Support Staff - FAQs

FAQs about the program

If your application is approved, you will be considered retired from the university effective June 1, 2020. Your last day worked will be May 31, 2020. The decision to begin your pension is a personal choice you will make once you receive your pension options package from PSPP.

Below are two examples of how the incentive will be calculated. Note that these are strictly examples and the actual calculations will be based on payroll practices and subject to applicable deductions.

VRIP incentive example for AUPE

Current annual salary: $60,000

Years of continuous service: 10.4 years

Full service years*: 10

*round down Years of continuous service to nearest whole number

VRIP incentive:

equivalent to 20 weeks of pay for full service years** $23,077 plus a lump sum of $5,000 for a total of $28,077

** 2-weeks of pay per full service year, to a maximum of 40 weeks of pay

 

VRIP incentive example for AUPE

Current annual salary: $72,000

Years of continuous service: 30.7 years

Full service years*: 30

*round down Years of continuous service to nearest whole number

VRIP incentive:

equivalent to 40 weeks of pay for full service years** $55,385 plus a lump sum of $6,000 for a total of $61,385

** 2-weeks of pay per full service year, to a maximum of 40 weeks of pay

 

Please make arrangements to utilize any vacation prior to your retirement date. Unused balances will be paid out on your final pay.

Yes. Regular retirement policies continue to apply. Please refer this guide for details about retirement gifts/parties.

You will receive an email acknowledgement from VolRetirementProgram@ucalgary.ca within two business days.

You will receive a notification by email from HR by no later than April 13, 2020.

Unless you and your manager agree upon a date in advance, your first day of retirement is June 1, 2020.

The University’s preference is to approve all eligible applications where operationally feasible and to the extent cost savings can be achieved. There is also a 5% threshold to consider. If your application is not approved, it will be because it is not operationally feasible or there are negligible cost savings and you will be advised through a discussion with your manager in advance of the end of day April 13, 2020.

All applicants whose applications are denied will have their applications reviewed by the VP, Human Resources. The VP, Human Resources will liaise with your department’s SLT member to consider all options.

The University's preference is to approve all eligible applications, but in some cases it may not be operationally feasible or it may not result in cost savings. The intent of this program is to effect cost savings and minimize operational disruption. HR Partners will be working closely with SLT members and their leadership teams to assess how applicants can be approved, wherever possible.

In the event the number of applications for the program exceed 5% of the normal staffing complement, the appropriate SLT member will consider if it is operationally feasible to approve applications up to a maximum of 10%.

The ability to transfer some or all of your lump sum to your RRSP is dependent upon your service period and contribution room. Please see the break down between the Eligible Amount and Non-Eligible Amount below.

Retiring Allowance – Eligible Amount

As per CRA guidelines your eligible Retiring Allowance amount indicated below is allowed to be transferred directly to an RRSP without utilizing your personal RRSP room.

$2,000 for each year or part of a year before 1996 that the person worked for the employer;

Plus $1,500 for each year or part of a year before 1989 of employment in which any or all of the employer’s contributions to the Registered Pension Plan was not vested in the employee’s name when the employer pays the retiring allowance.

Members who can start drawing an immediate pension at age 55 or older will not be eligible for the $1,500 for each year or part of a year before 1989 because the employer’s contributions would have been vested. 

Retiring Allowance – Non-Eligible Amount

The remaining portion of your Severance payment is deemed as Non-Eligible. A transfer of all or part of this amount to an RRSP or a spousal RRSP is allowed as long as you have sufficient personal RRSP room available which can be found on your most recent CRA – Notice of Assessment.

What happens to my benefits when I retire?

Your entitlement to the health and wellness spending account credits and extended health and dental benefits continue uninterrupted up to your termination date. You will continue to share benefit costs and premiums will continue to be deducted from your pay until that time.

Health and dental expenses as well as any remaining credit balance in your health and/or wellness spending account(s) may be claimed up to 90 days after your termination date provided your expense receipts are dated prior to the termination date. After your termination date you will no longer have access to your Alberta Blue Cross secure online account so you will have to submit a paper claim form. Claim forms are available on their website.

If you currently have an approved dental pre-authorization and have major dental work in progress, special arrangements may be made to complete this dental work. In this case, it is important to contact Total Rewards as soon as possible.

Coverage terminates on the effective date of termination. During the 31 days following termination of employment you have the right to convert, without medical evidence, the amount of life insurance on your life to an individual life policy. Manulife offers individual life insurance policies, and the premium would be based upon the Manulife individual policy rates in effect at the time of application for conversion. Should you die within 31 days of termination, Manulife will pay a benefit of the maximum you were allowed to convert.

Please contact Total Rewards if you are interested in Life Insurance conversion.

Your coverage ends on the effective date of termination.

Your benefits will terminate as of your last day of employment. As a former employee, you and your dependents will no longer be eligible to use the Tuition Support benefit as payment for courses.

If you are enrolled in a Continuing Education course to which tuition support was already applied, and the course has started at the time of your termination date, you may continue to participate in that course until completion. If your termination date is prior to the start date of the course, you will be required to pay for the course.

For Academic credit courses, you or your dependent student must be eligible at the start date of the course and remain eligible through to the fee deadline (which is usually a 2 to 3 weeks after the start date of the course). Tuition support is finalized and applied to the student account based on your continued eligibility at the fee deadline. If your termination date is after the start of the course but before the fee deadline, you will be required to pay for the course.

Homewood Health Employee and Family Assistance Plan is a confidential service available to you and your dependents at no cost for up to 30 days after your termination date. Contact Homewood Health any time, 24 hours a day to speak with a specialist who is qualified to provide support to you during any life transition or visit Homewood Health online to access a variety of helpful tools and resources.

