Fall 2017

Message from the Pension and Benefits Board

Closeup of notepad kept on table in empty conference room

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. Further details on the new funding rules are expected to be released later this year or in early 2018.

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 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 congregations, plan members and other agencies of the Church. 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 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 services. He has served this church since 1992. Rev. Kim has two grown 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”.

Corrie Stewart was ordained on September 27, 2015. He currently ministers with four rural congregations on Cape Breton Island. Corrie is a Chartered Professional Accountant who has 25 years of accounting and management experience in the private and public sectors. As his ministry is two-thirds time, Corrie continues to do some accounting and project management work.

2017-2018 Pension and Benefits Board

The Rev. Cameron Bigelow, Convener, Orillia, ON
The Rev. Katharine Michie, Prince George, BC
Ms. Ingrid Chingcuanco, Toronto, ON
Dr. Patricia A. Main, Toronto, ON
The Rev. In Kee Kim, Toronto, ON
The Rev. Dr. Lawrence Mawhinney, Lunenburg, NS
Mr. John Bonnell, Halifax, NS
Ms. Ann R. Hysert, Merrickville, ON
The 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. You can contact us at:

Pension and Benefits Board Office
50 Wynford Drive, Toronto ON M3C 1J7
pension [at] presbyterian [dot] ca

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. 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. For 2018 the member contribution rate will remain at 9% of the member’s MQI.
Group Insurance Rate: Members of the Group Insurance plan pay a percentage of their MQI for their group insurance coverage (life insurance, dependent life, accidental death and dismemberment and LTD). 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.

Maternity and Parental leave update

On November 9th, the Government of Canada released changes to the EI parental leave benefit. Starting December 3, 2017, parents with a newborn or newly adopted child may choose from the following two options:

Option 1: Standard parental benefits: Option 2: Extended parental benefits:
• Parents can receive EI parental benefits
for up to 35 weeks.
• The 35 weeks must be in the 12 months
after the child is born or adopted.
• The benefit is equal to 55% of the
individual’s average insurable earnings.
Earnings are capped at the year’s Maximum
Insurable Earnings (MIE: $51,300 for 2017).
• Parents can receive EI parental benefits
for up to 61 weeks.
• The 61 weeks must be in the 18 months
after the child is born or adopted.
• The benefit is equal to 33% of the
individual’s average insurable earnings.
Earnings are capped at the year’s Maximum
Insurable Earnings (MIE: $51,300 for 2017).

There have been no changes made to the length or benefit amount paid under EI maternity leaves.
More information regarding the changes to EI parental leave is available online: http://bit.ly/EIParental

What does this change mean for our top-up policy?
Our top-up policy will provide equal benefits to employees, regardless of the parental leave option they choose. The policy uses a constant EI rate to top-up from. Now that the EI rate is variable (it could be 55% or 33% depending on the option chosen) our policy will be to use the standard rate of 55% for all
employees, regardless of their actual EI benefit.

The number of top-up weeks paid by the PCC will remain unchanged: 17 weeks maternity leave and 10 parental leave.

How will that work?
There have been no changes made to the length or benefit amount paid under EI maternity leaves – our top-up policy will therefore remain the same regarding maternity leave.

For the standard parental leave option there will be no change as the EI rate for the standard option is already 55%. The PCC will continue to top-up to 95% of stipends for ministers and salaries for employees for a maximum of 10 weeks.

For the extended parental leave option the employer will calculate what the employee’s EI benefit would have been at the standard parental leave rate (55%) and top-up from 55% to 95% of stipends for ministers and salaries for other employees for a maximum of 10 weeks.

In this way both options use the same rate of 55% as a base to top-up from, and employees will receive equal top-up from the PCC regardless of the parental leave option they choose.

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:

• asthma
• depression
• anxiety
• attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
• infections (e.g. antibiotics)
• epilepsy
• 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

Out of Country Emergency Medical Coverage

Planning a trip? Our Group Benefits plan provides emergency out of country medical coverage for you and your eligible dependents. Members should review the coverage provided before traveling, so that they can purchase additional travel coverage as needed.

If you require medical assistance while traveling, contact Allianz Global Assistance immediately:
USA and Canada: 1-800-511-4610
From Anywhere Else: 1-519-514-0351. You can call collect through an international operator.
Fax: 1-519-514-0374
Our contract number is: 050380