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Retirement is one of life's major milestones. You'll need to plan and consider a variety of options – some may support your personal vision of retirement better than others.In addition to your own retirement goals, you'll have to consider when retirement might be achievable for you and the type of
retirement income you'd like to set up.It's important to learn about your options so you can make decisions appropriate for your situation. A great first step is to make a written retirement plan. We recommend that you start early so that you can make adjustments if you need to. Not sure where to start? Our experienced, professional
staff are here to help. Please
If you decide to work past age 60, you and your employer will continue contributing to the Plan either
until your employment terminates or
until December of the year you turn age 71 – whichever comes first.
You must convert your CSS account balance into retirement income before the end of the year you turn 71.
In a defined contribution (DC) pension plan like CSS Pension Plan, your contributions, employer's contributions and investment earnings make up your pension account balance.
The size of your balance at retirement will be an important factor when determining how much your monthly retirement income will be.
Whether you decide to retire at age 50, 60 or 71 (or somewhere in between) – it's up to you.
Generally your account balance grows over time. So delaying retirement tends to increase your retirement income for two reasons – your account balance is likely to be higher, and the length of time that you'll need a retirement income is likely to be shorter.
If you retire at age 50, for example, your expected monthly pension payments will be lower than if you retire at age 60.
To check your account balance,
sign up or log in to myCSSPEN.
Once you retire, the pension funds you've accumulated over the years will become your retirement income.
You'll have various retirement income options to consider, so it's important that you take some time to figure out the best course of action.
Keep in mind that your options will vary depending on the
pension laws for your province.
You can set up retirement income payments either with the CSS Pension Plan or your financial institution.
Benefits of remaining in the CSS Pension Plan include:
Reasons why you might consider leaving the Plan are:
You can convert all or a portion of your account into a CSS monthly pension. A monthly pension provides you with a fixed monthly income for life.
You can use both your locked-in and non-locked-in funds to set up a pension payable directly from the Plan.
Keep in mind that once you've applied for a CSS monthly pension and your pension payments start, you cannot change the type of pension or stop the payments. So please choose carefully!
The Plan offers two different types of monthly pensions:
Depending on your province's
you can transfer all, or a portion, of your CSS account to a variable benefit account so you can receive Variable Benefit (VB) payments.*
VB payments allow you to access your CSS funds through regular withdrawals, either monthly or annually.
As the name suggests, the amount of your VB payment may change each year.
There are several factors to consider with the VB payment option:
*VB payments are available in the following
jurisdictions only: AB, BC, MB, NS, ON, SK and Federal
Depending on your province's
pension laws, you may be able to transfer your
locked-in pension funds to a LIF or PRRIF** with your credit union or bank. These products are similar to VB payments.
Typically, with these products:
**PRRIFs are available in SK and MB only
A life annuity is similar to a CSS monthly pension, providing a fixed monthly payment to you for as long as you live.
Life annuities can be purchased from life insurance companies. Most annuity providers offer similar options to those described above for a monthly pension.
If you have a spouse (married or common-law), you must select a specific monthly pension that will provide a lifetime monthly payment to your spouse should you die first (unless your spouse waives this entitlement).
Your spouse must consent in writing before you can start VB payments, transfer any funds from the Plan into a LIF or PRRIF, or formalize any of the retirement income options listed on this page.
If you have a spouse, he/she must consent before you can exercise any right to unlock pension funds.
Your retirement choices will depend on several factors, including your objectives, personal situation and the market/economic environment.
How you choose to use your CSS funds is a complex decision. Our Retirement and Pension Advisors are here to help if you wish.
Contact us if you need assistance.
Some factors to consider when making the decision are:
Before you can draw retirement income, you have a little paperwork to do.
Contact the CSS Pension Plan at least three months before starting your monthly pension or VB payments for:
For your payment to start in a particular month, please ensure:
VB payments are payable the 15th of each month and monthly pension payments are payable the 26th of each month.
At retirement, you can choose to set up retirement income payments either with the CSS Pension Plan or your financial institution.
If you've already made the decision to transfer your pension funds outside the CSS Pension Plan, you'll need to complete the Application for Withdrawal or Transfer form.
If you decide you want to withdraw your pension funds soon after you finish working, remember that transfers and withdrawals cannot be done until the Plan receives your final contributions and a termination notice from your employer. This usually takes about one month.
Processing your request
Although pension legislation permits 60 days to process a transfer or withdrawal request, we typically process your request the week after we receive all properly completed documents.
We will send your pension funds and accompanying documents to the financial institution by regular mail unless you make other arrangements.
Typically you must not be working for any employer member of the Plan before you can convert your CSS funds into retirement income.
However, in some situations it may be possible for you to start a monthly pension or Variable Benefit (VB) payments from the CSS Pension Plan even though you are still working for an employer member of the Plan.
This is called phased retirement.
To apply for phased retirement, you:
Phased retirement also requires you and your employer to continue contributions to the CSS Pension Plan while you are drawing on your pension funds.
*Pension laws about phased retirement differ by province. Contact us for the most relevant, up-to-date information applicable to you.