Federal Court of Appeal Renders Judgment in PSHCP Case

This message is being sent to all members of the Association

Public Service Health Care Plan (PSHCP) Premium Increase found to be lawful.

Dear Association Members,

We have been informed by London Division Advocate, Bill Helland that the increase in premiums that was experienced by those covered by the PSHCP in 2015 has, despite an appeal by the National Association of Federal Retirees (NAFR) been deemed to be lawful.

The story may be found on the NAFR website – here. or if you prefer to read it here, it follows.

James Forrest
Director of Communications
RCMP Veterans’ Association
Federal Court of appeal renders judgment in PSHCP caseJune 26, 2019
Ottawa, June 26, 2019— This week, the Federal Court of Appeal (FCA) in Ottawa rendered its judgment in the National Association of Federal Retirees (Federal Retirees) challenge of Treasury Board’s changes to Public Service Health Care Plan (PSHCP) premiums. The increase doubled most retirees’ contributions from 25 % to 50% beginning in April 2015.

After an August 2017 Federal Court judgment in favour of Treasury Board, the Association appealed. That appeal was heard in September 2018 and on June 24, 2019 the FCA issued a new decision, finding that the premium increase was lawful.

While disappointed with that aspect of the ruling, the Federal Court of Appeal judgment contains important recognitions of retirees’ legal rights. Jean-Guy Soulière, president of Federal Retirees, said “We are gratified that the Federal Court of Appeal agreed with our fundamental position about retirees’ rights. It is unfortunate that the 75-25 cost sharing ratio was not restored by the judgment, but we are in a stronger bargaining position for future PSHCP negotiations.”   

Federal Retirees will consult with their legal counsel and with their national board of directors before considering whether to seek leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada.

“This court case goes to the heart of why Federal Retirees needs a strong and growing membership base so we can continue to advocate on behalf of our members and keep unwanted action by the Government in check,” said Mr. Soulière “Federal Retirees and its individual branches maintain healthy reserve funding to defend our pensions and benefits and to pursue important legal cases like this.”

The National Association of Federal Retirees has advocated to protect the hard-earned pensions and benefits of retired members of the federal public service, Canadian Armed Forces, Royal Canadian Mounted Police and retired federally appointed judges as well as their partners and survivors since 1963.