The Alberta government has brought forward legislation to protect people's pensions and benefits and guarantee the decision to move to the Alberta Pension Plan (APP) is theirs. “This legislation protects the interests of Albertans and provides them assurance that if they move forward with an Alberta Pension Plan, their pensions and their benefits will always be there for them,” said Alberta Treasury Board President and Finance Minister Nate Horner in a Thursday press release. “This is their money, built up over years of hard work.” If passed, the Alberta government said the Alberta Pension Protection Act would guarantee it will not launch the APP unless people vote in favour of it in a referendum. It acknowledged the Alberta Pension Protection Act would provide people four guarantees to protect the pensions they have built up during their working careers under the Canada Pension Plan (CPP). The legislation guarantees Albertans must vote in favour of the APP during a referendum before the government withdraws assets from the CPP. Contribution rates under it would be the same or lower for those than the CPP. It would provide the same or better benefits to Albertans. Assets transferred from the CPP would be used to set up and operate it. The Alberta government has promised the decision would always be made by Albertans in a referendum. The Pension Protection Act would lock that promise in place. LifeWorks estimated in its report the APP could be supported with lower contribution rates than the CPP, saving employees and employers up to $1,425 every year for each employee.The APP could save Albertans billions of dollars each year, with lower contribution rates, higher benefits and stronger benefit security for families and retirees, according to a September report conducted by LifeWorks. READ MORE: UPDATED: Report says Alberta provincial pension move could save people billions“This report shows a made-in-Alberta pension plan could put more money in the pockets of hard-working families and business owners and improve retirement security for seniors,” said Alberta Premier Danielle Smith. “We want to hear from you because it’s your pension, your choice.” The Canada Pension Plan Act requires a provincial pension plan to provide benefits comparable to the CPP to qualify for withdrawal. The Alberta government said it could use some of the estimated $5 billion in annual savings to improve APP benefits. Because Albertans have paid billions more into the CPP than they have received in benefits, LifeWorks said Alberta is owed $334 billion from the CPP, which includes compounded investment returns on the net contribution. The legislation provides Albertans assurance the government would use that large asset transfer amount to support a provincial pension plan to confirm it is sustainable for future generations. The Alberta government confirmed people their pension money will be safe and protected under this legislation. “We promise we would keep it safe and make sure it grows to provide retirement security for generations,” said Horner. Horner followed up by saying it "has always been my intent to have a conversation about the facts with Albertans." "The report has always been the best information we've had, and we've had it validated by multiple firms — legal and actuarial," he said. "The Canadian Institute of Actuaries is digging into the report right now with the authors." He welcomed that analysis. Since the conversation is live, he said he wants to give the best information to Albertans.