Local 804 Pension Plan

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1 Local 804 Pension Plan A guide to your pension plan benefits Union Benefit Plans Services

2 Contact Contact us If you have any questions about the plan, please contact the plan administrator: Union Benefit Plans Services 151 Frobisher Drive Suite E220 Waterloo, Ontario N2V 2C9 Telephone: or Toll-free: or Fax: com You can log on to your on-line pension calculator to get a personalized estimate of your pension at retirement at This booklet provides a summary of your Local 804 pension plan in simple terms. If you want more detail, you can ask to review the legal documents available at the office of the administrator, Union Benefit Plans Services (UBPS). If there are any errors in this booklet or differences between the information given here and the legal documents, the legal documents will apply. Key terms & definitions are defined on page 19. April 2007

3 Contents Table of contents Quick facts about your Local 804 pension plan... 2 Planning for retirement... 3 How much retirement income you will need...3 Your three sources of retirement income Government programs Employment-based pension plans Personal savings...4 Background on your Local 804 pension plan... 5 Contributions...5 How the plan works... 6 Joining the plan...6 If you are re-joining the plan...6 How your pension is calculated...6 Minimum pension...6 Pension increases...7 When you can retire...7 An important decision...7 Example 1: unreduced monthly pension at age If you retire before age Example 2: reduced monthly pension before age If you retire after age Your pension payment options...9 Who qualifies as your spouse?...9 Choosing a pension that suits your needs...10 Cash benefit...11 If you die before your first pension payment...11 Applying for your pension...11 How your pension is paid...11 Tax and your pension...11 Working and collecting a pension...12 Impact of your IBEW Local 804 pension on your RRSP contribution room...12 Keeping track of your pension...13 Amending the plan...13 Life events If you terminate...13 Payment options for your termination benefits...13 How the cash value of your benefits is calculated...14 If you transfer to/from another local...14 If you move out of Ontario...14 If you separate or divorce...15 If you are disabled...15 If you die before retirement...15 Naming a beneficiary...16 Naming a child as beneficiary...16 More information on government pensions Canada Pension Plan (CPP)...17 To obtain a CPP/QPP statement...17 Old Age Security (OAS)...17 Applying for CPP and OAS...18 Key terms & definitions... 19

4 Quick facts about your Local 804 pension plan Quick facts How to join the plan Contributing to the plan Size of your pension When you can start your pension How your pension is paid If you have a spouse If you leave the plan before age 55 In the event of your death You join the plan at the beginning of the month in which your employer pays a pension contribution for hours you have worked. You must first complete an enrolment form and return it to UBPS or the Union Hall. Your employers contribute to the plan for each hour of work you are paid. These contributions are used to cover the cost of your pension. The amount of your pension depends on the total contributions made on your behalf (see formula on page 6). You can retire with an unreduced pension on the first of any month between the ages of 63 and 65, as long as you have Trustee consent. This consent is based on the financial health of the plan. If you have been a member of Local 804 for at least 30 years, you can retire with an unreduced pension at age 62 with Trustee consent. Once you reach age 65, you don t need Trustee consent to retire. You may also retire as early as age 55 with a reduced pension. You may also retire as late as age 69. Your pension is paid to you each month for as long as you live. When you retire, you choose whether you want payments to continue to one or more beneficiaries after your death. If you have a spouse when you retire, pension law requires that you choose a joint and last survivor form of pension that provides continuing payments to your spouse if you die first. Your spouse may sign a waiver refusing this benefit. If you leave the plan after you have completed two years of plan membership, you have two choices. You can keep your pension benefits in the plan to provide a pension when you retire, or you can transfer the full value of your pension benefits to another registered plan. If you die before your pension begins but after two years of plan membership, the full value of your pension benefits will be paid to your spouse or beneficiary. If you die after your pension has started, death benefits (if any) will depend on the form of pension you chose at retirement. 2

