Where do I find information about the Old Age Security (OAS) or Canada Pension Plan (CPP)? Can I have access to a Life Income Fund (LIF) or an annuity before age 55?
You may have an income from a LIF at any age. The percentage will vary every year in accordance with your age. However, an income from an annuity may not begin until the annuitant is within ten years of the normal retirement date of the pension plan from which the assets were transferred.
Can I withdraw the balance of my pension account, in whole or in part if I become disabled?
The owner of a standard contract or a member of a pension plan, may withdraw the balance of the money in his or her account, in whole or in part, and receive a payment or a series of payments if a physician certifies in writing to the financial institution that is party to the contract or the administrator of a pension plan that the owner or the member suffers from a significant physical or mental disability that considerably reduces life expectancy. The physician must use the underlined wording in order to comply with subsection 33(2) of the Pension Benefits Act and subparagraph 21(2)(d) regulation 91-195.
Upon termination of employment, must my employer provide me with a statement with regards to my benefits, rights and obligations under the pension plan?
Within 30 days after your cessation of membership to the pension plan or after the date of your termination, the employer must provide you with a statement containing the following information:
- the name of the plan and its registration number;
- your name, mailing address, social insurance number and date of birth;
- the date on which you became a member, the number of years of continuous employment and, if applicable, the number of years of employment credited under the plan;
- your retirement date under the plan;
- the periodic amount of the deferred pension you are entitled to under the plan of employment and any options respecting the deferred pension;
- the amount of any accumulated additional voluntary contributions;
- the amount of any excess contribution you made;
- if applicable, the formula for reducing the deferred pension by reason of payments under the Canada Pension Plan, the Quebec Pension Plan or the Old Age Security Act;
- an explanation of any indexation;
- the commuted value of the deferred pension;
- explanation of the benefit on death if you or your spouse were to die prior to payment of the deferred pension;
- an explanation of the pension payable if you or your spouse were to die after the commencement of payment of the pension;
- an explanation of any other benefit you are entitled to.
Should you want to exercise your right after being advised by the employer, you must advise your former employer of your decision within 90 days after receipt of the employer's notice. The employer must then comply with your election option within 30 days after receipt.
I am an employee who works in New Brunswick but the pension plan, for which I am a member, is registered in a province other than New Brunswick. Does this mean that my benefits will be as required in the province of registration, because the majority of the members work in that province?
It is the owner and the financial advisor who sign the form. The person who is the financial advisor acts on behalf of the Trustee. The financial advisor relies on the information provided from the Trustee as to what is on file. The Trustee is ultimately responsible, even if the financial advisor signs the form. The intent is that this transfer is not done blindly by the client. The Trustee, through the financial advisor takes responsibility for explaining the main consequences:
- That the amount of the principle will be severely reduced, consequently the future yearly withdrawal will be severely reduced.
- These transfers are only permitted once in a lifetime for a person, not just this account. So the client should be advised that it is best to plan the withdrawals from the RRIF.
Must pension plan administrators offer benefits to same sex spouses?
Yes. Effective October 1, 2011, the Pension Benefits Act was amended to include same sex spouses within the definition of “spouse”. The definitions of “common-law partner” and “common-law partnership” were added to the Act. All pension plans under New Brunswick Legislation must now provide benefits to same sex spouses.
I am turning 72 this year and must, under the Income Tax Act (ITA), begin to receive benefit payments from my individual pension plan (IPP). The ITA rules require the IPP to pay me the greater of: 1. the regular pension amount payable under the terms of the IPP; or, 2. the minimum amount that would be required to be paid from the IPP as if the IPP assets were held in a Registered Retirement Income Fund (RRIF). Is the latter option possible under the Pension Benefits Act?
No. The benefit payments from the IPP cannot be paid out as if the IPP assets were held in a RRIF. The IPP is a registered defined benefit pension plan under the Act, and the IPP must comply with the provisions of the Act. The Act does not allow for RRIF type payments from a pension plan. However, there may be circumstances when surplus assets, if any, under the IPP may be used to bring the pension being paid to the retired member up to the required RRIF level. For example, this could be done where the plan terms permit payment of surplus from the ongoing plan to the retired member(s) of the plan.
Can you provide an example of a calculation for an application to transfer funds from a LIF to a RRIF?