April 6, 1949

DEPARTMENT OF NATIONAL DEFENCE


Pensions and other benefits- 604. Militia Pension Act-government's contribution to the permanent forces pension fund-further amount required, $3,894,493.


PC

George Alexander Drew (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Drew:

Is it not item 605?

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LIB

Alphonse Fournier (Minister of Public Works; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Mr. Fournier (Hull):

Item 604 stood.

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LIB

William Henry Golding (Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole)

Liberal

The Deputy Chairman:

Item 604 stood until we could get further information. We shall deal with it now.

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LIB

Brooke Claxton (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Hon. Brooke Claxion (Minister of National Defence):

When item 604 was previously under consideration the hon. member for Nanaimo asked how many men were discharged on pension after July 1, 1948. The answer is that under parts I to IV of the Militia Pension Act 83 were discharged, and under part V, 29, making a total of 112.

The hon. member for Regina City asked what is the total annual payment by government and number of personnel covered thereby. The answer is that in the main estimates for 1948-49 the payment by the government into the fund was $4,109,109, and the number of personnel covered by that amount was 39,165, all covered in part V.

The hon. member for York South asked a question which appears on page 2315 of Hansard, in which he said he suggested that there were large increases in civilian pay as compared with service pay. The services had approximately the same increases in pay as. civilians.

The hon. member also asked a question about the increase in personnel from January 1, 1948, to December 31, 1948. The number has already been given in an answer to a question in the house on March 30, 1949. I can repeat the figures if the hon. gentleman wants them here.

Strength as at March 31, 1948:

Officers Other ranks TotalNavy 1,064 5,796 6,860Army 2,299 13,586 15,885Air force 2,076 9,941 12,017Total for the three services 5,439 29,323 34,762.

Strength as at February 28, 1949:

Officers Other ranks TotalNavy 1,138 6,843 7,981Army 2,521 16,002 18,523Air force 2,698 11,609 14,307Total for the three services 6,357 34,454 Grand total 40,811Increase from March 31, 1948, to February 28, 1949: Officers Other ranks TotalNavy 74 1,047 1,121Army 222 2,416 2,638Air force 622 1,668 2,290Total increase for the three services .... 918 5,131 Grand total 6,049

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PC

Alan Cockeram

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Cockeram:

Can the minister give us

the increase in the civilian employees in these three services?

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LIB

Brooke Claxton (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. Claxion:

Yes. At March 31, 1948, the total of civilian employees was 20,171. At February 28, 1949, the total number of

civilian employees was 20,279, so that the increase was 108.

I should add that the civilian employees may be divided under headings: At February 28, 1949, of classified civil servants, which will be understood to include a good number of caretakers and others of that class, there were approximately 8,500. Of employees engaged at prevailing rates on the same basis as civilian industry, such as those in the dockyards or in the workshops, there were approximately 8,400. Of those engaged on construction, there were approximately 1,800, and of those engaged in covering military vacancies-that is doing work which might be done by a civilian, a sailor, a soldier, or an airman, approximately 1,500.

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PC

George Randolph Pearkes

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Pearkes:

In his answer the parliamentary assistant explained this item in these words: "This amount in item 604 is explained by the fact that the government used to pay one for one, and is now paying one and two-thirds as against one." I presume that means the proportion which the government is contributing toward this pension fund. Does that apply to pension paid under parts IV and V, or is there some change which has made it necessary to bring in this additional amount?

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LIB

Brooke Claxton (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. Claxton:

This is a change brought about this year; it results from a review from the actuarial point of view of the actuarial basis of the pension fund. The

Supply-National Defence item of $3,894,493 is divided into two items, the additional amount to meet estimated actuarial requirements-that is, two-thirds of the amount of $4,109,109 as provided in the main estimates for 1948-49, based on 5,647 officers and 28,366 other ranks, a total concerned of 34,013. But a further amount is required, arising from increased strength, increased pay and allowances and adjustments of arrears, of $1,555,087, making up the total of $3,894,493 to which I have just referred, and which is sought in this supplementary estimate; with the amount provided for in the main estimates of $4,109,109, it makes a total payment of $8,003,602 by the government to the fund in respect of the year 1948-49.

I should add that with this ratio of payment under which, instead of paying one for one to officers and men the government pays one and two-thirds, it means that there is a ratio of five to three. That is, the pension fund, roughly speaking, is made up of a six per cent contribution from the pay of officers and men and a ten per cent contribution by the government out of the consolidated revenue fund, or out of this vote. I should add that I do not know of any pension plan which is more generous than this.

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PC

George Randolph Pearkes

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Pearkes:

Could the minister give the date on which that change was made?

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LIB

Brooke Claxton (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. Claxton:

The change was made by P.C. 72-1931, dated April 30, 1948.

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PC
LIB

Brooke Claxton (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. Claxton:

The amounts due have been accumulated, that is, entered from then to this date. But it will require the vote which we seek under this supplementary to supply the fund with this additional sum of money.

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PC

John Thomas Hackett

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Hackett:

But have the funds been paid out? That is the question.

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LIB

Brooke Claxton (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. Claxton:

This is an insurance fund, in exactly the same way as employees under the Civil Service Superannuation Act, or the employees under any pension plan, or, indeed the insured under any plan of pension insurance, including endowment and the like, pay into a fund so that the fund will be able to meet future contingencies. That contingency potentially exists in respect of the 39,165 officers and men who were contributing to the fund as at February 28, 1949, under part V of the Militia Pension Act.

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PC

John Thomas Hackett

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Hackeli:

May I have an answer to my question? I am aware of the fund and of the method followed. Have these additional amounts been paid into that fund?

Supply-National Defence Mr. Claxlon: No; they cannot be paid until the money is voted by parliament. That is why we are asking for this item.

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PC

John Thomas Hackett

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Hackett:

But the unusual aspect of these estimates is that to a great extent they represent moneys which have already been paid, according to the statement of the Minister of Finance. I am trying to ascertain whether in the instance under discussion the moneys have been paid into the fund or pool.

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LIB

Brooke Claxton (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. Claxlon:

These funds have not been paid to the pensioners.

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?

Mr. Hackeil@

Of course not; they have not been paid to the pensioners. But have they been paid into the pool or fund?

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April 6, 1949