5 Planning for retirement Planning Your Local 804 pension plan may be your most important financial asset. Pensions are expensive! Do you realize that the cost of providing each $10,000 of yearly pension is approximately $100,000 (depending on the economic environment when you retire)? It s not unusual for retiring members of Local 804 to discover that their pension is, by far, their most important financial asset. How much retirement income you will need Most experts agree that, to retire comfortably, you need to replace about 50% - 70% of the income you made while you were working. Where will that money come from? For most Canadians, the three main sources of retirement income are: q government programs w employment-based pension plans (like the Local 804 plan) and e personal savings. Chances are, you ll need to rely on all three to reach your target income level. Your three sources of retirement income 1Government programs Government programs include the Canada Pension Plan (CPP), Old Age Security (OAS) and, for low income Canadians, the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS). Canada Pension Plan (CPP) Under the current CPP system, all working Canadians outside Quebec from ages 18 to 70 contribute to the CPP. Contributions are based on earnings between the basic exemption ($3,500 in 2007) and the CPP earnings limit ($43,700 in 2007). Your contributions are matched by your employer. The CPP replaces about 25% of the CPP earnings limit. The size of the pension you actually receive from the CPP depends on how much and for how long you contribute, and how old you are when you retire. In 2007, the maximum CPP pension at age 65 is $10,368 ($864 monthly). Old Age Security (OAS) OAS is paid in addition to CPP and provides a basic pension for almost every senior at least 65 years old. It replaces another 15% or so of the 3

6 average Canadian s wage, although the exact amount you get depends on how long you have lived in Canada. But unlike CPP, which you receive regardless of your other retirement income, OAS starts to be clawed back if your retirement income exceeds a certain level ($63,511 in 2007). In 2007, the maximum OAS pension is approximately $5,904 ($492 monthly). In 2007, the combined maximum CPP and OAS retirement pension is roughly $16,272. For more information about government pensions, contact Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) at or visit their website at 2 Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) GIS is paid to people receiving OAS who have an income below a certain level ($14,904 excluding OAS for singles and $35,712 excluding OAS for couples in 2007). Spouses and survivors of GIS recipients may qualify for an additional allowance. For additional details on CPP and OAS, see page 17. Employment-based pension plans Currently, less than 40% of working Canadians belong to employmentbased pension plans. The amount of income provided by these plans varies widely. In many cases, both employers and plan members must contribute to the plan, with plan members contributing at least as much as their employers. In your case, contributions are paid by your employers on top of your base wage and you are not required to make any additional contributions. Your pension plan is an important part of membership in Local 804. The amount you receive from your Local 804 plan will depend on how much you ve received in contributions. Based on the 2007 plan provisions, wage package and contribution rate, your pension plan will likely replace around 2% of your income for every year of membership in the plan. So, if you work steadily in the trade for 30 years, it will replace about 60% of your income (2% x 30). 3 Personal savings If there s a gap between your target retirement income and your combined Local 804 and government pensions, this is where personal savings come in. In Canada, of course, one of the most tax-effective ways to save for retirement is a registered retirement savings plan (RRSP). Any contributions you make to an RRSP come straight off your taxable income (up to government limits) and can make a big difference in the amount of tax you pay. The money you leave in your RRSP, including investment income, grows tax-free until it is used to provide a retirement income. For information on how your membership in the Local 804 pension plan affects your RRSP contribution limit, see page 12. 4

7 Background on your Local 804 pension Local plan 804 The Local 804 pension plan began on May 1, The pension plan is managed by a Board of Trustees made up of four members appointed by the union and four members appointed by the Electrical Contractors Association of Central Ontario. One of the Board s key responsibilities is to choose the professional advisers they need to help run the plan effectively and make sure that it complies with current legislation. These advisers include actuaries, lawyers, and investment managers. The plan is regulated by federal and provincial legislation. It is registered under the Income Tax Act and the Ontario Pension Benefits Act (Registration No ). The Trustees may change the plan at any time as long as it continues to comply with the law. Union Benefit Plans Services (UBPS) looks after the day-to-day administration of the plan. This includes signing up new members, receiving contributions from employers, answering questions, and preparing statements. UBPS provides necessary administrative and consulting services at cost and is owned by the plans it administers (including ours). (See inside front cover for contact information.) Contributions Each month, the employer for whom you have worked reports your hours and sends a cheque to UBPS for deposit into the pension trust fund. Professional investment managers invest the trust fund in stocks, bonds and other types of investments. All pension benefits and the expenses of running the plan are paid by the trust fund. Current investment information is provided each year in your member newsletter Pension Plan Update (also available on-line at You get two pension contribution statements each year from UBPS. 5

