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June 29th marked the 40th birthday of the International Pension Fund. In recognition of the historic milestone, BAC President and Labor Co-Chair of the IPF Board of Trustees James Boland and Eugene George, President of GA Masonry (Breslau, ON) and Management Co-Chair of the IPF Board, issued this joint statement:
"Today marks the 40th anniversary of the founding of the International Pension Fund (IPF) – the defined benefit plan that covers BAC members throughout the U.S. and Canada."
IPF Canada entered its fifth decade with another significant milestone, achieved in October when the Fund's total benefits paid reached one hundred million dollars. IPF Canada currently has 793 pensioners receiving on average of $286 per month with the highest monthly benefit at $1,304. The IPF Canada Board of Trustees remains as strongly committed as ever to providing defined benefits to IPF participants and their families through efficient administration and fiduciarily responsible investments, including job-producing real estate funds, and working to achieve long term, comprehensive provincial pension funding relief for multiemployer funds. In the proudest tradition of labor-management cooperation, the Board looks forward to many more decades of service by IPF to BAC participants."
In other reports, BAC Secretary-Treasurer Henry Kramer presented the results of the recent Canadian membership survey (look for excerpts in the next Journal), BAC Executive Vice President Tim Driscoll discussed trade jurisdiction matters, Co-Chair Swan outlined a 2013 Work Plan for Canadian Locals, and International benefit fund staff and professionals delivered a series of fund updates. Delegates also welcomed Jake McIntyre, U.S. National Refractory Director, who led a discussion on the benefits and barriers to developing a similar national refractory agreement in Canada.
In addition to the formal business of the Congress, the meeting's Toronto location afforded delegates and IU officers the opportunity to speak informally with representatives of the Ontario-based Brick and Allied Crafts Union (BACU). "Keeping the channels of communication open," says James Boland, BAC President and Canadian Congress Co-Chair, "has put us on a more constructive path to better advance the interests of both our respective memberships."