...In upcoming weeks, [Sears Canada] workers will receive letters from Morneau-Shepell, the actuarial and pension management company that provides services to the Sears Canada plan. Those letters will update retirees on what is left [of their pension fund] after Lampert [the American investor who controlled Sears Canada] and others got their money.
Morneau-Shepell’s services will suck even more money from the Sears fund. “Even the envelopes and stamps will be paid from workers’ pension money,” ... Under Canadian law, workers and retirees are last in line for their own money. It clearly irritates Duvall.
But it benefits Finance Minister Bill Morneau who controls about one million shares of Morneau-Shepell, although [he] announced on Thursday his intention to sell them. That holding paid a $64,000 dividend cheque — monthly. Prior to election Morneau owned about 2.25 million shares in the company, worth about $47 million at today’s price.
... Before entering politics, Morneau encouraged governments to push workers out of more secure defined benefit pension plans into riskier “target” plans. It shrinks the middle class — but can pay off for Morneau. Target plans need far more actuarial services of the type Morneau-Shepell provides.
He doesn’t need to lobby now. Finance Minister Morneau has tabled Bill C-27 allowing federal employers to convert to target plans and creating more opportunities for Morneau-Shepell. The price of Morneau-Shepell shares have jumped 31% since Morneau became Finance Minister.