected after Dec. 7, 2016.

NDP MHA Lorraine Michael voted against the amended motion.