Board Communique: June 24, 2019

Ambulance paramedics: plan partners have reached an agreement on pension plan changes.

Are you a full-time or regular part-time ambulance paramedic? The Public Service Pension Board of Trustees (board) is pleased to announce the Public Service Pension Plan (plan) partners have reached an agreement on updates to the plan for ambulance paramedics in the Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 873. There are several positive changes, and you can be assured your pension and early-retirement benefit remains secure.

When are the changes effective?

These changes are effective April 1, 2020, and affect only benefits earned going forward. The old plan rules will apply for all benefits earned prior to April 1, 2020.

What are the key changes?

  • You will be able to retire at age 50 regardless of service
    • if you have 10 or more years of service, you can retire with an unreduced pension as early as age 55 or with a reduced pension as early as age 50
    • if you have fewer than 10 years of service, you can retire with an unreduced pension as early as age 60 or on a reduced pension as early as age 50
  • A flat accrual rate means you will receive a bigger lifetime pension for service earned on and after April 1, 2020
  • The bridge benefit and rule of 80 will still apply to service earned prior to April 1, 2020

Will these plan design changes affect retired ambulance paramedics?

These changes do not apply to members who retired before April 1, 2020.

What happens to the past-service pension improvement announced in 2018?

The past-service pension improvement announced as part of the April 2018 plan design changes will be provided to all eligible ambulance paramedics members, including eligible retired and deferred members. This pension improvement is in addition to the changes announced here.

What happens next?

The personalized pension estimator in My Account, available online, draws from your actual pension service and salary information. The pension estimator is being updated over the summer to include the unique new rules for ambulance paramedics and the update will be completed in September 2019.

Ambulance paramedics will receive two packages in September 2019:

  • Your 2019 Member’s Benefit Statement
  • More information about your plan design changes
    • a step-by-step guide on how to compare your pension under the current rules and new rules using your 2019 Member’s Benefit Statement

If you have a specific retirement date in mind after April 1, 2020, you are encouraged to run and save a pension estimate online before the end of August 2019. Once the pension estimator update is completed in September, you can run a pension estimate again for the same time frame to get a side-by-side comparison.

Please watch your mail at the end of summer for more information from the plan.