Summary of Plan Provisions as at January 1, 2019

The Vancouver Steelworkers Pension Plan has been in operation since 1960 under the terms of collective agreements between various locals of the United Steelworkers and several employers of its members in the Vancouver area.

The plan is solely administered by a Union Trusteed Board appointed by the Union from the membership.

There have been a number of improvements in the plan since its establishment. Together with your pension from the Canada Pension Plan and your Old Age Security payments, the Vancouver Steelworkers Plan will offer added security to you and your families when the time comes for your retirement. We are proud of the program which has been developed over the years for your benefit and we sincerely believe that our efforts on your behalf will continue to be of real value to you.
This booklet contains a summary of the current provisions and rules of the plan and is intended to answer most of the questions that you may have about it. It describes the plan as at January 1, 2017 and applies to employees who are active members of the plan at that date and to new members after that date. The detailed provisions and rules, as amended from time to time, will govern in every case.

1. Question: What is the purpose of the plan?

Answer: To provide pensions to members on their retirement from the industry.

2. Question: Who is eligible to join the plan?

Answer: Each member in good standing of the United Steelworkers who is employed by a participating employer and who is covered by the collective agreement between the union and his/her employer is eligible to join the plan with immediate membership.

3. Question: Which employers are now participating in the plan

Answer: The following is a list of the employers who are now participating in the plan.

Advance WireAMS Industries Ltd.Dendoff SpringsDavis Wire Industries Ltd.Encore Metals Ltd.I.A.T.S.EIdeal Gear & Machine Ltd.Industrial Equipment Co. Ltd.Kayson Steel Fabricators & Erectors Ltd.L-M Equipment Quinsam CoalRichards EngineeringRobar Industries Ltd.Russel MetalsVancouver Steelworkers Pension PlanVanguard Steel/Ringball Bearings (Plant and Office & Technical)

4. Question: Is membership in the plan compulsory?

Answer: Yes. All employees of participating employers must join the plan when they become employees.

5. Question: What must I do to join the plan?

Answer: There will be an application for membership to complete and send to the pension office (copy should go to your employer).

6. Question: How much do I contribute to the plan?

Answer: Nothing. The employer makes all the contributions to the plan.

7. Question: May I contribute additional amounts if I want to?

Answer: No. Under the terms of the plan as registered under the Income Tax Act, only the employer can contribute pursuant to a collective agreement. You may be able to contribute additional amounts to your personal RRSP, outside the plan.

8. Question: What does my employer contribute?

Answer: Each participating employer contributes the going rate as set out in the collective agreement for each hour worked by all bargaining unit employees who are members of the plan.

9. Question: What income tax deduction may I claim?

Answer: None. Employer contributions will not be added to your wages and they are not taxable. Your benefits will be subject to Income Tax when they are paid out of the plan. Each year, the employer contributions made in respect of the hours you work will be reported on your T4; it is called a Pension Adjustment (PA). This PA will be used to calculate any amounts you can put into your personal RRSP outside the plan, for the next year.

10. Question: How old must I be when I retire to be eligible for a pension?

Answer: Your full pension is payable from age 65. You can retire as early as age 55, but your pension will be reduced. Under certain conditions you can retire as early as age 60, without any reduction in your pension. Under certain additional conditions, a temporary bridge pension may also become payable, up to age 65. The retirement conditions are as follows:

A) Normal Retirement: this is the 1st day of the month following your 65th birthday. Your full pension is payable on retirement on or after this date, without any reduction. If you are working under your collective agreement past age 65, your pension will be postponed until you actually retire, but you will continue to earn pension credits until you actually retire. However, under the Income Tax rules you must start your pension by the end of the year you reach age 71 (even if you keep working).

B) Regular Early Retirement: this is the 1st day of any month after age 55 and before age 65, provided you have at least 2 years of vesting service. (Each calendar year that you work 350 or more hours counts as 1 year of vesting service.) Your pension is reduced on an actuarially equivalent basis to the normal pension payable from age 65; the reduction is to allow for the pension starting earlier and, therefore, being payable for a longer period.