8 How? How the plan works Joining the plan You join the plan at the beginning of the month in which your employer pays a pension contribution on your behalf. You must first complete a Member Information Card available from either the Union Office or UBPS and return it to UBPS or the Union Hall. If you pay union dues but you do not work for an employer who makes contributions on your behalf, you will not qualify for a pension from the Local 804 plan. Your pension is based on the total contributions received on your behalf. Don t miss out on your statements! Make sure to provide UBPS with written notification of any change in your address. If you are rejoining the plan If you have left the plan and withdrawn your benefits, you can rejoin on the first of the month in which employer contributions are paid on your behalf provided: these contributions are actually received and you earn at least 700 hours of contributions both in the year that you rejoin and the following year (total 1,400). How your pension is calculated Your monthly pension is based on the following formula. 3% of your contributions received to December 31, % of your + contributions + received from January 1, 2003 to December 31, % of your contributions received from January 1, 2004 Minimum pension If you have received at least 3,000 hours of contributions, you qualify for a minimum pension of $27.50 per month for each year of continuous membership in Local 804 (maximum 10 years). This minimum pension is paid only if it is higher than the pension you would receive from contributions. The amount of your minimum pension is prorated for partial years and reduced if you retire before age 65. If you left the union and later returned, your years of membership are counted from the last date you rejoined. 6

9 Pension increases The Trustees may increase pensions for retired members from time to time if the financial position of the plan allows it. When you can retire You can retire on an unreduced pension on the first of any month between the ages of 63 and 65 as long as you have Trustee consent. This consent is based on the financial position of the plan. If you have been a member of Local 804 for at least 30 years, you can retire on an unreduced pension at age 62 with Trustee consent. Once you reach age 65, you don t need Trustee consent to retire. Early retirement with a reduced pension is available as early as age 55 or, if you prefer, you may delay your retirement until after age 65. If you retire early (age 55-63), your pension is reduced by 6% for each year that your retirement date falls before age 65 (unless you are at least age 62, have been a member of Local 804 for 30 or more years, and have Trustee consent). If you delay your retirement, your employer contributions will continue as usual and your pension will continue to grow. You must start taking your pension by the end of the year in which you reach age 69. An important decision Your retirement date can have a big impact on your monthly pension amount. If you retire early, your monthly pension payments are smaller because they will be paid over a longer period. If, for example, you retire at age 60, you will receive a pension worth 70% of your unreduced pension amount for the rest of your life. Retirement Age % of normal pension Retirement Age % of normal pension 55 40% 56 46% 57 52% 58 58% 59 64% 60 70% 61 76% 62 82% (100% with 30 years of membership in Local 804 and Trustee consent) 63 88% (100% with Trustee consent) 64 94% (100% with Trustee consent) % % % % % 7

10 Example 1: unreduced monthly pension at age 63 Member Age 63 Contributions received to December 31, 2002 $ 50,000 Contributions received between January 1, 2003 and December 31, 2003 $ 5,000 Contributions received from January 1, 2004 $ 100,000 Monthly pension at age 65: 3% x $50,000 $ 1, % x $5,000 $ % x $100,000 $ 1,250 Total unreduced monthly pension $ 2,875 Pension reduced 0% because Trustee consent given ($ 0) To make sure UBPS has time to process your application and begin your payments, please contact the office at least two months before you re ready to retire (for details, see Applying for your pension on page 11). You cannot change your pension option once you begin receiving your pension. Total permanent monthly pension $ 2,875 If you retire before age 65 If you retire between ages 55 and 65, your monthly pension is calculated the same way as a pension at age 65, but is then reduced because you will receive more payments than someone who retires later. The reduction is 6% for each year that your retirement date falls before your 65 th birthday. Remember, you need Trustee consent to retire on an unreduced pension at age 62 (with at least 30 years of Local 804 membership) or an unreduced pension between ages 63 and 65. Example 2: reduced monthly pension before age 65 Member Age 59 Contributions received to December 31, 2002 $ 50,000 Contributions received between January 1, 2003 and December 31, 2003 $ 5,000 Contributions received from January 1, 2004 $ 100,000 Monthly pension at age 65: 3% x $50,000 $ 1, % x $5,000 $ % x $100,000 $ 1,250 Total unreduced monthly pension $ 2,875 Pension reduction ($2,875 x 36%) ($ 1,035) Total permanently reduced monthly pension at age 59 (64% of normal pension) $ 1,840 If you retire after age 65 If you postpone your retirement after age 65, your employer contributions will continue as usual and your pension will continue to grow. By law, you must start taking your pension by the end of the year in which you reach age 69. 8

