and Canadian National Railway Co. as low interest rates and poor equity markets have conspired to swell their pension funding obligations as wellBut unlike those more profitable companies Air Canada would no longer be able to fund its pension obligations starting next year without the relief from Ottawa and run the risk of another bankruptcy restructuring sometime in 2014 without itAir Canada’s efforts to cap its pension obligations have however come up against stiff opposition from its competitors including WestJet Airlines Ltd and the Air Transport Association of Canada which argued such a break provides an unfair advantageAir Canada negotiated a similar arrangement in 2009 with its labour unions and the federal government that allowed it to stave off another near brush with insolvency that yearThat agreement expires at the end of 2013 In the meantime Air Canada’s pension solvency deficit ballooned to $42-billion at the start of 2012 according to the most recent figures availableDespite nearly $15-billion in contributions over the ensuing five-year period this will mean that without the relief from Ottawa Air Canada would have been required to contribute in excess of $800-million annually to its pension plan starting in 2014 That figure would be out of reach for the company which earned just $53-million in 2012 its first annual profit since 2007Air Canada’s management is still in the midst of calculating where the solvency deficit sat at the start of 2013 But it has noted that its recently implemented labour agreements should reduce the figure by $11-billion by moving new hires into a hybrid pension plan though that won’t take effect until Jan 1 2014The company also estimates a one percentage point increase in the discount rate would result in a $184-billion reduction to the pension solvency liability“In the current extremely low interest rate environment Air Canada’s pension solvency deficit funding payments would be unsustainable without this extension in place” the company said TuesdayThe terms of the new arrangement are much more strict than the previous one including the restrictions on payments to executives and shareholders“It’s important to note that Air Canada’s unions and retirees have been supportive of the company’s request for further solvency funding relief for its pension plans” Mr Flaherty said “This regulatory change is not costing Canadian taxpayers a single dollar but it is providing Air Canada time to pay off the sizeable pension deficit”The fact that Air Canada agreed to those terms points to the “direness of the situation” said Finn Poschmann CD Howe vice-president of research a Toronto-based think-tankBut he said it points to the larger issues in the country in particular the legacy left by defined benefit pension plans which guarantee a fixed level of payments to their employees upon retirement but have become unmanageable for many companies and are being phased out in the private sector“We’ve got a broken pension system and a broken administration system for it” Mr Poschmann said“The political impulse to find a solution is clear” he said “But the [defined-benefit] pension model is deeply flawed It requires commitments that individual companies are not well structured to provide for them It reveals the fundamental problem with the pension promise when it can’t be acted upon and companies seek relief that may not be available to others”Fadi Chamoun BMO Capital Markets analyst saw the decision in a more positive light“I see it as positive for [Air Canada] and gives the company a good shot at continuing to improve costs and profitability without having to sweat the pension” he said in an email “The restriction on management compensation and distributions is expected but little details were provided so far”National Post and will not be able to implement pension plan benefit improvements without regulatory approval,5月27日至5月29日进行分销，略低于二级市场，Last year.
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