My company has just signed up with the USW. How do I join the pension and/or LTD  plans?

When a company joins the USW, the union local will have all the necessary documents for participation in the pension and/or LTD plans.  Once those documents are signed, they are forwarded to the Plan Office. We will then contact you directly regarding your contribution remittance obligation.


How do I sign up a new employee for the pension and/or LTD plans?

For every new employee you hire, add his/her name and social insurance number to the member hours section of your contribution report and indicate the number of hours he/she worked during that contribution period. You must also complete an enrolment card for all new employees, and mail or fax these cards to the Plan Office. 


When do contributions commence?

For the pension plan, contributory hours start from the first hour the employee works. This includes hours worked by casual and probationary employees.

For the LTD plan, employees will start contributing and participating in the LTD Plan at the same time they become eligible for weekly indemnity coverage under an Industry Health and Welfare Plan and are not classified as casual or part time as per the employer’s collective agreement. That means contributory hours start at the same time they begin contributing or become eligible for weekly indemnity coverage under an Industry Health and Welfare Plan.


How do I know if someone is portable?

An employee is considered portable if they were previously employed and covered in the pension and/or LTD plans in the 18 month period immediately before his/her employment with your company. When an employee leaves an employer, they should be issued with a layoff and transfer card.  Ask to see this card—it will tell you when they last worked and whether you should begin contributing towards their LTD immediately or whether he/she must meet the eligibility requirements. Contact the Plan Office if you are still unsure. 


Who should I make my cheque payable to?

All cheques should be made payable to the IWA–Forest Industry Pension and LTD Plans.


Does my company have to file a contribution report even if we have no eligible hours to report?

Yes.  You are required to remit NIL reports.


Many of the members on our Work Status report are no longer working; how do we get them removed?

Once an employee has been terminated from your company (or their seniority retention has run out), you must report their work status as “T” with an effective date of the last day worked, or the date on which he/she no longer has seniority. When contributions administration receives this information they will process the change in work status and the former employee will no longer appear on your reports.  Not reporting hours for an employee, even for an extended period of time, does not automatically terminate them from your employee listing. The plans do not have the right to remove employees from your listing.


What contributions are required for an employee pregnancy and/or parental Leave?

Employer contributions are required only if the employee elects to continue making the required employee contributions during the period of pregnancy and/or parental leave. For pregnancy and parental leave, contributions remittance is based on 40 hours per week.

The contributions must be remitted for the entire period of leave. For a birth mother's pregnancy leave, to a maximum of 17 weeks. For a birth mother who takes both pregnancy and parental leave, a maximum of 52 weeks.
For parental leave of birth mothers who do not take pregnancy leave, birth fathers or adoptive parents, the maximum is 37 weeks.


I discovered an error on my last report.  How can I correct it?

Attach to your regular report, a separate sheet indicating the member’s name, social insurance number, pay period to be corrected, number of hours to be adjusted, and an explanation for the adjustment. Please do not incorporate the adjusted hours with the member’s regular hours.


When will my company receive the PA rate for the past year?

The pension plan prepares the pension adjustment letters for those companies who reported hours in the applicable calendar year. These letters are normally sent out the middle of December.


With all the privacy concerns now, do I have to include social insurance numbers on my reporting documents?

The employee or beneficiary’s (eg. spouse’s) social insurance number (SIN) is unique to them and is the common identifier in both the employer and plan’s systems.  The British Columbia Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA) actually contains a provision, section 8(2), which deems that not only an employee, but any beneficiary under a pension, benefit or similar plan, consents to the collection, use and disclosure of personal information for the purpose of his or her enrolment or coverage under such a plan.  Therefore, employers are protected under PIPA when using an employee’s or beneficiary’s SIN when providing information to the plans.


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