Finance Minister Graham Steele is responding today, March 1, to ongoing opposition criticism of reforms to the Public Service Superannuation Pension Plan. “Nova Scotians are being misled into believing that pension reforms are taking money out of their pockets. In fact, these reforms are saving between $160 million and $200 million each year,” said Mr. Steele. “These criticisms are a misrepresentation of the facts.” As part of the 2010 budget, pension reforms were introduced through the Financial Measures Act to address a $1.5-billion unfunded liability in the public service plan. The reforms included reducing pension benefits and refinancing a portion of the unfunded liability, $536 million, at a lower interest rate. The most recent Standard and Poor’s credit rating for Nova Scotia cites the pension indexing as a positive factor in affirming the province’s A+ rating with a positive outlook. As well, in fall 2010, the credit-rating agency, DBRS, cited pension reforms as a strength in Nova Scotia’s rating consideration.