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pension
plan

        
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
     
   
 
 
 
 
 
 

General Information

Plan History & Objective
  1. When was the Plan established?
  2. What is the objective of the Plan?
Amendment or Termination of the Plan
  1. Can the Plan be changed or terminated?
  2. Do I have any protection from future amendments?
  3. What happens if the Plan is terminated?
  4. Can a Participating Employer ever get a refund of Pension fund money?
Operation of the Plan
  1. How is the Plan run?
  2. How is the Board of Trustees set up?
More Information
  1. Are benefits taxable?
  2. How can I learn more about the Plan?
  3. Can I assign or borrow against my Pension?
  4. What other sources of retirement income are available to me?
  5. What else should I know?
Exercising Your Rights
  1. How do I exercise my rights?
     

Plan History & Objective

1.  When was the Plan established?
The Plan went into effect on May 1, 1983. The Plan was most recently amended in November 2000.

2.  What is the objective of the Plan?

The Plan is designed to provide monthly income for life to Plan Members who retire under the Plan. Additionally, benefits are payable if you leave the Plan, become disabled or die prior to retirement.



Amendment or Termination of the Plan

1. 
Can the Plan be changed or terminated?
Yes, the Trustees could cause the Plan to be terminated. However, it is their intention that the Plan be maintained indefinitely.

2.  Do I have any protection from future amendments?
Yes, amendments cannot cause the value of benefits accrued to the date of amendment to be reduced.

3.  What happens if the Plan is terminated?
In the unlikely event of Plan termination, you would be entitled to the total of all contributions your employer(s) have made to the Plan, with interest.

4.  Can a Participating Employer ever get a refund of pension fund money?
Only if they have over-contributed to the Plan.



Operation of the Plan

1.  How is the Plan run?
The Trustees (see next question) interpret the Plan, provide certain guidelines to the Plan administrator, custodian, investment manager and consultant, and oversee the running of the Plan.

The Plan Administrator (currently D.A. Townley and Associates) administers the Plan by keeping records of service and contributions and by calculating pensions and benefits under the Plan.

The Custodian of assets (currently Royal Trust) holds the pension fund assets and invests them following instructions from the investment manager. All contributions are made to the custodian, and all pensions and benefits are paid by the custodian.

The Investment Manager (currently Brinson Canada) makes investment decisions within guidelines and objectives set by the Trustees.

The Consultant (currently D.A. Townley and Associates) provides direction and advice to the Trustees.

The Plan is subject to the rules for registration under the Income Tax Act (federal) and the Alberta Employment Pensions Plan Act and is subject to change from time to time when those rules change.

2.  How is the Board of Trustees set up?
The Board is a jointly Trusteed Board, meaning it has representatives from both management and union. Four Trustees from both sides sit on the Board, which meets semi-annually.



More Information

1.  Are benefits taxable?
Benefits are included in your income for income tax purposes when they are paid (except for lump sums transferred directly to another registered pension plan or RRSP).

2.  How can I learn more about the Plan?
In addition to this written explanation, Plan members are entitled to read the complete Plan text and the trust agreement. These documents are on file at the Plan Administrator’s office. 

If you have any questions or require clarification of any pension matter, contact the administrator, at (604) 299-7482 or (800) 663-1356 by phone, or email the administrator

If you wish to contact the Trustees, you can write them, care of the Plan Administrator’s office.

3.  Can I assign or borrow against my pension?
Benefits under the Plan may not be assigned in any way, except in cases where the benefits are split upon divorce. Your pension is fully protected against all creditors except Canada Customs and Revenue Agency.

4.  What other sources of retirement income are available to me?
Old Age Security (OAS) is available at age 65 to every senior in Canada. OAS will provide you with about $5,200 a year (in 2001). There is a Canadian residency requirement for this benefit, but you will receive it no matter your level of income. If in total you make above $57,000 (in 2002) the benefit will be adjusted downward. 

Since you have been working and contributing to the Canada Pension Plan (CPP), you will also receive a CPP benefit. The amount of pension available depends on how much and for how long you contribute to the CPP. If you worked or were self-employed in most years between the ages of 18 and 65 and earn at least the average Canadian Wage each (about $39,100 in 2002), at age 65 you will receive a CPP retirement pension of about $9,500 annually. You can take CPP as early as age 60, with a 6% per year reduction from age 65 (e.g. a 30% reduction at age 60) 

Both OAS and CPP are fully indexed to the cost of living. 

CPP also provides disability and survivor benefits. Your Spouse will also be entitled to OAS and may be eligible for CPP as well. Both these benefits are administered by Human Resources Development Canada. Further information is available from them on their website at www.sdc.gc.ca/en/gateways/nav/top_nav/program/isp.shtml or toll free at 1-877-454-4051.

5.  What else should I know?
It is your responsibility to make application to the Trustees to receive benefits when you are entitled to them. If the Trustees receive no application, they will attempt to contact the person eligible to receive the payment. If they are unable to do so, your benefit may be forfeited. 

When you name someone as your beneficiary please advise him or her and give them the information on how to contact the Plan Administrator. When you change your beneficiary, please advise the Plan Administrator. If you have not completed and filed a beneficiary card recently, please complete the necessary enrolment card and send it to the Plan Administrator. The card is available through the Plan Administrator’s office.



Exercising Your Rights

1.  How do I exercise my rights?
The following rights under the Plan can be exercised at appropriate times:

  • to join
  • to elect benefit options
  • to commence benefits
  • to obtain information.
In each case, you should contact the Plan Administrator, D.A. Townley & Associates, at (604) 299-7482 or (800) 663-1356. In most cases, you will be provided with the appropriate forms to complete. You must complete the forms and return them to the Administrator to initiate action. 

In the following cases, there are suggested guidelines for exercising your options:

Situation

New hire joins Plan:
Retirement:
Elect optional form of pension:
Termination benefits:
Guideline

3 months following hire. 
At least 60 days notice.
Elect 60 days prior to election.
At least 30 days notice.
    
  

related Links
Printable Version of the Pension Plan Booklet

 
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