UPDATE: Surrey RCMP pensions will be transferable to new police force, city says

Mayor Doug McCallum says he expects up to 60 per cent of RCMP members to join new force

The City of Surrey has formalized an agreement that will allow RCMP officers to transfer their pension, should they choose to serve with the Surrey Police Department.

The city announced in a press release Wednesday morning that the pension portability agreement was reached between the Municipal Pension Plan and the RCMP Pension Plan.

“Not only is this agreement a major milestone in the creation of our own city police department, but it more importantly answers a significant and legitimate concern expressed by RCMP members and their families about pension portability,” said Mayor Doug McCallum.

“I would like to thank the BC Pension Corporation and the RCMP for their leadership and quick work on resolving this issue. Now that the question of pension portability has been put to rest, I sincerely hope that the members of the RCMP who wish to continue to serve in Surrey will take the opportunity to be part of our new city police department.”

RCMP members who join the Surrey Police Department can take their contributory and pensionable service with them and incorporate it into the Municipal Pension Plan.

RELATED: Surrey to focus on transferring RCMP pensions to municipal force

However, while National Police Federation co-director Brian Sauve says the announcement is true, it does not mean that the pensions will convert dollar-for-dollar.

“The missing piece of that calculation is a member of the RCMP, every member of the RCMP that wants to move to the Vancouver, Delta, or Surrey PD, needs to make a request from the RCMP pension centre to calculate their individual circumstance and what their service level of pension contributions, as well as pension amount, will transfer into the receiving pension plan,” Sauve said.

“What it means, one year of service in the RCMP may not equal one year of service in the Surrey PD.”

Sauve said a 10- or 20-year member of the RCMP might be asked to pull out of their own pocket, $50,000 to $100,000 to match service levels in the receiving pension plan.

“Unless the municipality of service agrees to make up every shortfall for every calculation, which is obviously another tax hit to the budget of Surrey.”

Sauve said that the pension aspect will likely be one of the most important aspects for officers considering switching from RCMP to Surrey Police Department.

“I think if you have more than five years of service, it definitely is a major consideration. The majority of members in Surrey do. You’re talking seven years and up. You have a lot invested in your pension,” Sauve said.

Tuesday, Peace Arch News published an online article that outlined the importance of transferring the pension for Surrey’s ability to attract Surrey RCMP members to the new municipal police force.

McCallum said that if the pension could be transferred, he expects up to 60 per cent of Surrey RCMP officers to make the switch to the municipal force.

“It’s a very important issue to all of the RCMP families in Surrey,” McCallum said to PAN last week.

Surrey Coun. Jack Hundial, who was a Mountie for 25 years, was candid with his response when asked for his opinion on the likelihood of 60 per cent of Surrey RCMP officers joining the proposed municipal police department.

“That’s as ridiculous as saying we’re going to amalgamate White Rock or have a canal in Surrey,” Hundial said, making reference to remarks by Coun. Allison Patton that she wants to see a study into amalgamation and McCallum’s pitch for a “wandering canal” in the city.

Neither the City of Surrey, nor the Surrey RCMP, have conducted a formal study into how many current RCMP members have indicated a desire to switch to Surrey Police Department.

Sauve also commented on McCallum’s 60 per cent figure, saying the number is “pulled out of thin air.”

“The RCMP has not, and I would suggest they would not, do a survey of members that will patch over,” Sauve said. “That would be like Target surveying their employees as to who would like to go work for Walmart. It doesn’t make any sense.”

Suave said that NPF is not going to canvas members, either.

“We have members in Surrey, and if this (policing) plan goes through we’ll make sure they’re properly treated in a priority placement scenario.”

Just Posted

North Delta crime beat, week of Sept. 8

A selection of property crimes submitted weekly by the Delta Police Department

City of White Rock hosts official pier reopening

Event included ribbon-cutting, speeches, live music

Surrey school district to allow students to miss class for global climate strike

Students must be excused from school by parents; will be able to make up missed work without penalty

Surrey rallies for change in global climate strike

Holland Park event part of marches around the world Sept. 20

Surrey RCMP need help to find missing man

Denis Godard, 64, who was reported missing on Sept. 19

VIDEO: Grizzly bears fight along northern B.C. highway in rare footage

Cari McGillivray posted the head-turning video, shot near Stewart, B.C., to social media

Handgun crackdown, health spending and transit plans latest campaign promises

Friday was the end of a busy week on the campaign trail

B.C. woman photographs massive ant swarm on Abbotsford driveway

She asked what the ants were doing? The answer: war

Westbound crash on Highway 1 in Langley causing extreme traffic delays

Collision occured just after Glover Road, cars backed up all the way to 264th Street

Police arrest B.C. phone scammer linked to illegal call centres in India

Person arrested in Burnaby here on a work visa, says police

Air Canada forced girl, 12, to remove hijab: civil rights group

The San Francisco Bay Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations calling for change

Man from Winnipeg who was hiking alone found dead in Banff National Park

RCMP say the man was hiking alone on Mount Temple Thursday

Takaya, B.C.’s intriguing lone wolf, seen eating seal and howling away on Discovery Island

Fun facts about Takaya the wolf, like his a 36-hour tour around Chatham, Discovery Islands

Most Read