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Assemblé Nationale du Québec
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Retraite Québec contests the Tribunal administrative du Québec’s decision to abolish the penalty imposed on people with disabilities.

Abolition of pension penalties for disability pensioners


Mr. Legault,


We have just learned that your government has chosen to appeal the Tribunal administratif du Québec’s decision regarding the penalty imposed on people who received QPP disability benefits between ages 60 and 65.


We can't find strong enough words to express our profound disappointment and anger. Must we point out that disability is not a choice? Treating people with disabilities the same way as those who have made an informed choice to take an early retirement is not only unjust, but also discriminatory. This decision is all the more outrageous given that the figures show the pension scheme’s viability is in no way threatened. On the contrary, recent expert reports confirm its sound fiscal health.


To penalize vulnerable people who already face serious issues on a daily basis, as your government is doing, is simply unjustifiable. I urge you to reverse this unacceptable decision.


In many cases, our group insurance plan (income replacement) requires us to submit a disability claim to the QPP before age 60. As soon as we are approved for QPP disability benefits, our insurance plan claws back our income replacement by the same amount we receive from the QPP.


This system only benefits insurers, even though we, the workers, are the ones paying the QPP premiums. Furthermore, at age 65, Retraite Québec penalizes us with a 24% pension reduction, as if we had voluntarily chosen to take an early retirement pension at age 60. We are asking our government to stop contesting the decision the Tribunal administrative du Québec handed down on July 28, 2023, which declared the penalty unfair, discriminatory and unconstitutional.


We hope you will take time to reflect on this issue, be receptive to our request and most of all, get your appeal overturned. Times are hard enough as it is for people with disabilities. Please stop penalizing us to the benefit of insurance companies. As citizens, as soon as we file a motion with the Tribunal, its decision is final and without appeal. The same rule should also apply to you.

CONSIDERING THAT in 1997, the Québec Pension Plan imposed a penalty on the retirement pensions of people aged 60 to 65 receiving disability benefits, identical to that applicable to people who voluntarily chose to take an early retirement;


CONSIDERING THAT in 2022, Bill 17 reduced this penalty, while keeping it in force and that those concerned continue to be deprived of almost a quarter of their retirement pension;


CONSIDERING THAT in 2017, a notice from the Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse recommended the abolition of the penalty;


CONSIDERING THAT starting in 2024, beneficiaries' disability pensions will be substantially cut when they reach age 60, indirectly forcing them to apply for an early retirement pension;


CONSIDERING THAT the penalty specifically targets a particularly vulnerable group—people who are both elderly and disabled—resulting in their impoverishment;


CONSIDERING THAT the penalty goes against the social values and inclusiveness that are intrinsic to Québec society;


CONSIDERING THAT Québec is the only Canadian province to impose such a penalty;


CONSIDERING THAT the inability to hold gainful employment is never a choice and that applying for a disability pension is often imposed by insurers;


We, the signatories, ask the Québec government to withdraw all penalties to retirement pensions following a disability benefit, as well as any measure directly or indirectly forcing beneficiaries to apply for an early retirement pension.

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