When can I receive my retirement benefit?
The Normal Retirement Date under the Plan is the first day of the month on or after your 65th birthday (provided that you have at least one year of Credited Service in the Plan).
However, you can retire at any time after your 55th birthday, assuming you have retired from active employment with a Participating Employer.
You must retire from the Plan before the end of the year in which you turn 71.
What if I retire and am later re-hired by a contributing employer?
You will be treated as a new member of the Plan.
How is my retirement benefit calculated?
Retirement benefits are based upon the total contributions made by your Participating Employer(s) to the Plan, any voluntary contributions you have made and the total amount of interest earned on those contributions.
What are my retirement options?
When you decide to retire, the total value of your retirement benefit can be:
transferred to a Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP);
used to buy a Life Income Fund (LIF);
used to buy a Restricted Life Income Fund (RLIF); or
used to buy an annuity, which will provide you with retirement income.
All "locked-in" money will remain locked-in even after it is transferred.
These options are discussed in greater detail in the Plan Booklet.
What does “locked-in” mean?
Locked-in money is money that can only be used to buy you retirement income. It will never be available to you in cash.
All employer contributions are locked-in money. Voluntary contributions are not.
Are any pension contributions not "locked-in"?
Voluntary contributions are not locked-in.
Federal pension law also provides for a number of limited exceptions that permit contributions to be paid out in cash or transferred to a registered retirement vehicle on a non-locked-in basis.
Shortened Life Expectancy
Small Pension Rule
Employer funds that fall under the "Small Pension Rule" may be paid out as a lump sum cash payment or a regular RRSP transfer. These funds must be less than 20% of the Yearly Maximum Pensionable Earnings (YMPE) in the year of termination. For example, 20% of the YMPE for 2013 is $10,220. Therefore, if you terminate in 2013 and your funds are less than this amount then they are considered unlocked.
There is also an opportunity to unlock up to 50% of the total value of your contribution account if you are age 55 or older and you are transferring your benefit into a tax-deferred savings vehicle, from which you can then withdraw cash. To be eligible to unlock your benefit under this rule, your Spouse must first sign a waiver form.
Forms of Pension:
How long does my pension continue?
If you purchase a pension (also called an annuity) at retirement, it will provide you with payments for your lifetime. After your death, depending on the form of pension you choose, your Spouse may also be provided with income, either equal in size to the payment you received or at a lesser level, for the remainder of your Spouse’s lifetime.
What if I choose a LIF?
Revenue Canada has established a minimum and a maximum annual withdrawal amount for LIF’s. You can choose any level of income between the two.
Are there any special rules that I need to be aware of?
If you have a Spouse, you must, by law, receive your pension in a form that will provide them with at least 60% of the pension that was in payment to you during your retirement. Your Spouse can choose to waive his or her right to this mandatory form, and allow you to choose some other form of income.
Under existing legislation, Spouse is defined as:
- a person who, at the relevant time, was married to the Member or who is a party to a void marriage with the Member
- if there is no person to whom paragraph above applies, a person who is cohabiting with the Member in a conjugal relationship, at the relevant time, having so cohabited with the Member for at least 1 year (i.e.: common-law partner).