Public sector and federal government ink new health benefits deal

Public sector workers walk outside at Tunney's Pasture Friday, August 9, 2013. (Darren Brown/QMI...

Public sector workers walk outside at Tunney's Pasture Friday, August 9, 2013. (Darren Brown/QMI Agency file photo)

Megan Gillis, Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 3:51 PM ET

OTTAWA - A new deal on health benefits for retired civil servants doubles premiums and triples the years of service required to be eligible but will be phased in over four years and exempts the poorest pensioners from the premium hike.

Both sides "put some water in our wine" but the deal will nonetheless save taxpayers $6.7 billion over six years, Treasury Board president Tony Clement said at a press conference Wednesday.

He argued that it's "fair and reasonable" for retirees and taxpayers and will help deliver balanced budgets that "pave the road to prosperity."

The average retiree will see premiums rise from $24 to $48 a month, Clement said.

The Public Service Alliance of Canada says it was against the changes but it was clear that if there was no agreement the government would legislate them on its own.

Pensioners will go from paying a quarter of Public Service Health Care Plan premiums to half. It will take six years of work to be eligible for the benefits upon retirement, up from two years.

 


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