C) Special Early Retirement: if you are at least age 55you have 25 or more years of “contributory” service and you have at least 2,000 hours credited after age 54 then you can retire at or after age 60 with no reduction in your pension. If you retire before age 60 then your pension is reduced. “Contributory” service is defined as 2,000 hours per year before 1994, plus vesting years (i.e. at least 350 hours per year) after 1993.


D) Bridge Pension: if you qualify for Special Early Retirement (under C above), are at least age 58, have 25 or more years of “contributory” service

and have at least 2,000 hours credited after age 56. Then you will also get a temporary bridge pension, payable until you reach age 65. The bridge pension is payable without reduction on retirement at or after age 60; it is reduced on retirement between ages 58 and 60.

11. Question: When will my pension start?

Answer: Retirement usually occurs on the first day of the month following the date that you stop working. For example, if you stop working at any time in July, your pension will start on August 1.

12. Question: How much will my pension be?

Answer: Your pension will be determined and calculated on the plan rules and provisions in effect during your years of pension membership. How much you receive will depend on:

How many years of credited service you have;

The benefit rates that apply to your service;

How old you are when you retire;

What option you choose (See Question number 14); How old your spouse is (affects the spousal options).

There are two parts to the pension, a lifetime pension and a temporary bridge pension to age 65. The following pension amounts are based on the provisions in effect at January 1, 2010 and apply only to members who are active after that date.

12A. Question: How is the lifetime pension calculated?

For plan years after 2009, the monthly pension is initially equal to 1 % of contributions made in respect of the member; this change was made to accommodate different contribution rates for different employers.

The following table shows examples of the new pension credits, on a variety of contribution rates, for a member working 2,000 credited hours in a year:

Monthly Pension Contribution Rate (2,000 hours worked) (=1. % x Contributions) $1.00 $2,000 $ 20.00 $1.50 $3,000 $ 30.00 $2.00 $4,000 $ 40.00 $2.50 $5,000 $ 50.00 $3.50 $7,000 $ 70.00Example Year Hourly Contributions Initial Contributions x 2000 hrs. Pension @1.0% Year1 1.00 $2000. $20.00 Year2 1.20 $2400. $24.00 Year3 1.40 $2800. $28.00 Year4 1.60 $3200. $32.00 Year5 1.80 $3600. $36.00

Monthly pension $ 140.00

The above was just an illustration to show you how the pension is calculated. The most recent calendar year is shown on your annual plan statement. You can add to this, an estimate of the pension credits you expect to earn in future years, to get your total estimated pension.

13. Question: How long will my pension be paid?

Answer: The normal form of pension payments is a pension payable for your lifetime, subject to a guarantee that at least 60 monthly payments will be made

If you should decease before receiving 60 pension payments, your beneficiary will continue to receive the monthly pension payments for the balance of the 60 months. However, if you are married or party to a common-law relationship at the date of your retirement, British Columbia pension laws require that the pension be paid in a form which continues to your spouse after your death, for the rest of her life, in an amount not less than 60% of the pension you were receiving. Your initial pension will be reduced on an actuarial basis to reflect this requirement. Your spouse may waive their rights to this entitlement by completing a prescribed form, in which case you may receive the pension in the normal form or in another optional form.

The pension plan requires a declaration if you do not have a spouse.

14. Question: What optional forms of pension are available?

Answer: As mentioned above, if you have a spouse at retirement, your choice of an optional form of pension will be restricted, unless your spouse completes a waiver in the form prescribed by the government authorities. Subject to these restrictions, you may choose any one of the following optional types of pension in lieu of the normal form:

An increased pension payable for your lifetime only. No payments are made to anyone else after your death.

A reduced pension payable for your lifetime, but with a guarantee that 120, or 180, monthly payments will be made in the event of your prior death.

A reduced pension payable for your lifetime and, in the event of your death, a pension payable to your spouse for his/her lifetime. The amount will be either equal to the pension you receive or to 60% of the pension you receive.

The bridge pension can only be paid to the member.

15. Question: How do I apply for a pension?

Answer: At least 2 months before you intend to retire, you should contact the Pension Plan office to discuss the various pension options and the timetable for completing your application and exercising your options. At that time you will require adequate proof of your date of birth (birth certificate, Canadian citizenship or passport) and your spouse’s date of birth. Your pension does not begin automatically, you must apply for it.

