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Understanding your annual statement

Your annual statement can help you understand how your pension funds are performing and whether you’re on track.

As a member of the CSS Pension Plan, you’ll receive a personal annual statement each year. Your annual statement is accessible online through the My Documents area of your myCSSPEN profile. You can securely view, print, or save your statement at your convenience.

Your statement is packed with information, providing you with all sorts of facts and figures about your CSS account - including dollar values, important dates, estimated rates of return, charts, tables, and more. 

Reviewing your statement is a great way to find out if you’re on the right path toward reaching your retirement goals, or if you should consider making changes.

Below are some of the questions that your annual statement can help you answer:

​If you are receiving Variable Benefit (VB) payments, the information below may not directly apply to you. If you would like information about understanding your VB statement, please see this page.

1.  Is your personal information correct? 

Your statement lists your Member ID and personal information including your age, employer, service, and Plan service dates. It is important to keep your personal information up to date. Please contact us to make any changes. To designate or change your beneficiary, complete the Designation of Beneficiary form.

2. What is the value of your account? 

The statement shows the value of your account at year-end, along with your investment earnings. If you still work for an employer member of the Plan, the statement shows the value of yours and your employer’s contributions. The contributions made by your employer become vested immediately – or owned by you. This means that the total value of your pension funds always belongs to you.

3. How did your pension funds perform? 

If you held funds in the Plan for at least two years, we estimate your personal rate of return, which measures the change in the unit price(s) of the fund(s) you were invested during the year. Each fund’s unit price changes daily, based on the investment earnings and capital gains and losses experienced by that fund.

4. How are your pension funds invested? 

We offer four investment funds to our members: A Balanced Fund, Bond Fund, Equity Fund and Money Market Fund. Most members are invested in the Balanced Fund, which is the default selection for members who have not made a personal investment choice. You can use any or all of these funds to adjust your asset mix to suit your individual risk tolerance and retirement plan. To make adjustments, log in to myCSSPEN and select Account Menu > Change Investment.

5. What does your pension projection mean? 

The pension projection on your annual statement gives you an idea of the amount of pension income you might receive when you reach the Plan’s normal retirement age of 60. The estimates are for a Single Life Pension with a guarantee of 15 years - keep in mind that there are other types of pensions and retirement income options available, like Variable Benefit payments.

Did you notice your annual statement looks or feels a little lighter? That's because we went from four pages to two!

All that information previously included has now been moved right here:

6. Investment fund performance (December 31, 2022)

In this table, you can find one, three, five and 10-year annualized returns for the Plan’s investment funds. These long-term rates of return are very important. Short-term returns can vary significantly from year to year and can even be negative. Since the amount of your retirement income down the road will depend on how much your investments earned over your entire career, it is important to maintain a long-term perspective. 

In the bar charts, you can see one-year returns for each of the Plan’s investment funds for each of the past 10 years. These annual returns demonstrate the kind of short-term volatility you might expect for each fund.

More important information

Overview of the CSS Pension Plan

The CSS Pension Plan is a defined contribution registered pension plan with members across Canada. You became vested in the CSS Pension Plan when you and your employer made your first contributions. The Plan offers a traditional monthly pension and Variable Benefit (VB) payments at retirement. The Plan’s normal retirement age is 60 and the early retirement age is 50, or earlier, if your age and service total 75*. To obtain a copy of the Plan documents, contact the Plan or visit the Plan’s web site.

* Once you have reached your Early Retirement Date, you are eligible to draw on your pension funds as a retirement income.

How my personal rates of return (PRR) are calculated

Your personal rates of return take into account your opening account balance, the amount and timing of any contributions, transfers or withdrawals, the unit price in effect when these transactions occurred, and the amount in each of the investment funds. The resulting investment gains or losses determine your PRR, which is net of annual investment management fees and plan administration expenses. Your personal rates of return may be different from the fund returns shown in the investment fund performance table as a result of the amount and timing of any contributions and other transactions.

Locked-in pension funds are subject to pension legislation. They may not be accessed until you reach early retirement age and must be used to provide retirement income. Non-locked-in funds include your additional voluntary contributions. They do not have to provide retirement income. Neither locked-in nor non-locked-in funds can be withdrawn from the Plan until you are no longer working for any employer member of the Plan.

Fund options and related fees

Each of the Plan's four investment funds has different levels of risk and return. Returns are net of investment management fees and plan administration expenses (MER). Past performance does not guarantee future results.

Beneficiary designations

Under the Plan’s rules, you may designate a beneficiary to receive your pension funds in the event of your death. A beneficiary designation may be made on the Plan’s designation form or in your last will.

If you have a spouse at the time of your death, in most cases, he or she will inherit your funds under pension legislation regardless of your designation. If you have no surviving spouse and make no designation, your pension funds will be paid to your estate. For more information about beneficiary designations or to obtain a designation form, please see arranging survivor benefits. 

Retirement income estimates

The CSS Pension Plan offers:

  • Single Life Pensions: payments to you as long as you live

  • Joint and Last Survivor Pensions: payments to you as long as you live and a lifetime payment to your surviving spouse after you pass away

  • Variable Benefit (VB) Payments: payments of your CSS funds through regular withdrawals, either monthly or annually