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The I.A.T.S.E. Canadian Retirement Plan: A Testament to Growth

During the Winter Board Meeting held in Houston, Texas in 2005, the General Executive Board approved the creation of a Canadian National Retirement Plan (the “Retirement Plan”).  In doing so, the General Executive Board recognized the need for our members in Canada to be able to retire with dignity and not be forced to work in their old age because of a lack of financial security.

From humble beginnings, the Retirement Plan has grown incredibly since its inception.  As can be seen by the graph, the Retirement Plan is expanding at a phenomenal rate.  In less than two years, over half of the locals in Canada are participating in the Retirement Plan and assets have already surpassed $27 million.  Growth is expected to increase even faster in 2007 with weekly contributions estimated to reach as high as $800,000 per week.

The Retirement Plan is sponsored by the International which paid for the initial start-up costs including legal and consulting fees.  In addition, the Retirement Plan employs a fulltime Plan manager who works out of the Canadian office in Toronto.  The Plan manager works with participating locals to ensure the efficient administration of the Retirement Plan.

In June of 2006, International President Short appointed a Retirement Committee to manage the day to day operations of the Retirement Plan.  The Retirement Committee is comprised of local representatives from the various regions in Canada.  The Retirement Plan offers professional administrative support for locals and greatly reduced management fees to our members, which is the direct result of negotiating on a national basis.  The phenomenal growth of the Retirement Plan is an example of what can be accomplished when local unions and the International work together and is a testament to the leadership and commitment of President Short and of Brother Frank Haddad, a member of Local 891 in Vancouver, British Columbia who was the architect of the Retirement Plan and is currently the Chair of the Retirement Committee.