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For help click here. Co-operative Superannuation Society Pension Plan

FAQs


Many of the answers to members’ Frequently Asked Questions can be found in the booklet entitled The Plan can’t find your answers in this booklet then try the FAQ list below or contact the Plan’s office.

  • Does the amount that my employer and I contribute to the CSS Pension Plan this year affect my RRSP contribution limit for this year?

No, the amount that you and employer contribute to the CSS Pension Plan in the current year is separate from the amount that you can contribute to an RRSP for the current year. The amount that you can contribute to an RRSP for the current year is based on your previous year’s earned income, less the amount you and your employer contributed to the Pension Plan in the immediately previous year, plus any unused RRSP contribution limit carried forward from previous years (this amount is indicated to you on your Notice of Assessment that you receive form the Canada Revenue Agency after you have file your income tax return).  In other words, the amount that was contributed to the Pension Plan last year reduces this year’s RRSP contribution limit.  Thus, the amount that you and your employer contribute to the Pension Plan this year will reduce your RRSP contribution limit for next year.

  • What happens to my pension funds in the case of a marriage or spousal relationship breakdown?

As indicated in The Plan booklet the pension legislation in all jurisdictions provides for the division of pension funds in the case of a marriage or spousal relationship breakdown.  The jurisdiction that governs your pension funds is the province in which you are currently working or last worked for an employer member of the CSS Pension Plan (this information is indicated on your annual statement).

Regardless of which jurisdiction governs your pension funds, you or your lawyer will have to contact the CSS Pension Plan to find out how much pension funds were accumulated during the marriage or spousal relationship.  For this, the Pension Plan will need the date of marriage (or the date the spousal relationship started) and the date the marriage ended (or the date the spousal relationship ended).

If the pension funds are going to be divided, the Pension Plan requires a copy of an appropriate Court Order or Separation Agreement.  The Pension Plan strongly encourages your lawyer or your spouse’s lawyer to contact our office to find out the required content of such a Court Order or Separation Agreement. The spouse must then complete and return to the Pension Plan the appropriate forms to transfer his/her share out of the CSS Pension Plan.

For general information on dividing pension funds on marriage or spousal relationship please click on the appropriate link below.  When visiting the links below, please keep in mind that the CSS Pension Plan is a defined contribution pension plan, also sometimes called a money purchase pension plan.

  • Can I transfer funds from another registered pension plan into the CSS Pension Plan?

Yes, if you are a member of the CSS Pension Plan (i.e., you have pension funds in a CSS account) you can transfer-in funds from another registered pension plan, Locked-in Retirement Account (LIRA), or Locked-in RRSP.  If you transfer-in funds directly from another registered pension plan with which the CSS Pension Plan has a reciprocal agreement, your service under the other pension plan will be recognized with the CSS Pension Plan, and could therefore affect your early retirement date (please contact the CSS Pension Plan to see if a reciprocal agreement exists).

The first step to transfer-in any pension funds is to complete an Application to Transfer-in Locked-in Funds form and submit it to the CSS Pension Plan along with a copy of your most recent statement for the other registered pension plan, LIRA or Locked-in RRSP. Upon receipt of these documents the CSS Pension Plan will then send you the appropriate forms to sign and forward to the other registered pension plan or financial institution.

  • Can I transfer RRSP funds into the CSS Pension Plan?

No, the current policy of the CSS Pension Plan does not permit the transferring in of RRSP funds, unless the RRSP is a “Retiring Allowance RRSP” (see below).

  • Can I transfer a severance package or retiring allowance into the CSS pension Plan?

If you receive a severance package or retiring allowance from your employer member of the Plan, it can be tax sheltered (up to the Canada Revenue Agency -  CRA retiring allowance limits) and transferred to the CSS Pension Plan. Your first step in this process is to set up an RRSP with a financial institution. You and your employer must then complete a TD2 form to transfer your severance package/retiring allowance to this RRSP. Then using a T2033 be provided by the CSS Pension Plan, this RRSP can then be transferred to the CSS Pension Plan (NOTE: a photocopy of the TD2 must accompany the T2033 to the Pension Plan). The maximum amount of a severance package or retiring allowance that an employee member can tax shelter in accordance with CRA limits: is $2,000 for each year or part-year, up to and including 1995, when the employee was employed by the employer member (and other employer members if service has been continuous); plus an additional $1,500 for each year or part-year before 1989 in which the employee did not contribute to the Pension Plan while being employed by the employer member (or other employer members if service has been continuous).

