Frequently Asked Questions - Time To Retire

 

How can I find out how much my pension will be at retirement?
When am I eligible to retire?
I have decided to retire. What do I need to do?
How is my pension calculated?
If a retroactive pay increase is granted after I leave employment, will my pension increase?
Is lump sum vacation pay included in the calculation of my pension benefit?
How do I accrue vacation days for pension purposes at retirement?
What happens if I’m in receipt of a monthly pension from the Civil Service Superannuation Fund and then I return to work for a participating employer?
Does Severance Affect My Pension Or Insurance?
Am I Entitled To Severance Pay?
Should I choose to integrate with the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) and/or Old Age Security (OAS) at retirement?
I retired – why haven’t I received my pension payment?

What is Temporary Allowance (Bridging)?

 
How can I find out how much my pension will be at retirement?

You have two (2) options. You can:

  • Run your own estimate using Online Services

If you are registered for Online Services, you can run pension estimates and termination estimates using your actual account information and the same calculator we use in our office. Rather than being limited to regular business hours or waiting for information to be sent out, you can obtain much of the information you want without having to wait for staff to be contacted. You can also complete your retirement forms using the "Complete Retirement Forms" feature of Online Services. Here is the link cssb.mypension.ca

 

  • Request a pension estimate from our staff

You can contact our office to request a pension estimate.

 
When am I eligible to retire?

The normal retirement age for all members is 65. The earliest retirement age is 55, except for Correctional Officers who could retire as early as age 50 provided the member’s age plus qualifying service add up to at least a total of 75.

 

I have decided to retire. What do I need to do?

Suggested reading: Applying for a Retirement Pension. 

Your pension is a benefit that you apply for.  It is not automatically paid upon retirement.  The following steps will assist you in the application process for your CSSB retirement pension:

1.  Select your retirement date and ensure that you are eligible to retire

The Plan allows a retirement date to be any day of the year. You can retire if you are at least age 55, are no longer an employee in the Plan and have provided a Notice of Retirement to the Board. If you are a Correctional Officer, you can retire between ages 50 and 55 if the combination of your age and service totals at least 75.

 

2.  Notify your Employer of your intention to retire

We do not notify your employer of your retirement. You must contact your Human Resources department or Pay and Benefits office to notify them of your retirement date. You will be required to provide your employer with a written retirement notice prior to your pension commencement date. You may want to confirm with your employer how much advance notice is required.

 

3.  Obtain a pension estimate and retirement forms

a)  From the CSSB office: You can request retirement forms and a pension estimate from our office up to six (6) months prior to your retirement date. OR

b)  From Online Services: If you are registered for Online Services, you can obtain pension estimates and retirement forms online. This feature gives you the option of completing your forms online and then printing them for signature and submission to the CSSB office. You can also have CSSB print your completed forms and we will mail them to you for your signature and submission. Automatic edits in the online process help reduce potential problems and errors.

 

4.  Complete and submit your retirement forms to CSSB prior to your retirement date

It is important that you provide your retirement forms and supporting documentation to CSSB before your retirement date. A delay in submitting forms may result in a loss of pension payments, and certain defaults may apply.

         

You can arrange to meet with our office staff who can answer any questions you may have and assist you with completion of your retirement forms. 

 

5.  Provide your proof of age document

We require your proof of age and will accept a photocopy of one of the following:

  • birth certificate,

  • valid Canadian passport,

  • valid drivers license,

  • Canadian Citizenship card or

  • Permanent Resident card.

 

If you have a spouse or common-law partner who is the beneficiary of a survivor pension, we would also require a copy of their proof of age.

 

How is my pension calculated?

Your pension is calculated as follows:

 

2% of your Best Five Year Average Pensionable Earnings multiplied by pensionable service

minus

0.4% of the Average Canada Pension Plan Pensionable Earnings multiplied by your pensionable service since January 1, 1966.

 

Note: Of the pension you receive, the Income Tax Act may limit the amount that can be paid from a registered pension plan. Any amount above that limit would be paid as unregistered pension.

 

If a retroactive pay increase is granted after I leave employment, will my pension increase?

Retroactive salary may increase your pension if it increases your Best Five Year Average Pensionable Salary. 

 

Salary for pension purposes is defined in The Civil Service Superannuation Act and generally includes your regular remuneration (with any eligible vacation cash-out) and excludes anything else that does not form part of your regular remuneration. Regular remuneration is typically determined by the employer and may be defined in a collective agreement or employment contract. If a retroactive increase is considered by the employer as pensionable salary, the employer will report that salary to the CSSB.

 

We would do a recalculation to include retroactive salary paid to a former employee who has resigned, been dismissed, or died, if the former employee or his or her spouse, common-law partner or eligible survivor is entitled to a pension.  

 

Is lump sum vacation pay included in the calculation of my pension benefit?

Vacation pay paid in lieu of time off when you are still employed is not pensionable and employee contributions will not be deducted by your employer.

 

Vacation pay paid on termination or retirement can be included as pensionable earnings up to the lessor of:

  • 2 years of vacation accruals (based on the most recent 2 years service prior to termination or retirement), or

  • 50 days

 

Please note that the maximum accrual rate is reduced proportionately if you worked on a part-time basis.

