Board Communique: November 22, 2021

Valuation surplus is good news for members

Member News: Pensions improve for correctional employees starting April 1, 2022

If you are regular plan member, a retired member, or a full-time or regular part-time ambulance paramedic, please see the information about the valuation surplus applicable to you.

In January 2021, the board announced that the 2020 valuation determined the plan is fully funded with surplus funds of $2.7 billion. The board has decided to use the surplus funds to make a number of improvements to the plan.

Here are the improvements for correctional employees in BCGEU Component 1, effective April 1, 2022.

Contribution rate structure

The contribution rate structure will be reintegrated with the year’s maximum pensionable earnings, or YMPE, set by the federal government. Your total contribution rate will change from a flat rate of 8.35 per cent to:

  • 8.25 per cent up to YMPE, and
  • 8.95 per cent over YMPE.

What this means: You will see a difference on your paycheque in the first pay period after April 1, 2022.

Improved pension accrual rate

Your pension is calculated based on a formula. Part of that formula is the accrual rate, the rate at which you build up your pension benefits. Starting on April 1, 2022, your pension accrual rate will increase from 1.35 per cent to 1.60 per cent on earnings up to the YMPE. Your accrual rate on earnings above the YMPE (2.00 per cent) and your bridge benefit accrual rate (0.65 per cent) remain the same.

What this means: You will earn more pension on service earned on and after April 1, 2022. This will increase your lifetime pension.

Table of recent changes

The contribution rates and accrual rates in effect at the time you earn service remain tied to that service. This means you could have multiple service periods as part your pension calculation. The table below summarizes the accrual rates and contributions since April 1, 2018.

  April 1, 2018 to July 31, 2018 August 1, 2018 to March 31, 2022 NEW: April 1, 2022 going forward
Member pension contribution rate1 7.93% up to YMPE2
9.43% over YMPE
8.35% flat rate 8.25% under YMPE
8.95% over YMPE
Lifetime pension accrual rate 1.35% up to YMPE
2.00% over YMPE
1.35% up to YMPE
2.00% over YMPE
1.60% up to YMPE
2.00% over YMPE
Bridge benefit accrual rate 0.65% up to YMPE 0.65% up to YMPE 0.65% up to YMPE

1 Total contribution rate includes both basic and inflation adjustment account contributions.
2 Each year, the federal government sets the year’s maximum pensionable earnings (YMPE). This is the maximum salary amount on which you need to contribute to the Canada Pension Plan.

Note: To learn more about service periods, or service periods prior to April 1, 2018, take our online course Making the Most of Your Pension.

Learn how these changes affect you: use the personalized pension estimator in My Account to see how the new contribution rates and new below YMPE accrual rate will be applied to your future pension. Starting on November 22, 2021, the new accrual rate will be applied to estimated service for retirement dates calculated on and after May 1, 2022.

Refunds to members

Service earned between August 1, 2018 and March 31, 2022, had a flat contribution rate of 8.35 per cent. Correctional employees will receive a refund of 0.35 per cent of salary for salary earned between August 1, 2018 and March 31, 2022. Your employer will receive a refund as well.

What this means: You will be refunded 0.35 per cent of salary for your overcontributions made between August 1, 2018 and March 31, 2022. Your refund will be issued by cheque after the plan’s fiscal year-end reporting is complete, between May and October 2022.

Preparing for the future

Importantly, the board has set aside $1.1 billion of the valuation surplus for the plan’s rate stabilization account. If a future valuation determines the plan needs a contribution rate increase, the board will use the funds from the rate stabilization account to lessen the effect on members and employers.

Join us: webinar on pension improvements for correctional employees

The plan will host two webinars for correctional employees in January 2022. These webinars will cover your pension improvements as well as general information about your pension plan. There will be an opportunity to ask questions.

Registration information will be posted on the plan website in mid-December.

Related content for November 22, 2021 board communique

Inflation adjustments

A to Z of pension definitions

Plan changes

External links for November 22, 2021 board communique

Employer Bulletin - Plan improvements related to the 2020 valuation surplus

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