POLITICS

New Brunswick finance minister disappointed with threat of legal action

10/01/2013 01:16 EDT | Updated 12/01/2013 05:12 EST
FREDERICTON - New Brunswick's finance minister says he's disappointed a group of retired public servants is threatening legal action instead of being part of an effort to protect their pensions.

Blaine Higgs met with members of Pension Coalition New Brunswick on Tuesday, but says that instead of offering suggestions they are threatening legal action if current retirees are included in a new shared-risk model which would only see increases during good years.

Group spokesman Clifford Kennedy announced Monday that 96 per cent of about 2,300 people who attended a recent series of public meetings voted to challenge proposed changes to public pensions in the province.

The group says changes should only affect current employees and not retirees, but Higgs says that in order to be fair the solution has to be shared by everyone.

The public service plan, which covers about 32,000 people, has a $1-billion deficit and is only about 50 per cent solvent.

Higgs won't say when he'll introduce the necessary legislation, but Kennedy says he expects it will be unveiled this fall.