Message from the Pension and Benefits Board
The Pension and Benefits Board met in October 2017 to go over the financial position of the pension plan and hear reports from the committees of the Board as well as from our actuaries.
It was reported by our actuaries that as of March 31, 2017 the Going Concern Funded Ratio of the Pension Plan was 116.7% and that the Solvency Ratio was 86.7% This updated Solvency Ratio surpasses the government’s threshold of 85% thus deferring the requirement to file annually, and offering the Church greater certainty about our contribution requirements. During the summer of 2017 the Government of Ontario Ministry of Finance released limited information regarding solvency funding reform. While we know more about what Solvency Funding reform may look like, nothing is yet firm. As the Board waits for more information regarding Solvency Funding reform, our favourable Solvency Ratio has put the pension plan in a good position leading up to our next valuation filing deadline.
New director of Pension and Benefits
In September 2017 the Pension and Benefits Board was pleased to welcome Nicole Jeffrey back to the Pension and Benefits office in the role as Director of the Pension and Benefits.
A Message from the Director: Inspired to lead the Pension and Benefits Board office with refreshed vision in a new capacity and provide expertise and support to the Pension and Benefits Board with God’s grace and guidance, I am excited to begin my work as Director, Pension and Benefits. My objectives are to ensure that the Pension and Benefits plans of our church are administered effectively and conscientiously, following all applicable legislation and regulations, as well as to manage the Pension and Benefits office, ensuring support for staff, other departments and plan members. It is vital that the Pension and Benefits office stay current in an ever changing climate. I am committed to keeping the focus of sustainability in the forefront as we explore opportunities to be progressive, while continuing to respect the current policies and practices of the church.
Introducing the 2017-2018 Pension and Benefits Board
The Pension and Benefits Board is made up of Presbyterians with professional experience and expertise in disciplines relevant to the field of pension and benefits. Just as vital to the membership of the board are the active and retired members of the pension and benefits plans, representative of the clergy, congregations, and staff employees.
The Pension and Benefits Board is pleased to welcome two new members this year. The Rev. In Kee Kim, from Toronto Ontario, and The Rev. Corrie Stewart, from North River Bridge in Nova Scotia.
In Kee Kim is a minister at St. Timothy Presbyterian Church in Etobicoke. It is a predominantly Korean church that has both Korean and English service. He has served this church since 1992.
Rev. Kim has two grown up children and is a proud grandfather of two grandsons. His wife is the executive director for the Women’s Mission Society.
Rev. Kim says that he is “looking forward to working together with fine people”.
2017-2018 Pension and Benefits Board
The Rev. Cameron Bigelow, Convener, Orillia, ON
Rev. Katharine Michie, Prince George, BC
Ms. Ingrid Chingcuanco, Toronto, ON
Dr. Patricia A. Main, Toronto, ON
The Rev. In Kee Kim, Toronto, ON
Rev. Dr. Lawrence Mawhinney, Lunenburg, NS
Mr. John Bonnell, Halifax, NS
Ms. Ann R. Hysert, Merrickville, ON
Rev. Corrie Stewart, North River Bridge, NS
Mr. Oliver Ng, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer, Toronto, ON
Mr. Timothy Herron, Convener, Trustee Board, Thornhill, ON
The Pension and Benefits Board will meet next on March 12-13, 2018. If you have any questions or concerns regarding the pension or group benefits plan, you can contact us at:
Pension and Benefits Board Office
50 Wynford Drive, Toronto ON M3C 1J7
pension [at] presbyterian [dot] ca
Maternity leave update
In March 2017, the Federal Government announced potential changes to parental and maternity leave employment insurance benefits. The proposed changes would provide two options for parents taking parental leave – the current 12 month option at the current 55% Employment Insurance rate, and a second 18 month option with a lower 33% Employment Insurance offered.
Currently, the maternity and parental policy of The Presbyterian Church in Canada “tops up” Employment Insurance payments so that members receive a total of 95% of their pre-leave income for a maximum of 27 weeks. Our office has received some inquires regarding how the proposed change to the Federal maternity and parental leave employment insurance program would work with our top up policy.
At the time of writing, these changes are not yet in effect. At such time that the proposed changes come into effect, our top up policy will adjust to accommodate those who select the 18 month option in a fiscally neutral manner, meaning that they will not receive any more benefit than those employees who select the 12 month option. At that time, the Pension and Benefits Office will issue a special communications piece outlining the two parental leave options, and how our top up policy will work with each.
OHIP+ Information for Members
In April 2017 the Ontario Ministry of Finance announced that effective January 1, 2018, those under the age of 25 would have their prescription drugs covered by the provincial health insurance plan, OHIP. This coverage will be automatic, with no upfront costs to the end users.
Who is covered?
All Ontarians under the age of 25 who have OHIP coverage will automatically qualify for the program. This is not impacted by family, income, or student status and requires no application. Claims will be submitted by the pharmacist using the claimant’s OHIP card. Coverage ends on the claimant’s 25th birthday.
How does this change affect your Sun Life coverage?
For claimants covered by OHIP+, that program will become the first payor for eligible drugs. Sun Life will continue to cover OHIP+ claimants for eligible drugs and services not covered under that program.
What is covered?
This program will cover the cost of over 4,400 drugs currently available through the Ontario Drug Benefit program. This includes medications to treat:
• attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
• infections (e.g. antibiotics)
• diabetes (including test strips)
• reproductive health (e.g. birth control pills)
• some childhood cancers
• some childhood rare diseases
A full directory is available online under the Ontario Drug Benefit Formulary/Comparative Drug Index.
Want to learn more about OHIP+?
Learn more about OHIP+ here: https://www.ontario.ca/page/learn-about-ohip-plus
Read the announcement from the Ministry of Finance here: http://bit.ly/MF_OHIP
Read Sun Life’s press release here: http://bit.ly/OHIPplus
2018 Member Contribution Rates and Maximum Qualifying Income
MQI: Every year the General Assembly approves a new Minimum Stipend and Allowance schedule, and included with this is a new Maximum Qualifying Income, or MQI. This is maximum figure that can be used to calculate pension and group insurance deductions for PCC employees. In 2018 the MQI will be $71,940.
MQI is calculated for clergy as stipend + 60%. For non-clergy MQI is calculated as salary + Health and Dental premium. The Health and Dental premium for 2018 is $4,327 and is paid by your employer. If the calculated MQI equals more than the maximum set by General Assembly, then the maximum set by General Assembly should be used for all calculations.
Member Pension Contributions: Members of the pension plan contribute a percentage of their MQI towards their pension. Every year this percentage is reviewed and approved by General Assembly. For 2018 the member contribution rate will remain at 9% of the member’s MQI.
Group Insurance Rate: Members of the Group Insurance plan contribute a portion of their MQI towards their group insurance coverage based on the group insurance rate. This rate is approved each year by the Pension and Benefits Board. The Group Insurance Rate for 2018 is 0.7% of the member’s MQI.
Member Pension contributions and Group Insurance contributions are deducted from your payroll by your treasurer or payroll administrator.