Quebec Court Rules Retirees Have No Say in Surplus Use

March 16, 2005 ( - The Quebec Court of Appeals has denied retirees from Hydro-Quebec the right to have their say with a pension surplus.

>According to Benefits and Pension Monitor, the court has ruled that the use of a surplus to improve certain benefits for current employees and to grant contribution holidays does not infringe on the rights of retirees. As well, the court has ruled that such uses do not require retiree consent or equal payouts to such retirees.

>The employees from Hydro-Quebec had alleged that the company and union officials had agreed on a plan that would reduce the surplus by paying out benefits to current workers. They claimed that the two entities did not have the right to take away from any surplus; the court, however, disagreed.

>The court also ruled that if an unlawful act depleted the surplus, the appropriate remedy was not to grant additional benefits to a particular group, but to return the fund to the pension plan.