Some former government employees in Alberta, Canada, are upset about having their retiree pensions cut after receiving mistaken overpayments, according to a report from CBC News.
According to the CBC report, last year, Alberta Pension Services, the crown corporation tasked with administrating CA$5.1 billion in pensions to more than 330,000 Albertans, sent letters to 22 pensioners. The letters stated that monthly benefits for those recipients would be reduced due to payment miscalculations made by APS.
Jay Kembhavi told the CBC that his pension would be cut by almost 40%. Another pensioner has filed a lawsuit in response to a 75% reduction in his pension.
Kembhavi says that many of the other 21 pensioners are scared to speak publicly. The document that they were pushed to sign state that they waive any right to sue APS or to speak to anyone about the situation. If they refused, APS said it could shake them down for the overpaid funds.
APS would not respond to CBC about the gag order imposed on the pensioners. APS did say that it was providing pension benefits according to the governing legislation.
The newly elected provincial NDP government stated that it is up to APS to handle pension payments, and that it would withhold further comment while the issue is before the courts.
“They are either hoping we will just shut up, run out of money, or die,” Kembhavi told the CBC.
Ironically, APS was in the news just weeks before when the CBC reported that its CEO, Karen Adams, was making regular trips between Alberta and her home in Ontario on the public’s dime, sometimes as often as five times in a month. In response, APS stated that they were well aware when they hired Adams that she would keep her home in King City, Ontario—more than 2,000 miles from her office in Edmonton, Alberta.