News Update December 5th, 2005
On October 31, 2005 several executive Board members met with the Minister of Finance to once again discuss our concerns. A summary of the issues discussed are noted in the correspondence sent to the Minister subsequent to the meeting.
December 5, 2005
Hon. Harry Van Mulligen
Minister of Finance
Government of Saskatchewan
Regina, Saskatchewan S4S 0B3
Dear Minister Van Mulligen:
On behalf of all members of our association, I want to thank you for the opportunity to meet on October 31, 2005 and share information with you and your staff.
At this meeting we attempted to highlight several areas of concern.
First — All government retirees appreciate that you have now asked your staff to look into the various possibilities for providing Group Health and Dental Benefits to Saskatchewan Retiree members. To assist with this, we have provided Brian Smith with such specific premium and program information as he requested. And indeed we are prepared to provide any additional information or such other help as may be useful in completing this task and developing recommendations for you.
Second — We discussed the benefits that could be available if the government could provide a pension checkoff for our members’ Group Health and Dental Program premiums. This is not a costly item from the government’s point of view but would provide substantial benefits and program flexibility for our membership. Such checkoffs now exist for life insurance. In other jurisdictions this is a common practice to assist retirees’ programming. We would hope that something like this would be possible in the near future.
Third — everyone recognizes that the financial situation of the province is the best it has been in a long time. The premier and most politicians proudly point to Saskatchewan being a “have” province. With this improved financial position, the province has been able to provide additional financial support for many sectors and labor groups in Saskatchewan. Saskatchewan Government Retirees have been at the bottomof the list for such help for far too long. We hope that the presentation made to you will provide the basis for some additional, and much needed, financial help for provincial superannuates.
Mr. Minister, we again thank you for the courtesy of the last and previous meetings. We believe the discussions were forthright and useful. We look to you for some positive action to assist the many superannuates that are experiencing the continuing loss of purchasing power resulting from higher and higher inflation. We need your help.