04/23/2015 12:46 EDT | Updated 07/19/2015 07:59 EDT

Nova Scotia universities could join public service pension plan under new bill

HALIFAX - Nova Scotia universities would have the option of transferring to the much larger public service pension plan under legislation introduced today by the provincial government.

Finance Minister Diana Whalen says enabling universities to join the Nova Scotia Public Service Superannuation Plan would provide more security and reduce costs for the schools.

Whalen says Acadia University has agreed to transfer 700 members who are in its defined benefit plan to the public service plan by July 1.

She says the university estimates it will save about $3.6 million a year, beginning in 2017, by making the switch.

Steven Wolff, CEO of the Nova Scotia Pension Services Corp., says the benefit of the move would see the reduction or elimination of liabilities in the smaller plans while growing the public service plan.

The public service plan has 16,000 active members and 14,000 retirees.