16. Question: What happens if I terminate my plan membership before retirement?

Answer: If you stop working for a participating employer, so that no further contributions are made to the plan on your behalf, you will be terminated from the plan at the end of two calendar years in which you have worked a total of less than 350 hours in each year.

Vesting service is credited at the rate of 1 year for each calendar year in which you work 350 or more hours.

If you break service and are below age 55, you may leave your pension in the plan and receive a monthly pension when you retire or you may elect to have your vested pension cancelled, and in lieu thereof, transfer the value of that pension to: your new employer’s pension plan, provided that plan is willing to accept such a transfer; or

a “locked-in” retirement account (“locked-in” means that it cannot be cashed out and must be used to provide a lifetime pension); or to purchase a lifetime annuity, which may commence at any time after your 55th birthday.

Under certain very limited circumstances prescribed under the BC pension laws, in the case of small pensions or pensions with small values, you may elect to receive your commuted value as either a cash lump sum or transfer it to a non-locked in RRSP.

There is a time limit in which to make this decision.

17. Question: What if I, as a terminated member, return to the plan after some period of time?

Answer: If your membership in the plan is terminated and you subsequently rejoin the plan at some later date, you will be treated as a new member for all purposes of the plan and your prior and new periods of service will not be combined for purposes of determining eligibility for benefits or calculating the amounts of benefits.

18. Question: What happens if I die before retirement?

Answer: If you die before retirement, a lump sum death benefit is payable equal to the value of the pension you had accumulated to the time of your death. If you were married or party to a common-law relationship at the time of your death, the death benefit will be paid to your spouse. If there is no surviving spouse, the death benefit will be paid to your designated beneficiary, or, if you have not designated a beneficiary, to your estate.

19. Question: What happens if I die after retirement?

Answer: The benefit, if any, payable upon your death after retirement, will depend on the type of pension option chosen at retirement.

20. Question: Are the pensions increased on a regular basis?

Answer: Pension credits earned under the plan may be increased from time to time, subject to the financial resources available to the Trustees.

21. Question: Who is responsible for the administration of the plan?

Answer: The plan is administered by a Board of Trustees, all of whom are appointed by the Union. The Trustees have complete authority in operating the pension plan. All contributions will be paid into the fund and all benefits under the plan and all expenses of operating the plan will be paid from the pension fund. The pension fund is held and administered by a trust company.

22. Question: Is my pension a family asset for purposes of splitting in the event of separation or divorce?

Answer: Yes. The plan benefits are subject to division under the BC Family Law Act, or equivalent legislation in another province, pursuant to a written separation agreement or a court order.

23. Question: Will I get an annual statement of my benefits?

Answer: Yes, after the end of each plan year, you will receive a statement showing: the number of hours reported on your behalf and the pension earned in the plan year, the total monthly pension that you have earned in all plan years, and your total credited service under the plan. This information will be considered correct unless you inform the Trustees in writing, with documentation of any discrepancies.

Note: It is important to keep your pay slips because errors can occur in reporting or tabulating your hours. It is easier to correct such errors if you keep a record of:

your employer(s), their address and the hours you were employed each month.

24. Will my pension from this plan be reduced by any payments I get from the Canada Pension Plan and Old Age Security?

Answer: No. The benefits under this plan are entirely separate from and in addition to any benefits you may receive under the Canada Pension Plan and Old Age Security.

For further information on all aspects of the plan, please call or write to the Administrator, at Vancouver Steelworkers Pension Plan #202 – 9292 200th Street Langley, British Columbia
V1M 3A6
Telephone: 604- 800-4755
Fax: 604-513-1851

When writing, please be sure to include the following information:

Your name, address, and telephone number.

Your Social Insurance Number.

Your Pension plan member number

Please quote your Social Insurance Number on all correspondence to the plan.

Please notify us immediately if you change your address. In accordance with Section 37 (4) and (5) of the Pension Benefits Standards Act of BC, any person entitled to a benefit from the Plan, has a right to examine the Plan documents upon providing the Plan Office with a written request. Such right shall not apply more than once in any twelve month period.



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