CUPE 2195 and the Youth Services Bureau have worked hand-in-hand to provide members with a strong pension.
As of January 1st, 2018 YSB has merged its pension with the Colleges of Applied Arts and Technology pension plan (CAAT). Here are the highlights of the changes:
New CAAT Pension Plan – Highlights of Changes
- If you are a regular, permanent full-time employee, then you start contributing into the CAAT pension plan on your hire date – there is no waiting period.
- Enrolment is mandatory for regular full-time employees
- All other employees (contract full-time, part time, etc.), referred to as “other than regular full time” (OTRFT) in the CAAT Plan, can join the plan at any time, but it is not mandatory.
- Once you are a member of the CAAT Plan, you cannot opt out; for example, if you move from regular full-time to part-time, you remain a member and are required to contribute to the pension plan based on your earnings.
- There may be YSB staff who are already members of CAAT (for example, staff who are working for La Cité or Algonquin College). If this is the case, you need to tell YSB, as you can only earn service equivalent to what a regular full-time member would earn, regardless of how many of employers you work for.
Contributions are as follows for 2018:
|Earnings up to YMPE ($55,900 for 2018)||Earnings above YMPE
|Members of YSB Pension Plan as at March 31, 2017||7.0%||9.0%|
|Staff who join plan after April 1, 2017||11.2%||14.8%|
|Note: YMPE = Yearly maximum pensionable earnings|
- Contribution rates for YSB plan members are being subsidized over the next 4 years.
- YSB will be matching employee contributions for all members, with no subsidy to the employer.
- Earnings that are pensionable include your regular salary or wages, any shift premiums (statutory holidays, night shifts), and any supervisor premiums (acting pay, on-call, in-charge).
- Overtime payments, emergency shifts, and vacation pay are not included in pensionable earnings.
- CAAT uses a different formula to determine member contributions, based on an annualized calculation. It estimates members’ earnings for the full calendar year, determining the contributions using the rates indicated above, and then divides the total annual contributions over the number of pays during the year. Using this method, a member’s annual contributions are similar over all pays.
- This method is different than the formula that YSB has been using, and which we will continue to use. Our method is calculated on when you earn the dollars, and your contributions only increase when your earnings exceed the YMPE ($55,900 for 2018). For most employees, this will not require any adjustments; however, if you have an interruption in service during the year, there may be contributions owing (arrears), which we will need to collect from the member.
- Service Interruptions
- Pensionable service is only earned in the CAAT Plan when contributions are received by members
- One of the major differences between YSB’s old plan and CAAT relates to breaks in paid salary or wages, referred to as service interruptions.
- Examples of service interruptions include any unpaid leaves of absence (unpaid sick leave, personal leave, education leave, and leave without pay), maternity/parental leave, layoff or disciplinary suspensions. In these situations, service is not earned in the plan unless the contributions are paid by the member
- Members have an option to purchase service for unpaid leave(s), as long as:
- Purchase request are completed within 6 months of the leave ending and the member returning to work.
- YSB will determine the contributions that you owe to the plan, calculated as if you had been working during your unpaid leave.
- For those staff that are on maternity/parental leave, the contributions can be paid while there are receiving their supplement benefit plan (top up to EI) or paid in cash upon returning to work.
- Member contributions are matched by YSB in all cases except layoff or disciplinary suspension; in these situations, the member is expected to pay both the member’s contributions as well as the employers; calculations are based on the earnings the member would have had during this unpaid period.
- If an employee wants to purchase the service more than 6 months after returning to work from an unpaid leave, then the cost of this will be the higher of: 1) twice the member contributions (based on the current annual salary and current contribution rates), or2) the current actuarial cost.
- Members who go onto long-term disability (LTD) will accrue service in the pension plan until they return to work, and are not required to contribute to the plan.
- Buyback of Service
- We have had a few inquiries into the option to purchase service, for periods that employees may have been a member in another plan, or not a member of the YSB plan. We are working with CAAT to establish potential dates for meetings for members on this subject, and will let everyone know once the dates are confirmed (targeting late February).
- No buyback of service can occur until the merger is approved by the regulator for the Province; we anticipate that this will be concluded at the end of 2018.
- Termination of Employment
- Members who terminate employment with YSB, and who are not eligible for retirement, will have a 24-month membership extension.
- In this case, if you move to another CAAT employer, then you will start to earn service again in the Plan. If you move to another employer that has a registered pension plan (other than CAAT), then you have the option to transfer your pension from CAAT to this new plan.
- After the 24-month membership extension period, you have the above-noted options, as well as to defer your pension to retirement, or to transfer the commuted value of your pension to a locked-in retirement investment (RRSP, LIRA, RIF). If a member wants to transfer the value of their pension to an RRSP (for example), they have to make the choice within 6 months of the 24-month extension period or your pension automatically is deferred until your retirement.
- Eligibility for retirement is based on the CAAT Pension plan, but reductions will be applied based on the YSB plan for any service up to end of 2017 and for any service earned in the CAAT plan after January 1 2018.
- Normal retirement age is 65, but you can retire as early as age 55, or age 50 with 20 years of combined pensionable service.
- Unreduced early retirement date is when the member reaches age 60 and has 20 or more years of pensionable service, or the member’s combined age and years of pensionable service equals 85.
- If you are planning to retire, please ensure that you notify YSB at least 3 months before your planned retirement date, so that we have enough time to complete the forms and provide you with your options.
- Again, until the regulator (Province) approves the merger, anyone who retires will receive 2 pension payments – 1 from their service earned under the YSB plan and 1 for any service earned in the CAAT plan up to their retirement date. Once the merger is approved, the two pension payments will be combined, and the member will receive the restoration of the final best year’s average calculation.
- Additional Information
- If you want additional information on the CAAT Pension Plan, you can contact them directly or visit the website:
- Or you can contact Wes Richardson, Director of Finance at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at (613) 729-0577 x.1236
Currently the pension at YSB is a Defined Benefits Pension Plan. That means:
- The benefits are predictable
- There is a collective support for the pension to help the fund remain healthy
- All members are guaranteed a pension wage defined by the same formula
- The risk is shared between the employer and the plan members collectively, and spread over time
Feel free to check out the following documents.