 

This maximum accrual is only on the number of days of vacation pay that can be included as pensionable earnings and employee contributions are to be deducted on any vacation pay that is included as pensionable earnings. Any vacation days over and above this limit are not pensionable and will be paid to you by your employer but will not be included as pensionable earnings and no employee contributions are deducted.

 

For example, if an employee is working part-time at 50% and has 6 weeks’ vacation entitlement in a year, the maximum vacation days that would be available to include in pensionable earnings would be 30 days.

  • 1st year accrual:   6 weeks x 5 days x 50% = 15 days

  • 2nd year accrual:  6 weeks x 5 days x 50% = 15 days

  • Maximum # of vacation days for pension     = 30 days

 

How do I accrue vacation days for pension purposes at retirement?

Confirm with Payroll or HR about the accrual and cashout of your vacation days and what rules, if any, the employer has with regards to how they allow you to bank the days for pension purposes. We do not look after the accumulation or pay out of vacation days. Your employer will report to us how many unused vacation days you are paid out at the time of retirement.

 
What happens if I’m in receipt of a monthly pension from the Civil Service Superannuation Fund and then I return to work for a participating employer?

Once you commence receiving a monthly pension from the Fund, you are not allowed to re-enter the pension plan as an active contributing member. You can remain employed with a participating employer, but you will not be allowed to have employee contributions deducted and will not accrue any further new benefits under the pension plan.

 

Does Severance Affect My Pension Or Insurance?

No.

 

Am I Entitled To Severance Pay?

We’re not aware whether a member will be entitled to severance or to how much he or she might be entitled. Please contact your employer for information on severance.

 

Should I choose to integrate with the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) and/or Old Age Security (OAS) at retirement?

This is a personal decision. Integration is an option that lets you get a higher pension from the pension plan until age 60 for Canada Pension Plan (CPP) integration and age 65 for Old Age Security (OAS) integration but less pension from the pension plan after those ages. Because your benefits from these three plans can all start at different times, this option may help you level out your income through retirement.

 

If you retire before age 60 you can integrate your pension with OAS or CPP, or both. If you retire after age 60, but before age 65, you can integrate your pension with OAS. Integration is not available if you are at least age 65 when you retire.

 

With an Integrated pension, you would receive an additional amount of pension from the pension plan until age 60 for integration with CPP and age 65 for integration with OAS. These additional amounts would then cease and your basic pension would be reduced. This reduction is intended to recover the additional amounts previously paid to you. This reduction continues for your lifetime. The plan recovers on average the same amount it pays out. However, as the repayment amounts are based on average life expectancy, each individual may pay back more or less than they received, depending on how long he or she lives.

 

If you are being paid a minimum guaranteed pension (eg. 10 or 15 years), CPP integration adjustments would cease upon your death and would not impact any payments made to a beneficiary.  If you are under age 65 when you pass away, OAS integration increases would continue to be paid until the earlier of the date you would have reached age 65, or the end of the minimum guarantee period. No reduction to recover the additional amounts paid would be made to a beneficiary payment.

 

For any form of pension other than a minimum guaranteed pension, integration adjustments apply only during your lifetime, and any increase or decrease would cease upon your death. Survivor pension option amounts payable to a spouse or partner would therefore be no different whether you integrate or not.

 

Please note that selecting the integration option will not cause your CPP or OAS benefits to start automatically. If you select the integration option, any reductions to your pension from the pension plan at age 60 or 65 will occur as scheduled, regardless of when your CPP and OAS benefits start, how much you actually receive, or any changes that might be made to those plans.

 

“The Risk: Taking advantage of this early retirement option is a gamble in the sense that individuals may be paying back the debt longer than they collected the benefit.” (Provincial Ombudsman Report)

 

Spouse or Partner Consent For Integration Election

We are unable to pay an integrated pension to a member with a spouse or common-law partner unless the spouse or common-law partner has provided his or her written consent to the election or the member is living separate and apart from the spouse or common-law partner by reason of a breakdown of their relationship.

 

This consent can only be given by completing a form required by the Superintendent of Pensions (Form 5B).

 

I retired – why haven’t I received my pension payment?

Depending on when you submitted retirement forms, our office may not have had enough time to set up your payment before the pensioner payroll was being processed. 

 

Your pension is payable from your date of retirement, and your first monthly payment will be pro-rated if you retire part way through a month. However, in order to make sure that your first pension payment is not delayed, it is important that your completed retirement forms and supporting documentation be provided to us at least a month or two prior to your retirement date.

 

What is Temporary Allowance (Bridging)?

If you retire before the age of 60 and do not meet the Rule of 80, a bridging benefit would be paid to you until age 65. Bridging offsets a portion of the reduction for early retirement.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Online member services and website information provided by the Civil Service Superannuation Board relate almost exclusively to the Civil Service Superannuation Fund and Public Service Group Insurance Fund plans. Any information on other plans the Board administers or for which it provides services would be identified as such, and only information identified as such or in an identified document applies to that particular plan. We recommend you get detailed personalized information from the Board before making any decisions. This website is meant to summarize our available information, requirements, procedures and policies on a general basis only. All persons making use of this site are reminded that The Civil Service Superannuation Act and its Regulations should be consulted for specific legislative requirements. 

 

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