03/26/2014 10:46 EDT | Updated 05/26/2014 05:59 EDT

Public sector, feds reach deal on health benefits for retirees

Treasury Board President Tony Clement will announce today the government has reached a deal with its public sector unions to double the amount retired federal employees pay in premiums for health benefits.

Clement was expected to make the announcement at a press conference at noon ET today.

In the Feb. 11 budget, the Conservative government announced it would transition from the government currently paying 75 per cent of benefit costs under the Public Service Health Care Plan to equal cost sharing.

The new 50-50 cost-sharing plan is expected to save the government significant cash. The budget estimates the savings at $7.4 billion over six years.

In the budget, the government said the change was to move toward comparable plans of other large employers in the public and private sectors.

The new cost-sharing is expected to be phased in over four years beginning in 2015 and exclude low-income pensioners.