Ambulance paramedics

April 1, 2020 changes will apply to ambulance paramedics in the Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 873.


The lifetime pension accrual rate will move to a flat rate of 1.85 per cent

The accrual rate is used in the formula, along with your pensionable service and earnings, to calculate your lifetime pension.

Under the current plan rules, the accrual rate is 1.35 per cent for salary below the year’s maximum pensionable earnings and 2.00 per cent for salary above YMPE.

Under the new plan rules, the accrual rate will move to a flat rate of 1.85 per cent for service earned April 1, 2020, onward.

The bridge benefit will apply to service earned up to and including March 31, 2020; it will not apply to service earned April 1, 2020, onward.

The bridge benefit is a temporary benefit paid to retired members up to age 65 or death, whichever comes first.

Although the bridge benefit will not apply to service earned on and after April 1, 2020, it will continue to apply to pre-April 1, 2020, service. The new flat accrual rate means your lifetime pension will increase overall.

The rule of 80 (85 for non-public safety service) will apply to service earned up to and including March 31, 2020; it will not apply to service earned April 1, 2020, onward.

Your total contributory service is used when calculating the rule of 80 (85).

The early retirement rules are improved for service earned April 1, 2020, onward—you will be able to retire at age 50 regardless of your years of service.

Under the new plan rules, you can now retire as early as age 50, regardless of your service. Reduction factors may apply. Before the plan rule change, you could only retire as early as age 50 if you had at least 10 years of service.

Under the new plan rules, if you have 10 or more years of service, you can retire as early as age 55 with an unreduced pension. Before the plan rule change, you had to have at least 25 years of service to retire at age 55 with an unreduced pension.

The table provides a comparison of the retirement rules before and after the plan rule changes:

  Old rules
(applies to service
before April 1, 2020)
New rules
(applies to service
April 1, 2020, onward)
Less than 2 years contributory service
Unreduced early retirement age 65 60
Earliest reduced retirement age 55 50
Reduction factor 5% per year from age 65 6.2% per year from age 60
Between 2 and 10 years contributory service
Unreduced early retirement age 60 60
Earliest reduced retirement age 55 50
Reduction factor 5% per year from age 60 6.2% per year from age 60
Between 10 and 25 years contributory service
Unreduced early retirement age 60 55
Earliest reduced retirement age 50 50
Reduction factor 3% per year from age 60 or rule of 80 (85) 6.2% per year from age 55
More than 25 years contributory service
Unreduced early retirement age 55 55
Earliest reduced retirement age 50 50
Reduction factor 3% per year from age 55 6.2% per year from age 55

Contributory service is one of the factors that can help you determine when you would like to retire. You get a month of contributory service for every month you make a contribution to the plan (or are deemed to have made a contribution). Contributory service is used to determine if your pension will be reduced and by how much.

Unreduced early retirement age is the earliest age you can retire on an unreduced pension. In this case, you will receive a monthly pension benefit with no reductions included in the pension benefit formula.

Earliest reduced retirement age is the earliest age you can retire on a reduced pension. In this case, the pension you’ve earned for service up to your earliest retirement age will be reduced by a reduction factor.

Reduction factor is the percentage amount your pension is reduced if you retire before qualifying for an unreduced pension.


Related content for ambulance paramedics

Board Communique: June 24, 2019