Service cuts may loom at universities with pension shortfalls

November 29, 2010

A Globe and Mail survey of over 20 Canadian universities reveals a combined pension plan solvency deficit of at least $2.59 billion, which may leave institutions with no choice but to cut services in order to address the deficit. Although the Nova Scotia government has granted Dalhousie University some pension solvency relief, some cuts are likely unavoidable, says the university' assistant vice-president. Due to its pension plan losing 29% in value in 2008, the University of Toronto expects to owe another $50 million on top of the $100 million it already contributes from a $1.5-billion operating budget. Service cuts are the likely solution again after an arbitrator ruled against a proposed premium hike for faculty and librarians. The Ontario government has temporarily eased pension requirements on universities to give them time to regroup, but uToronto argues solvency tests make no sense for universities. Globe and Mail