Overview & Frequently Asked Questions
(For Pension Fund Members – Updated September 2022)
How can I check my account information?
Your contribution history is available to you at any time via the Pension Portal. You must first register to use the pension portal.
Once within the portal:
- Use the drop-down arrow to access “Contribution History”.
- Enter the date parameters, then scroll down to click on the “Apply” tab.
- To generate a printable report, click on the drop-down arrow beside “Actions” and choose “pdf” and save and/or print.
Why is there a mandatory minimum percentage of contribution?
- Regulated by the Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA), the PAOC Pension Fund must adhere to the rules and regulations FSRA imposes, which includes a mandatory minimum percentage of contribution.
- The purpose of setting a minimum percentage of contribution is to ensure that a pension plan member saves an adequate amount to provide a comfortable and secure pension by the time of retirement.
What if my employer sets a maximum percentage of contribution to my pension plan that is below the required minimum percentage of the PAOC Pension Fund?
- Unfortunately, if the employer refuses to match a member contribution at least at the minimum percentage, contributions towards the pension plan must cease.
- The only exception for a member to contribute below the minimum percentage is if they can supply yearly proof that they are contributing to another pension plan or an RRSP (not a GIC) to at least the minimum percentage of their salary.
Can I make a lump sum transfer into my pension plan from another pension plan or savings account?
- Lump sum transfers from existing savings plans are not permitted.
Can I make up for the years that I was not able to contribute towards my pension while I was with a non-participating employer?
- Only current year contributions are permissible.
- To make up for non-contributing years, you could increase the level of contribution with your current employer up to the maximum of a 10%-member contribution, providing the new employer is one of our participating Defined Benefit (DB) plan employers and agrees to match the amount.
Can I contribute during a leave of absence?
A Legislated Leave of Absence
- If it is a legislated leave, according to The Employment Standards Act (maternity leave, medical absence), an employee’s benefit package must continue, and pension contributions are considered part of a benefit package.
- The exception is if an employee does not wish to contribute their portion. In this case, the employer is not obligated to make contributions.
- If the employer wants to cover both portions (member + employer contributions) during the leave of absence, they should do so at least at the combined minimum percentage.
- If a member takes a paid study leave, contributions can be accepted during this period. For instance, if a government grant is received, the member can remit a portion of it to their employer, who would match the amount and send to the Pension Plan on the member’s behalf.
An Unpaid Leave of Absence
- During an unpaid leave of absence, a member can stop contributing and then start again once they are receiving income again.
- Contributions can be accepted during this period, but the employer must report things correctly on the T4.
- For a non-legislated leave, such as a study leave, it is between the employee and employer as to whether pension contributions continue during this period.
Can I make pension contributions from EI received?
- We can accept contributions if:
- You are a credential holder, with your district’s approval to keep your credentials while working for the non-PAOC employer; and
- Your new employer is willing to sign a Participating Employer Agreement.
- If at any time you relinquish your credentials while working for a non-PAOC employer, we will no longer be able to accept pension contributions.
- If you are a non-credential holder, we are unable to accept contributions on your behalf from any non-PAOC affiliated employer.