Why active and retired federal public servants alike should know about the National Association of Federal Retirees

The National Association of Federal Retirees (Federal Retirees) recognizes and thanks all federal public servants for their contribution and dedication to our country.  As you work hard in your respective area of government, you may be interested to know that there is a national association out there that is working hard for you.  Most federal employees are rewarded with a strong pension and excellent benefits in retirement as a result of their years of service. However, the unfortunate reality is that there are risks that exist to your security in retirement. If you would like to ensure that your pension and benefits are safe, and that your retirement is the best that it can be, we can help.

Federal Retirees is one of the largest registered not-for-profit organizations in Canada, whose mission is to promote the interests and protect the benefits of federal employees and retirees. With a network of 79 branches nationwide and a growing membership of roughly 176,000, we are open to all federal retirees (and their partners) receiving a pension from the federal public service, Canadian Armed Forces and RCMP, as well as federally appointed judges. We are also open to those receiving survivors’ pensions, and to current federal employees paying into a pension.

The raison d’être of our association is advocacy, to advocate for the protection of our pensions and benefits specifically, and for issues of importance for seniors in general. The question that many members ask is: Does advocacy really work?  The simple answer is yes.”

Jean-Guy Soulière, President

Following a 30-year career in the federal government, Jean-Guy Soulière joined the Association in 1994, retiring 13 years later as Executive Director. He played a leading role on a number of seniors’ group coalitions and represented the interests of pensioners on numerous boards and committees.

Jean-Guy Soulière was nominated for a second term as president of the association in the summer of 2019.

With a 56-year tradition of non-partisan advocacy for the rights of retirees and seeking to protect against changes to our members’ hard-earned pensions and benefits, we work towards good policies that improve the lives of all Canadians in retirement. Some of our most notable achievements include:

  • Successfully securing full pension indexation for all pensioned federal retirees. The government now increases the pensions of our members and their dependents annually to keep up with the cost of living.
  • Continuing benefits for surviving spouses who remarry. The government now also gives federal retirees who marry after retirement the right to obtain a survivor pension for their spouse.
  • The creation of a dedicated dental plan — the Pensioners’ Dental Services Plan (PDSP) — for federal retirees, and improved existing health benefits.
  • We worked for many years to get a dedicated voice for seniors at the cabinet table, and in July of 2018, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appointed Filomena Tassi as the Minister for Seniors.
  • Challenged the $30B pension surplus grab in the Public Service superannuation accounts in 2011.
  • Defeated Bill C-27, a bill that put federal pension security at risk.
  • Spent more than half a million dollars to challenge the Treasury Board’s changes to Public Service Health Care Plan (PSHCP) premiums that doubled most retirees’ contributions from 25 to 50 per cent, beginning in April 2015.

Federal Retirees also ensures that veterans get the treatment and respect they deserve. We developed a Veterans Outreach Initiative in 2017 to listen to veterans and better understand what is and what isn’t working for them as they transition to civilian life. We continue to lobby for the best interests of Canadian veterans, 60,000 of whom are members of Federal Retirees.  In the 2019 election, our primary focus was the improvement of retirement security, pharmacare, a national seniors’ strategy, and more support for Canadian veterans.  We remain actively engaged with stakeholders of all issues that pertain to our members.   Several events across the country were held with candidates from different ridings leading up to the federal election, where members could meet and ask questions to them directly.

A photo from one of the Meet and Greet events hosted by the Southern Alberta Branch of the National Association of Federal Retirees where members enjoyed the opportunity to chat with candidates regarding the upcoming federal election.

The event also provided an opportunity for candidates to make brief introductory presentations before meeting with members and responding to questions from Branch board members.

Aside from our ongoing advocacy work, Federal Retirees sits on several official committees and advisory boards where critical discussions that affect our members are held. This includes the Public Service Health Care Plan (PSHCP) Partners Committee, the PSHCP Administrative Authority, the Pensioners’ Dental Services Plan (PDSP) Committee, and the Public Service Superannuation Plan Advisory committee (PSSPAC).

A membership with Federal Retirees also offers savings through our National Preferred Partner Program. Our members have access to exclusive savings on insurance (property, travel, auto), hotels, rental cars, hearing aids, affordable cellular phone plans, personal alarm systems, travel packages, Medic-Alert, relocation services, and more. The most sought-after benefit of our membership is MEDOC® travel insurance. This exclusive custom-tailored travel insurance program offers coverage and premiums that are head and shoulders above average market standards.

A membership with Federal Retirees offers access to helpful and knowledgeable staff members who can help you understand your pension and your rights as a federal retiree. Sage, a high-quality quarterly national magazine published exclusively for association members, is also included.

It’s never been a better time to join. An annual single membership in 2019 costs only $50.28, or just $65.16 per couple. There are a lot of important things to consider as you transition gradually into retirement, but we are here to help.  Remember, you don’t have to be retired to join.  Contact us today at 1-855-304-4700 ext. 300 or visit us online at www.federalretirees.ca for more information on how we can serve you, and how to sign up.


Jeff Wolfson
Manager, Recruitment and Member Services
National Association of Federal Retirees