New Details on RCMP Contract Emerging

Three emerging issues coming out of the new RCMP contract – pension plans, medical coverage and severance packages – are being monitored closely by the Local Government Contract Management Committee (LGCMC), as they will have a direct impact on local government policing costs.

The Local Government Contract Management Committee is a joint committee created to provide a forum for consultation, analysis and communication between Local Government and the Province regarding the management of the Agreement under which the RCMP provide local police services in BC and to analyze and respond to changes that may be proposed from time to time by the Federal government and/or the RCMP and recommend changes to the Federal government and/or the RCMP that may be considered necessary or appropriate.

The Local Government Contract Management Committee through its Co-Chairs has reported the following information to UBCM:

Pension Contribution Rates:

The Province of BC has performed an early analysis on the potential RCMP employer pension contributions that may come into effect on April 1, 2014.  The official RCMP Pension Report, which determines the actual pension contribution rate for April 1, 2014, will be released this spring.

Preliminary estimates by the Province indicate RCMP employer pension contribution rates may increase up to an estimated 6% on April 1, 2014 due to an increasing deficit in the RCMP pension plan. This has not been accounted for in the five-year financial plan provided to municipalities by the RCMP in spring 2012.

The Province has conveyed its concerns regarding the potential increase to the Federal Government and has asked the RCMP and the Federal Government to confirm the financial impact of the potential increase and to engage with municipalities to address this issue at the earliest opportunity.

Basic Health Care Changes:

Effective April 1, 2013, the RCMP will no longer bill municipalities for basic health care costs through Division Administration. The BC Medical Services Plan (MSP) will begin covering basic health services provided to RCMP Members living and working in the province. 

The RCMP has indicated this may result in savings to the employer. The extent of the savings will depend on whether the employer or the employee is responsible for paying all or part of the monthly MSP premium.  The RCMP aims to resolve this question by April 1, 2013. 

It is expected the RCMP and the Federal Government will communicate information about the savings to municipalities once the responsibility for the MSP premium is determined.

Termination and Liquidation of Severance:

The Federal Government terminated RCMP Members' entitlement to accumulate severance pay for voluntary resignations and retirements as of March 31, 2012. The RCMP has already begun liquidating severance payments for those employees who have opted to cash out.  To date, the average severance payout per Member is an estimated at $15,000 to $20,000 in E Division.

The LGCMC and the UBCM sent a joint letter to the Minister of Public Safety Canada expressing concern with the manner in which the Federal Government is managing the issue of severance liquidation. The Province of BC also wrote a letter, on behalf of all RCMP contract provinces and territories, regarding the lack of consultation and challenging the scope and impact of the severance policy. The Province is also seeking options for amortizing the cost.

The Province, UBCM and the LGCMC are asking the RCMP and the Federal Government to provide clarity on these issues and to confirm the financial impact to BC municipalities as soon as possible.

The Local Government Contract Management Committee will continue to follow these issues and will update UBCM as new information becomes available.

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