11 Your pension payment options When you retire, you have several different pension payment options to choose from. The option you choose will have an impact on the amount of your monthly pension and how much your spouse or beneficiary receives after your death. Here are some things you should keep in mind before you choose a payment option: q You cannot change your payment option once you begin receiving your pension. w Whatever form of pension you choose, your pension will always be paid for at least as long as you live. e The pension amount you see on your statement is the amount you would receive at age 65 if you chose a lifetime pension with a 10-year (120-month) guarantee. The amount of pension you actually receive will be adjusted up or down depending on which payment option you choose (higher if you choose a shorter guarantee, lower if you choose a longer guarantee or if you have a spouse). r If you have a spouse: Ontario pension law states that you must choose a form of payment that provides a continuing pension to your spouse in the event of your death. This pension must be at least equal to 60% of your pension, but you can increase it to 80% or 100% if you wish. Your pension is reduced to provide this spouse s pension based on your age, your spouse s age and whether you choose to continue 60%, 80% or 100% of your pension. If your spouse doesn t need this pension, he or she can refuse it by signing a legal waiver. You can then choose from any of the other payment options. t If you don t have a spouse or your spouse signs a waiver: you can choose to have your pension paid for your lifetime with no death benefit, or you can choose a five, 10- or 15-year guarantee. y If you retire before age 65 and want a different option: you may wish to consider taking a notched option that increases your pension from the date you retire until you reach age 65, which is the date your OAS and unreduced CPP benefits begin. At age 65, your pension is reduced to a level amount that continues for the rest of your life..com Check out your personal pension payment options Log on to your on-line pension calculator, for a personalized estimate of your pension at retirement. You can compare what you will get at different ages and how much you ll receive under each of the payment options available to you. Who qualifies as your spouse? Ontario pension law defines a spouse as a person who is living with you and is: married to you when you retire or die or not married to you but has been living with you in a conjugal relationship continuously for at least three years or in a relationship of some permanence if you are the parents of your own or an adopted child as defined in the Family Law Act, 1986 (Ontario). If you do not have an eligible spouse when you apply for your pension, you must confirm this on your pension application. If you have an ex-spouse when you retire, you must provide the legal documents to UBPS. If your spouse dies or you begin a new spousal relationship after your pension begins, your new spouse will not qualify for benefits after your death (except any remaining guarantee). You must keep UBPS up-to-date, not only if you have a new spouse, but also if you move, separate or divorce (see pages 14-15). Updates must be made in writing to provide UBPS with the legal authority to make the change. 9