Call: 1.800.663.1142 or visit www.homeweb.ca.

FAQs about retirement

1. Visit www.pspp.ca and set up an online account in the secured area called Mypensionplan

You will need your 10-digit Member Identifier to register. You can locate your Member Identifier from the 2018 Annual Member Statement or call Alberta Pensions Services Corporation at 1.877.453.1777 to obtain the information.

2. Call Alberta Pensions Services Corporation at 1.877.453.1777 to request a pension estimate. However, it may take 6 to 8 weeks for them to send the pension estimate to you by mail.

Pensionable Service is the period of service for which contributions are made since the date of participation in the pension plan.

Years of Pensionable service may not be equal to years of Continuous Service if your appointment is pension ineligible at the date of hire. Examples of this are casual appointments that are always pension ineligible, or a limited/fixed term appointments of less than one year that is pension ineligible, unless that position was extended such that the appointment from date of hire is at least one year.

If during your employment at the university, you have had appointments as Support Staff or Management & Professional Staff without a break in service and have participated in both the Public Service Pension Plan (PSPP) and the Universities Academic Pension Plan (UAPP), the Combined Pensionable Service (CPS) provision applies to you. When you retire and have CPS, you will receive benefits from each plan separately.

Eligibility of unreduced pension under the CPS provision is based on total combined pensionable service from both plans.

For service in PSPP, if you retire before age 65, your pension will be reduced if you do not have the 85 points (age plus pensionable service).

For PSPP, the early retirement reduction is calculated as the lesser of:

  1. 3% for each year short of 85 points, or
  2. 3% for each year short of age 65.

For example, you are age 59 and have attained 75 points:

based on points, (85 - 75) * 3% = 30% based on age, (65 – 59) * 3% = 18%

The early retirement reduction to be applied to your PSPP pension = 18%

For PSPP, you qualify for an unreduced pension if:

  1. you have attained 85 points (age plus pensionable service) between age 55 and 65, or
  2. you are age 65 or older even if you do not have the 85 points.

Submit your application as soon as you receive the forms from Total Rewards. As retirements take time to process, you may not receive your first pension payment immediately after your retirement date.

Your university group benefits coverage ceases on retirement. As outlined in the prior section, you can convert your life insurance to an individual policy within 31 days without medical evidence of insurability.

You may consider purchasing post-retirement benefits coverage. There are many providers such as the Alberta Retirement Teachers’ Association (ARTA), Alberta Blue Cross, CAUT, Manulife, Canadian Retired Persons’ Association, Alberta Motor Association, etc. Please note that there are typically time limits in obtaining new coverage without additional medical evidence.

As a university of Calgary employee you are eligible for preferred pricing through the Alberta Blue Cross Retiree Plan. Contact them directly to obtain a quote.

Information on the Alberta Retired Teachers Association can be found here.

Refer to this retirement guide for details on a Retired Employee Card

FAQs about payroll information

You will continue to accrue vacation up to your last day worked. Any unused vacation as of your retirement date will be paid out to you on your final pay.

This lump sum incentive will be paid as a retiring allowance. This retiring allowance can be allocated to either a cash payment or transferred directly to a registered retirement savings plan (RRSP).

If allocated to cash payment, the employer will deduct income tax from any part of a retiring allowance paid directly to the recipient based on the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) prescribed lump sum rate rates of 10% for < $5000, 20% for $5001-$15,000, and 30% for > $15,001.

If allocated to a RRSP, a transfer of all or part of this amount to an RRSP is allowed as long as you have sufficient personal RRSP room available which can be found on your most recent CRA – Notice of Assessment. No income tax will be withheld on this amount of the retiring allowance that is directly transferred to the recipient’s RRSP.

The amount transferred, as well as any other retiring allowance amounts paid to the employee or former employee, will be reported by the employer on a T4 Slip for Canada Revenue Agency purposes.

All final payments will be direct deposited to your bank account on file on the next available pay date (10th or 25th) and a pay statement will be mailed to your home address. Should your banking information change before your final payments are made, please contact the Payroll Department.

Your ROE will be filed electronically with Service Canada after your final payments have been processed with a reason of separation as E-Quit/Voluntary Retirement. Should you have any questions in regards to your ROE, please contact the Payroll Department.

You will receive your annual tax slip(s) via Canada Post by the end of February. Should your mailing address change before you receive your tax slip, please notify Human Resources Operations with your new mailing address.

The Government of Alberta's Public Sector Compensation Transparency Act, which was passed in 2015, applies to all public sector agencies, boards and commissions including universities. The law requires the University of Calgary to annually disclose the names, positions, compensation, non-monetary benefits, and severance / retiring allowance for all current and former faculty and staff whose employment income exceeds the annual threshold. Each year, the threshold is adjusted based on the annual Consumer Price Index.

If your compensation exceeds the annual threshold even as a retired employee, the University of Calgary will be required to publish the information detailed above on both the university’s Compensation Disclosure List and the Government of Alberta’s consolidated public sector body compensation database in December and June.

For further information, please refer to the University of Calgary’s website on the Public Sector Compensation Transparency Art. The website includes FAQ’s and will be updated with additional information as it becomes available from the Government of Alberta.

Additional FAQs

The vacation pay will be paid out your final pay cheque as will the retiring allowance.

Vacation pay is taxed as income using the regular tax tables; CPP and EI also apply to these earnings.

The Retiring Allowance will be paid on the final pay cheque and will be taxed using the Lump Sum taxation rules. There are no CPP or EI deductions on the retiring allowance.

No. The retiring allowance will impact timing of EI benefits though.

Yes. The RRSP must be set up and ready to receive funds and you must have the available RRSP contribution room.  If you over contribute, you may have to pay taxes at the time you file your tax return.