Canada's former Prime Minister Jean Chretien
Credits: REUTERS/BLAIR GABLE
The Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada and other public-sector unions and associations argued their members - retirees as well as active public servants, RCMP and military personnel -- were entitled to at least a portion of that money. The government countered that since retirees are receiving their pension benefits as required by law, they are getting what they're entitled to and do not have the right to share any surplus.
The case affects about 700,000 people.
The issue has been before the courts since 1999. The Ontario Superior Court sided with the government, a decision that was upheld in appeal in 2010.
On Wednesday the Supreme Court said the employees' and retirees' "interests are limited to their interest in the defined benefits to which they are entitled" under their pension plans, and have no right to share any surplus.