12 Choosing a pension that suits your needs This table shows the impact of options on a member who retires at age 63 with a 60-year-old spouse and a monthly pension of $2,000. Go to for a personal estimate. Pension payment option Lifetime only Lifetime only with notched option Life with five-year guarantee Life with five-year guarantee and notched option Life with 10-year guarantee Life with 10-year guarantee and notched option Life with 15-year guarantee Life with 15-year guarantee and notched option 60% spouse s pension 80% spouse s pension 100% spouse s pension Description Pension paid for your lifetime only with no death benefit Higher pension paid to age 65, then reduced for the rest of your lifetime with no death benefit Pension paid for your life with payments continuing to your beneficiary for remaining guarantee period if you die within the first 60 months Higher pension paid to age 65, then reduced for the rest of your lifetime with lower amount continuing to your beneficiary for remaining guarantee period if you die within the first 60 months Pension paid for your life with payments continuing to your beneficiary for remaining guarantee period if you die within the first 120 months Higher pension paid to age 65, then reduced for the rest of your lifetime with lower amount continuing to your beneficiary for remaining guarantee period if you die within the first 120 months Pension paid for your life with payments continuing to your beneficiary for remaining guarantee period if you die within the first 180 months Higher pension paid to age 65, then reduced for the rest of your lifetime with lower amount continuing to your beneficiary for remaining guarantee period if you die within the first 180 months Pension paid for your life with 60% continuing to your spouse for his/her lifetime after your death Pension paid for your life with 80% continuing to your spouse for his/her lifetime after your death Pension paid for your life with 100% continuing to your spouse for his/her lifetime after your death Monthly pension $2,109 Pension starts at $2,510 and reduces to 2,018 at age 65 $2,080 Pension starts at $2,482 and reduces to $1,990 at age 65 with payments of $1,990 continuing to your beneficiary for remaining guarantee period $2,000 Pension starts at $2,406 and reduces to $1,914 at age 65 with payments of $1,914 continuing to your beneficiary for remaining guarantee period $1,890 Pension starts at $2,300 and reduces to $1,808 at age 65 with payments of $1,808 continuing to your beneficiary for remaining guarantee period $1,773 with $1,064 continuing to your spouse $1,709 with $1,367 continuing to your spouse $1,649 with $1,649 continuing to your spouse Under the spouse s pension options, if you die within the first 120 months of your retirement, your spouse will receive the same amount of pension that you were receiving for the remainder of the 120-month period. After that, your spouse will receive 60%, 80%, or 100% of your pension depending on which option you chose at retirement. 10

13 Cash benefit If your pension qualifies as a small pension under Ontario pension law, you will receive the full value of your pension in a single, taxable lump sum instead of in monthly installments. In 2007, a small pension is defined as less than about $70 per month (2% of the Yearly Maximum Pensionable Earnings under the CPP). If you die before your first pension payment If you complete your pension application, then die before your first payment can be made, the plan will pay a death benefit to your spouse or beneficiary as if you had not applied for your pension. See If you die before retirement on page 15. Applying for your pension When the time comes to retire, you will have several pension payment options to choose from (see page 10). To give UBPS enough time to process your application and begin payments, you should apply for your pension at least two months before you plan to retire. To apply for your pension: To receive pension benefits you must have been a member of the Local 804 pension plan for two or more straight years. q Pick up a pension application form from UBPS or call and ask to have a form mailed to you. w Submit your completed application to UBPS along with any required documents, for processing, including proof of age, proof of marital status, proof of initiation, etc. e UBPS will send you an estimate of the pension you would get under each of the options and a form that allows you to select your option. r Choose an option, sign off on the form (include a spouse s waiver if applicable), and return it to UBPS. If all of the contributions that you have earned have not yet been received when you apply for your pension, the Trustees may authorize temporary pension payments. These payments may be adjusted retroactively when your final pension is calculated. How your pension is paid Your pension is deposited directly into your account at the start of each month. To avoid missing payments, please make sure to notify UBPS of any changes in your address or banking arrangements. Union Benefits Plans Services is located at 151 Frobisher Drive, Suite E220 in Waterloo Telephone: or Toll-free: or Fax: Tax and your pension Pension payments are taxable. You can choose the amount of tax to be deducted when you complete the pension application form. If you choose 0%, you are 11

