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​​​​​Joining the Plan​

Who can join?

The CSS Pension Plan is a private employment pension plan.

Working with 319 co-operatives and credit unions across Canada, the Plan helps eligible employees build their retirement income stream.

If you're an employee of a participating co-op or credit union, then in most cases you would be eligible to join.

Membership in the CSS Pension Plan is a valuable part of your total employment package. Just one in three Canadians belong to a pension plan.*


*Source: Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions​​​​​


If you're a full-time employee of a participating co-operative or credit union, joining the CSS Pension Plan is mandatory after completing your employer's waiting period.

Your employer sets the waiting period, but pension law restricts it from being longer than two years.​

Minimum membership requirements under pension law

If you're employed part-time with a participating co-operative or credit union, your employer must offer you Plan membership after you've met one of the following requirements set out by pension law:

  • Achieved a minimum level of earnings

  • Worked a minimum number of hours (in some provinces)

In most cases you can choose if you want to become a member of the Plan after meeting one of these requirements, with the exception being Manitoba. Part-time employees in Manitoba must join the Plan after meeting the minimum membership requirements.

To learn more about the pension law requirements for your area, visit our 
pension law page or contact us.

Employer policies​

Exceptions to the part-time eligibility requirements set out by pension law may exist through your employer.

Depending on your employer's policy:

  • You may be allowed to join the Plan before meeting the minimum membership requirements set out by pension law

  • Membership in the Plan may be mandatory for part-time employees at your workplace – even if you work in a province where pension plan membership is voluntary for part-time workers

We encourage you to check with your employer to determine your eligibility to join the Plan.​

Continuous service with a co-op or credit union

If you've recently worked with a participating employer member of the Plan – or combination of employer members – your service with that employer may be counted when determining your eligibility to join the Plan.

Service is considered continuous if there has not been a break in employment of more than 12 months.

New member kit

Reviewing the information in the new member kit below is a key step toward learning how the Plan works and the different options available to you that can help your savings grow – according to your own life circumstances and goals.

The new member kit includes:

  • A welcome letter outlining the steps to take to get the most out of your membership
  • Annual financial highlights
  • The Plan booklet
  • Bylaws, Rules and Regulations booklet
  • Designation of Beneficiary form
  • Investment Options Matrix
We also encourage you to register for myCSSPEN so you can check your account balance, amounts contributed, project your pension, change your investment instructions, and more.

New member kit contents

Welcome letter
The Plan booklet
Bylaws, Rules and Regulations booklet
Designation of Beneficiary form
Investment Options Matrix