Window on Your Pension and Benefits

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Window on Your Pension and Benefits2017-02-09T10:49:23+00:00

Window Pension and Benefits Banner

Spring 2016

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Message from the Pension and Benefits Board

Despite a strong fund performance over the last three years (averaging above 9.0% per year), our plan continues to be in a deficit position. The reason is the prolonged period of low interest rates, which continues to affect defined benefit pension plans in Canada. As a result, the Church must remit additional special payments to the pension fund in addition to member and congregations and other employer contributions. In 2016 additional special payments are approximately $708,000 or $59,000 per month which must be found from within the financial resources of the Church.

Plan Amendments
There were three amendments made to the plan in 2015. As communicated to you in the Fall 2015 Window newsletter, the “greater of” calculation for members who joined the plan before 1990 based on the former 2% Career Average formula was frozen. Starting January 1, 2016, pre-1990 active members will earn pensions at the standard 1.5% Career Average formula. With this change, all active members of the plan will earn future pension credits equally. In addition, an amendment for the province of Nova Scotia and an amendment for the province of British Columbia were made in 2015 to comply with minimum pension standards legislation.

Ontario Solvency Relief
In November 2015, the Ontario government announced plans to provide for a new round of temporary solvency relief measures, similar to those introduced in 2009 and 2012. Our Pension and Benefits Board is currently examining all options available, including taking advantage of the latest solvency funding relief measures, to ensure that the plan continues to be affordable. We will keep you updated of this option in a future newsletter.

Special Committee Re Pension report - iconSolvency Funding Update

The Special Committee Re Pension Solvency Funding struck by the 2015 General Assembly continues with the task of addressing the severe financial pressures on the Church’s Pension Plan. The following progress can be reported.

The working group will continue to evaluate the pros and cons of continuing as a Single Employer Pension Plan (SEPP) or seeking to change our plan to a Multiple Employer Pension Plan (MEPP) and will also explore whether this is even possible. Each kind of plan has its unique features but moving to an MEPP would free us from large annual premiums which must be paid into the Pension Benefits Guaranteed Fund. It is our hope that it would also free the Pension Plan from having to make extra payments due to an actuarially determined solvency shortfall.

Resulting from an urgent need to build capital, the Special Committee recommended that the Assembly Council increase the claim of the Pension Fund on receipts from dissolved congregations to 100% and increase the claim of the Pension Fund on receipts from undesignated bequests to 50%. The latter was adopted by the Assembly Council to take place on April 6, 2016 and the former is coming before the General Assembly as a recommendation of the Council.

As the pension plan solvency has significant impact for not only the pension plan itself but also for the ability of The Presbyterian Church in Canada to fund important parts of its work and mission, the Special Committee continues to exercise due diligence to find the effective solution to the pressures of the solvency deficit. We ask for the full support and prayers of the Church as we continue to move forward with the mandate which the Assembly has placed upon the Special Committee.

Working Part-timelight bulb - icon

The majority of members of the Presbyterian Church in Canada Pension Plan works full-time and contributes to the plan based on full-time service. In recent years, however, there has been a small increase in the number of members serving in part-time positions. Whether you are serving in a part-time position or considering a move to a part-time position, you will want to know how your pension is accrued if you work part-time.

Did you know….that of the approximately 700 currently actively contributing members of the pension plan, 90 members are part-time?

Pension Formula
For all members of the plan, the pension you earn is based on a formula that takes into account the ratio of your pensionable income up to an annual maximum qualifying income and the period of pensionable service that you make contributions to the pension plan in a given year. The formula is:

1.5% of the full-time maximum qualifying income for that year

multiplied by your income ratio for that year

multiplied by your pensionable service for that year

Working Part-Time
If you work part-time, your pensionable income and the contributions you make to the pension plan are based on the percentage of time you work, compared to the fulltime equivalent. For example, if you work half-time or 50% time, your maximum qualifying income is based on 50% of a full-time equivalent, and contributions you make to the plan are based on your half-time earnings.

In 2016, the maximum qualifying income for a full-time equivalent is $69,900.

a) If you work half-time or 50% time, multiply the maximum qualifying income by your work time to calculate your part-time maximum qualifying income.
($69,900 x 0.5 = $34,950)

b) Pensionable income is your income (up to the maximum qualifying income).

c) Your income ratio is determined by dividing your pensionable income to your part-time maximum qualifying income.