14 responsible for paying the tax at the end of the year when you file your return. You can increase or decrease the amount of tax to be deducted by contacting UBPS and completing the appropriate form. Working and collecting a pension By law, you cannot earn additional pension benefits while collecting a pension income from the same place. If you work in the trade after you start your pension, your pension will continue as usual, but any pension contributions you earn will be deposited to the pension fund for the benefit of all Local 804 members and not counted towards your personal pension. Even though you will not receive credit for these contributions, tax law requires that they are counted against your RRSP contribution room for the following year. This means that if you work in the trade, you will continue to receive a pension adjustment (PA) that will be reported on your T4 by your employer. (See below for more information on the Impact of your IBEW Local 804 pension on your RRSP contribution room.) When you reach age 69, by law, you are no longer allowed to earn pension contributions and there will be no PA reported on your T4. You must start your pension by the end of that year. Impact of your IBEW Local 804 pension on your RRSP contribution room You pay no income tax on contributions made for you to the Local 804 pension plan. However, your RRSP room is reduced by these contributions (which are reported on your T4 as a pension adjustment ). The CRA (Canada Revenue Agency) limits the amount of tax-free money that you may put into a RRSP each year to 18% of your previous year s earned income up to the following dollar limits: Tax year Dollar limit 2007 $19, $20, $21,000 Your available RRSP contribution room for the year is shown at the bottom of your annual income tax statement. If you contribute less than the maximum to an RRSP in any year, you may carry forward your unused contribution room to future years It is important to keep track of your RRSP contributions to avoid over-contributing. Tax law allows a lifetime over-contribution limit of $2,000. Amounts above this limit are subject to a 1% monthly penalty. 12

15 Keeping track of your pension UBPS sends you statements each year: one to help you keep track of employer contributions and one that provides details on the amount of pension you have earned. Please check your statements carefully to ensure that the personal information we have on file for you is accurate and complete. Amending the plan Under the terms of the plan, Trustees may make changes at any time as long as the plan continues to comply with the federal Income Tax Act and Ontario s Pension Benefits Act. Life events Events If you terminate Your membership in the plan will end automatically on the day that you: discontinue your membership in Local 804 or transfer your pension benefits to another Local or retire. Ending your membership is optional if no employer contributions have been made for you during the previous 24 straight months. You must have at least 24 months of plan membership to qualify for termination benefits. Payment options for your termination benefits Under age 55 If you re under age 55 when you leave, you may keep your pension benefits in the plan and take your normal pension at age 65, or take a reduced pension anytime after you reach age

16 If you decide to keep your benefits in the plan, your pension will be calculated based on the terms of the plan in place at the time you end your membership. This amount may be adjusted up or down if the plan is changed at a later date. If you don t want to keep your benefits in the plan, you may transfer their cash value to any one of the following: a special type of RRSP called a LIRA (locked-in retirement account) or an insurance company to buy an annuity (a lifetime income) or another employer s pension plan, if that plan allows transfers. See below for how cash value, also known as commuted value, is calculated. A locked-in retirement account (LIRA) works the same way as an RRSP, except that withdrawals are not normally allowed. Generally speaking, the money in a LIRA can only be used to provide an income at retirement or a death benefit before retirement. However, you may be able to apply for a withdrawal in special situations, such as financial hardship or terminal illness. Age 55 or over If you have reached age 55 when you leave the plan, you must take a pension. You can take an immediate pension, or you can start your pension at a later date. In either case, your pension will be reduced if it starts before age 65. If you don t start your pension immediately, it will be calculated based on the terms of the plan in place at the time you end your membership. This amount may be adjusted up or down if the plan is changed at a later date. How the cash value of your benefits is calculated The cash value of your plan benefits is sometimes known as the commuted value or transfer value. The cash value is the total value, in today s dollars, of the lifetime pension you have earned and would be entitled to at age 65 if you left your benefits in the plan. In other words, it is the amount of money that must be set aside today to pay the pension you would receive at age 65. If you transfer to/from another local If you temporarily transfer to/from a local that has a reciprocal agreement with Local 804, the contributions you earn in the other local will be applied directly to your pension in your home local. If you permanently transfer to/from a local that has a reciprocal agreement with Local 804, the full cash value of the pension you have earned can be transferred to your new home local. If you move out of Ontario If you leave Ontario to live in another province or country, your pension benefits under this plan are still governed by Ontario pension law. 14

