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Pension reform tops agenda as PEI delivers Throne Speech

Prince Edward Island Premier Robert Ghiz.


The Prince Edward Island government says it will forge ahead with changes to its public-sector pension plans and look to bolster the province's economy through enterprise and small business development.

The commitments are included in the Liberal government's Throne Speech delivered Tuesday as the fall session of the legislature got underway in Charlottetown.

The government says pension changes are needed because of a growing gap between how much retirees take out of their pensions and contributions to those plans, adding that millions of dollars in special payments can't offset increasing costs.

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The changes – initially announced last month – include calculating pensions earned by current employees using an average of their indexed annual earnings, and annual cost-of-living adjustments would be contingent on the fund's ability to pay.

The government is also proposing to raise the age at which employees can draw a non-reduced pension from 60 to 62.

The government says it will also expand its entrepreneur loan program by raising the maximum loan from $50,000 to $100,000 in order to increase the capital available to small- and medium-sized businesses.

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