Frequently Asked Questions - General Employee Information
What kind of pension plan do I belong to?
You belong to a defined benefit plan which means that your pension is based on a formula that provides lifetime pension, disability, death and termination benefits. The formula uses your years of pensionable service and your best five-year average salary. The monthly pension amount you receive is not directly related to investment returns on your contributions.
What is the difference between pensionable service and qualifying service?
Pensionable service is the time on which you are contributing or contributions are being made on your behalf to the Fund.
Qualifying Service is employment (or combined periods of employment) that is unbroken by resignation, termination or retirement except for a temporary absence/layoff. A temporary absence/layoff is considered to be a period of employment if the absence/layoff does not exceed 54 consecutive weeks.
What is the "Rule of 80"?
When the combination of your age (minimum age 55) and qualifying service equals 80 or more e.g. Age 55 with 25 years of qualifying service or more (includes full and part years of age and eligible service). There is no reduction if you retire between the ages of 55 and 60 with the Rule of 80.
When do I receive my annual employee pension statement?
The Annual Employee Pension Statements are available once the CSSB has verified and balanced the information submitted by your employer.
The CSSB is required by The Pension Benefits Act to have the Annual Employee Pension Statement available for the prior year by the end of June.
Members that are signed up for the CSSB Online Services will receive an email notification when their statement is ready and available for download.
Why is the information in my online estimate not up to date?
Your year-to-date information (service, earnings and contributions) is received from the employer on an annual basis. At the beginning of the year, our office verifies the data relating to the prior year, before the information is released to the Online Services.
If you are a new member and did not contribute to the pension plan in the previous year, you will not be able to run termination or pension estimates until our office receives the year end information from your employer.
The pensionable earnings shown on my account history is not the same as on my T4 slip?
The earnings reported on your T4 slip may include earnings that are not deemed to be pensionable under the pension plan. For example, earnings related to overtime are not pensionable and would not be included in the earnings in the Online Services account history.
If you find a discrepancy in your pensionable earnings, please contact your employer.
How can I update my personal information?
You can update your spouse/partner’s information (date of birth and name) and address by going to “Edit My Profile” in your Online Services account.
Can I buy back service?
You may be eligible to purchase back certain periods of service. Please refer to the section “Purchase of Service” for more details or contact the Board office.
Why is the service for one of the years listed in my Online Service account history not full service?
You may have been on a leave of absence without pay. If you are on a leave of absence without pay, you do not contribute to the pension plan and your employer would not report pensionable service during this time.
You may have received retroactive pay which has been allocated back to the applicable year(s).
In the above case, this member received retroactive pay in 2011 which pertains back to a previous year. In the account history, these earnings are identified on a separate line.
I have pension funds with a previous employer, can I transfer those funds into the Civil Service Superannuation Fund?
Reciprocal Transfer Agreements (RTA) – It may be possible to transfer eligible service from another pension plan if there is an RTA with that pension plan. Please refer to “Reciprocal Transfer Agreements” for more details.
Money Purchase Plan – If no RTA exists with your former pension plan, you may transfer those funds to the Money Purchase Plan. If funds are locked-in, CSSB can only accept funds that will be administered under Manitoba legislation. If pension funds are required to be administered under another provincial legislation or federal legislation, then CSSB will not accept the transfer.
Transfer of funds is to be completed within one year of the date you entered the fund.
I’ve had a baby and am off work on Leave. Can I still make contributions to my pension?
While on Maternity/Parental Leave, you are eligible to make Pension Plan contributions equal to pensionable service that would have been acquired if you had worked during that period. For example, employees working less than full-time are eligible to contribute on their normal required hours (a ½ time employee is eligible to contribute on ½ time service).
A Form of Election is to be completed by you and your employer and forwarded to the Board office prior to the start of the Current Leave, whether you choose to contribute or not during the Leave. If Maternity/Parental Leave isn’t purchased during the time of these applicable leaves, it is only eligible to be purchased under Special Service Buyback (SSBB).
If you choose to contribute while on the Leave, the Board will:
Calculate the required payments and request postdated monthly cheques from you
Calculate a Pension Adjustment for the period of Leave and issue a T4 for applicable payments each year.
MATERNITY LEAVE = 8.5 pay periods or 17 weeks (maximum):
You pay only the employee portion
PARENTAL LEAVE = 17.5 pay periods or 35 weeks (maximum 18.5 pay periods or 37 weeks, includes 2 weeks sick leave):
You pay both the employee portion and the matching employer portion
Can I make additional contributions to my pension?
No. Voluntary contributions are not permitted.
Can I borrow from the monies that I’ve contributed to the fund?
No. Borrowing contributions from a Registered Pension Plan is prohibited under the Income Tax Act and The Pension Benefits Act.
Can I withdraw money from the pension plan to buy my first house?
No. The Government of Canada’s Home Buyers’ Plan (HBP) applies only to withdrawals from Registered Retirement Savings Plans.
The Civil Service Superannuation Fund isn’t eligible under the HBP, and there are no provisions in the pension plan that permit funds to be withdrawn while still employed.
The exception to this would be for members who have non-locked in funds in the Money Purchase Plan. Non-locked in funds in the Money Purchase Plan may be removed at any time. Although the Money Purchase Plan isn't an eligible plan under the HBP, a member could transfer their non-locked in funds to an RRSP.