17 If you separate or divorce Your pension is considered a family asset. This means that any pension you earn while you and your spouse are married or living as a common-law couple may have to be divided based on the legal separation or divorce agreement. Pension law says that your ex-spouse is eligible to receive up to 50% of the pension you earned while the two of you were considered spouses. (See page 9 for the definition of spouse under pension law.). Even if you re not legally married, you may still have to consider your pension in any division of assets. Your ex-spouse cannot begin receiving his or her share of your pension until you leave the plan, retire, reach age 65, or die whichever comes first. You must inform UBPS of your new marital status. You should also update your beneficiary information. These updates must be made in writing to provide UBPS with the legal authority to make the change. If you are disabled Employer contributions are required to continue for up to 12 months if you: are not working because of illness or injury for which you are receiving full benefits from the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) or you are receiving a disability pension from both the WSIB and the Canada Pension Plan. These contributions are based on 150 hours per month. If you are terminally ill, you may apply to withdraw the pension you have earned as a single payment before you reach retirement age. To do this, you must obtain a written statement from your doctor confirming that you have less than two years to live and, if you have a spouse, get written consent (signed within 60 days before you submit your application). The withdrawal is taxable and must be approved by the Trustees. If you die before retirement If you die before your pension begins, but after you ve been a member of the Local 804 pension plan for at least two continuous years, the full value of the pension you have earned will be paid to your spouse, beneficiary, or estate. If you do not have a spouse or your spouse signs a waiver, this money will be paid to your beneficiary or estate as a taxable cash payment. If you have a spouse, he or she may: After you retire, death benefits, if any, depend on the form of pension you chose at retirement. transfer this money tax-free to an RRSP or transfer it tax-free to an insurance company to purchase an annuity (a lifetime income) or take it as a taxable cash payment or take it as a pension from the plan starting now or later. 15

18 Naming a beneficiary If you have a spouse, he or she is your beneficiary by law. If you both agree that you d prefer to name someone else, your spouse can sign a waiver refusing your death benefit. This is a big decision and you and your spouse are strongly advised to talk to a lawyer before your spouse waives this right. Even though your spouse is your beneficiary by law, if you get married or have a new partner who qualifies as a spouse, you should still submit a new beneficiary form to UBPS. This helps to avoid any confusion or errors if something should happen to you down the road. You can only have one spouse at a time who qualifies for death benefits from the plan. If you don t have a partner who qualifies as your spouse under the pension plan (or your spouse has signed a waiver), you can name anyone you want as your pension beneficiary. When a death benefit is paid to someone other than a spouse, it is paid in a single payment (minus any withholding taxes). If you don t name a beneficiary, your death benefit will be paid to your estate unless you make specific reference to it in your will. If it is paid to your estate, it will be subject to probate fees. Naming a child as beneficiary If you decide that you would like to name your child as a beneficiary, there are some important steps you need to take. First of all, if you have an eligible spouse, he or she must sign the waiver referred to earlier giving up his or her right to his or her pension benefit. Next, you should appoint a trustee or guardian to look after your child s benefits until he or she is 18 (a lawyer can help you choose and appoint this person). If you don t appoint a trustee, the plan can pay the benefit to a legal guardian who has been appointed by the court. If no guardian is appointed, current Ontario law states that any amount above $10,000 must be paid to the Accountant of the Superior Court who will hold the money until your child reaches age 18. At that point, your child can withdraw the funds by filing an affidavit proving his or her age; however an administration fee will be charged. 16

19 More information on government Information pensions Canada Pension Plan (CPP) All working Canadians over the age of 18 (outside of Quebec) are required to contribute to the CPP if their earnings are above the basic exemption ($3,500 in 2007). Your CPP contributions are matched by your employer. You can start taking your CPP retirement pension anytime between ages 60 and 65. If you start before age 65, your payments will be reduced to make up for the fact that you will receive more of them. The reduction is 6% for each year that your retirement date falls below age 65. Depending on your personal financial situation and health, it might make sense to start things early. On the other hand, you can also delay your CPP pension until you reach age 70. In this case, your pension is increased by 6% per year after age 65. The pension that you receive from the CPP is paid in addition to your IBEW Local 804 pension. The amount of CPP pension you receive depends on how much and for how long you contribute. In 2007, the maximum annual pension you can get from the CPP is about $10,368. CPP is indexed, which means that the amount of pension retirees receive is adjusted each January based on the increase in the Consumer Price Index. Don t forget that your Local 804 pension website has up-to-date information about government benefits. For an estimate of your personal CPP and OAS pensions, go to To obtain a CPP/QPP statement For a more detailed estimate, you may wish to try the calculator provided by Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) at To find out exactly how much CPP pension you have already earned, you should check your statement of contributions or call HRSDC at Old Age Security (OAS) OAS is another federal program. It provides a basic pension for almost every senior at least 65 years old. There are two ways to qualify for a full OAS pension. If you were at least 25 years old on July 1, 1977, you need 10 years of Canadian residence before application. Otherwise, you need 40 years of Canadian residence after age 18. If you don t qualify for a full pension, you may still receive a partial one if you have at least 10 years of Canadian residence. 17

