Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour

Minister announces improvements to pensions (08/12/10)

NB 1799

Dec. 10, 2008

FREDERICTON (CNB) - Proposed changes under the pension benefits section of the Workers' Compensation Act were introduced in the legislature today by Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour Minister Donald Arseneault.

"If the changes are adopted, the percentage of wage loss benefits that WorkSafeNB would be required to set aside would increase to 10 per cent from five per cent," said Arseneault.

The proposed increased pension benefit would come into effect in the new year and apply to eligible workers turning 65 on or after Jan. 1, 2009.

The changes will also be retroactive to 1993, giving an eligible worker who turned 65 on or after Jan. 1, 2009, his or her pension benefit calculated as if it had been accruing at a rate of 10 per cent from the start of his or her eligibility period.

The proposal stems from the findings of an independent review panel, appointed by the government in 2007, to examine the workplace health, safety and compensation system. The panel presented 64 recommendations directed to WorkSafeNB and the government.

"I would like to recognize the hard work that WorksafeNB has done to put this forward," said Arseneault. "This proposal will allow it to better serve New Brunswick's injured workers."

WorkSafe NB, the successor to the Workplace Health, Safety and Compensation Commission, is responsible for the administration of the Workplace Health, Safety and Compensation Commission Act, the Workers' Compensation Act, the Occupational Health and Safety Act and corresponding regulations. For more information, visit www.worksafenb.ca.

08/12/10

MEDIA CONTACTS: Mary Tucker, communications, WorkSafeNB, 506-632-2828; Sheri Strickland, communications, Department of Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour, 506-453-8617.

08/12/10