  • Can I withdraw my non-locked-in (unrestricted) funds from the Plan?

Yes, but before you can do so, you must no longer be working for any employer member of the Plan.  You can either withdraw your non-locked-in funds in cash, or transfer them to an RRSP or RRIF.  The CSS Pension Plan requires a properly completed Employee Termination Notice - Application for Withdrawal or Transfer form. If you terminated employment less than one year ago, the Employee Termination Notice side of the form must be completed by your former employer, and the Application for Withdrawal or Transfer side of the form is to be completed by yourself indicating you wish a cash withdrawal (subject to income tax) of your non-locked-in funds or as a transfer to an RRSP or RRIF, or a combination of these options.  If you terminated employment more than one year ago, only the Application for Repayment/Transfer of Equity side of the form is to be completed.  If you wish to transfer any of your non-locked-in funds to an RRSP or a RRIF, the Plan will also require a properly completed T2151 form

  • Can I transfer my locked-in (restricted) funds from the CSS Pension Plan?

Yes, but before you can do so, you must no longer be working for any employer member of the Plan. Depending upon which jurisdiction governs your pension funds, you can transfer your pension funds into a Locked-In Retirement Account (LIRA), Locked-in RRSP, Life Income Fund (LIF), Locked-in Retirement Income Fund (LRIF), or Prescribed RRIF (PRRIF).  Regardless of which jurisdiction governs your funds the Pension Plan requires a completed T2151 form and an Employee Termination Notice - Application for Withdrawal or Transfer form.  If you terminated employment less than one year ago, the Employee Termination Notice side of the form must be completed by your former employer, and the Application for Withdrawal or Transfer side of the form is to be completed by yourself.If you terminated employment more than one year ago, only the Application for Repayment/Transfer of Equity side of the form is to be completed.

Click on the appropriate link below for the other required forms to transfer your pension funds to a financial institution.  For some jurisdictions you can only transfer locked-in funds to certain institutions; these jurisdictions therefore publish a list of such authorized institutions.

To transfer your funds to a new pension plan, you should first contact either the CSS Pension Plan or your new pension plan to see if there is a reciprocal agreement between the two plans. If there is such an agreement, the transfer can occur and the documents requiring completion can be obtained from either pension plan. If there is no agreement, then the new pension plan must be contacted to determine if they will accept the transfer of funds from the CSS Pension Plan.

  • How do I apply for a Monthly Pension or Variable Benefit payments from the CSS Pension Plan?

You must contact the CSS Pension Plan to advise us of the required information. You will then receive a set of Projections, along with the appropriate application forms for completion and return to the Plan’s office.  In addition to these forms, you must send a blank cheque marked "VOID" for the account you wish to have your payment directly deposited into, as well as a photocopy of: your birth certificate, your spouse’s birth certificate, as well as your marriage certificate.

Please note that, for your payment to start in a particular month, the completed application and other requirements must be received by the Plan's office no later than the 20th of the previous month (i.e., October 20th if the payment is to start in November), and your employment must have terminated by the end of the previous month. Variable Benefit payments are payable the 15th of each month and Monthly Pension payments are payable to 26th of each month.

  • How do I change the account for the direct deposit of my Variable Benefit payments or Monthly Pension payment?

Provide the Pension Plan with a blank cheque marked "VOID" for the account into which you wish the monthly payment directly deposited. Or, you can complete and return a Direct Deposit of Variable Benefits / Monthly Pension form, which is available from the Pension Plan's office or by clicking on the above link.

  • How do I increase the amount of Income Tax deducted from my monthly pension payment?

Complete a TD3: Request for Income Tax Deduction and submit it to the CSS Pension Plan.

  • How do I apply for a possible reduction in the non-resident withholding tax, if I no longer live in Canada?

As a non-resident, under section 217 of the Canadian Income Tax Act it may be beneficial for you to elect to pay tax at the same rate as Canadian residents on your Canadian source pensions and income. To determine if such an election is beneficial, you must complete an NR5: Application by a Non-Resident of Canada for a Reduction in the Amount of Non-Resident Tax Required to be Withheld International Tax Services Office, Canada Revenue Agency, 2204 Walkley Road, Ottawa, ON, K1A 1A8. If you have questions about the section 217 election, you can call International Tax Services Office toll-free at 1-800-267-3395 (in Canada and the United States) or (613)952-2344 (outside North America - you can call collect).