20 Currently, the maximum annual OAS benefit is about $5,904. Part of this benefit will be clawed back if your net income is greater than $63,511. All of it will be clawed back if your net income is $102,865 or more. Once OAS begins, payments are increased every three months if the Consumer Price Index goes up. Applying for CPP and OAS CPP and OAS don t automatically start when you turn 65. You must file an application with HRSDC. If you spent some of your adult years living outside of Canada, depending on the country, these years may be included under an international agreement. 18

21 Key terms & definitions Definitions Actuary An expert in the mathematics of risk. Our actuaries advise our Trustees on the design and funding of our plan based on complex calculations involving estimates of future interest rates, retirement ages, work levels, mortality, etc. Annuity When you buy a life annuity, you exchange a lump sum of money for a lifetime monthly income. This income may start anytime you choose after you reach age 55. If you are under age 55, you may buy a deferred life annuity which pays you taxfree interest until you reach retirement age and can convert your savings to a life annuity. Various optional forms of life annuity allow you to provide continuing payments after your death to a spouse or beneficiary. Beneficiary This is the person you name to receive your pension benefits when you die. If you have an eligible spouse, Ontario pension law requires your spouse to be your beneficiary. If you do not have a spouse, you may name anyone you want. If you do not name a beneficiary, death benefits will be paid to your estate. Cash value The cash value of your plan benefits is sometimes known as the commuted value or transfer value. The cash value is the total value in today s dollars of the lifetime pension you have earned and would be entitled to at age 65 if you left your benefits in the plan. In other words, it is the amount of money that must be set aside today to pay the pension you would receive at age 65. It is a complex calculation that involves many factors, including age, pension earned to date, mortality rates, and interest rates. CPP Canada Pension Plan CRA Canada Revenue Agency (formerly Canada Customs and Revenue Agency) GIS Guaranteed Income Supplement HRSDC Human Resources and Skills Development Canada 19

22 LIRA Locked-in retirement account. A LIRA works the same way as an RRSP, except that amounts in a LIRA are locked-in and must be used to provide a retirement income (cannot be withdrawn in cash except under special circumstances). All funds in a LIRA must be used to buy an annuity or transferred to a life income fund (LIF) or locked-in retirement income fund (LRIF) by the end of the year in which you reach age 69. Normal retirement date Your normal retirement date is the first of the month following your 65 th birthday. Notched option A pension payment option that provides higher monthly payments from retirement to age 65, which is the date your OAS and unreduced CPP benefits begin. At age 65, your pension is reduced to a level amount that continues for the rest of your life. OAS Old Age Security PA Pension Adjustment RRSP Registered retirement savings plan. This is a type of account that lets your savings grow tax free. Your contributions to an RRSP also reduce your annual income tax (unless contributions are transferred in from another registered plan). If you withdraw money from an RRSP, tax is deducted first. When you retire, you may use your RRSP to provide a retirement income. Spouse Ontario pension law defines a spouse as a person who is living with you and is: (a) (b) (c) married to you when you retire or die or not married to you but has been living with you in a conjugal relationship continuously for at least three years or in a relationship of some permanence if you are the parents of your own or an adopted child as defined in the Family Law Act, 1986 (Ontario). UBPS Union Benefit Plans Services, the Local 804 pension plan administrator. 20

23 2007 April 2007

24 Union Benefit Plans Services Waterloo, Ontario

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