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N.S. Finance Minister urges patience for solutions to teachers pension shortfall

By Evan Taylor May 3, 2024 | 12:41 PM

Nova Scotia’s finance minister says people have a right to know how much they’re on the hook for concerning the teachers’ pensions shortfall, just not yet.

Speaking with reporters on Thursday, Allan MacMaster said the fund, which is facing a $1.4-billion shortfall, is seeing improvement and there is no need to be hasty with a decision.

“The plan is stable. People are getting their pension cheques and people are making their contributions to the plan,” said MacMaster.

The fund has about $5.4 billion in assets currently, compared to its liabilities of $7.8 billion. It did improve over the last year, with its total funded percentage rising from 75 to 78 per cent.

“The two sponsors of the plan (Nova Scotia and the Nova Scotia Teachers Union) can have discussions most productively by having the ability to consider options without making it public,” said MacMaster.

The finance minister did say, however, that as the government and by extension the taxpayers are responsible for half of the plan, they have a right to know what options are being put forward before a decision is reached.

He indicated that once the two parties involved in the process have actionable plans, the public will be informed and have the chance to provide feedback.