Using the above half-time or 50% time example, if your pensionable income is equal to or greater than $34,950, your income ratio for 2016 is 1. If your pensionable income is lower than $34,950, your income ratio is less than 1.

For example, if your pensionable income this year is $32,500, your income ratio is 0.93
($32,500 ÷ $34,950 = 0.93 rounded)

d) Pensionable service is the period during which contributions are made to the pension plan. If you work part-time your pensionable service will be based on your part-time percentage.

e) Your contributions are based on your pensionable income. Currently you contribute 9% of your pensionable income to the plan. It is not possible to make contributions in excess of your pensionable income.

Pension Earned – Let’s do the math!
So, how does the pension formula calculate an earned pension for part-time members? Using the examples, if you work half-time (50% time) with a pensionable income of $32,500, you will earn the following pension in 2016:

1.5% of the maximum qualifying income of $69,900 = $1,048.50

multiplied by your income ratio of 0.93 = $975.10

multiplied by your pensionable service of 0.5 = $487.55

If you work more than half time – for example, 4 days per week or 80% time, at the same income ratio of .93, you will earn the following pension in 2016:

1.5% of the maximum qualifying income of $69,900 = $1,048.50

multiplied by your income ratio of 0.93 = $975.10

multiplied by your pensionable service of 0.8 = $780.08

Annual Pension Statement
To help you keep track of your earned pension, a pension statement is sent to you every year (see “This and That”). The Annual Pension Statement shows the total pension you’ve earned to date based on the years you’ve contributed to the pension plan. It also gives you an estimate, using forecasted maximum qualifying incomes, of what your pension will be if you stay in the plan until you retire.

stop - iconGroup Benefits Plan News

Health and Dental Service Provider Delisting – Important!
When our Health and Dental insurer, Sun Life, delists a healthcare service provider, clinic, facility or medical supplier, it means that Sun Life will no longer process or pay for claims for services or supplies obtained by our plan member from that provider. These providers are placed on a Sun Life ‘delisted service providers’ list.

Delisted provider update
Please check the updated list periodically by logging in to your own-password-protected web page through and select the message for delisted providers.

Why delisting a service provider is necessary
It’s important that only eligible claims are processed and paid. It allows Sun Life to better protect our Health and Dental Plan members and the Church Group Benefits Plan.

Check the address!
If you submit your Health and Dental claims on paper, mail your completed claim forms to either of the closest Sun Life claims office near you:

Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada
PO Box 2010 Stn Waterloo
Waterloo ON N2J 0A6

Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada
PO Box 11658 Stn CV
Montreal QC H3C 6C1

**After September 30, 2016, any Health and Dental claims mail sent to addresses other than the above will be returned to you. If you have old claim forms and addresses, please discontinue using them and use the new forms, or replace the contact information.

Go paperless!
Consider submitting claims online at


starburst - iconThis and That

Keep your Contact Information Current
If you are a member of the Presbyterian Church in Canada Pension Plan or Group Benefits Plan, you can update your mailing address, email and telephone number by emailing pension [at] presbyterian [dot] ca. This will enable us to keep you in the loop with news and information about your pension and benefits.

Next Meeting
The next Pension and Benefits Board meeting is scheduled for October 3-4, 2016.

Annual Pension and Group Benefits Statements (APS)
The 2015 Annual Pension and Group Benefits Statements are scheduled to be distributed in early May to actively working members of the Pension Plan and Group Benefits Plan. The Annual Pension Statement provides key information on your 2015 earned pension within the Presbyterian Church in Canada Pension Plan. It provides a plan update on the pension fund and is also your opportunity to notify us of a change to your personal information that may affect your pension benefits.

Pension and Benefits Board Webpage
Stay informed: visit the Pension and Benefits Board webpage for resources, newsletters, forms, board updates and information:

About this newsletter
This newsletter provides summary information about The Presbyterian Church in Canada’s pension and benefits plans. It is not intended to be complete or comprehensive, or to provide legal or medical advice. If there are any discrepancies between this bulletin and the wording in the legal documents that govern the plans, the legal documents will apply in all cases.

For more information, contact Pension and Benefits by email or call 416-441-1111 or 1-800-619-7301 ext. 287.

Looking for more information about your pension and benefit plans?

Visit the Pension and Benefits web page for forms, newsletters, booklets, worksheets and latest news.

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