As an active plan member, you may retire at age 60 with a full pension, or as early as age 55 with a reduced pension. If you leave the industry and break service before age 55, you will become an inactive plan member. You will be entitled to receive a full pension benefit at age 65 or a reduced pension payable as early as age 55.
Planning on retiring soon? Please contact the Plan Office at least three months before your planned retirement date to complete the necessary paperwork, so you receive your pension payments on time.
The amount of pension you receive is based on your years of credited service as well as the contributions you and your employer contribute to the plan.
If you work for less than 350 covered hours in two consecutive calendars years, you break service with the plan and become an inactive (deferred) plan member. Because breaks in service are calculated on a calendar year basis, you will typically only break service on December 31st and will receive a break in service package from the Plan Office in March of the following year.
If you are under age 55 when you break service, you will be given the option to either remain in the plan and receive a pension from the plan in retirement, or take a lump-sum payout from the plan and end your membership.
If your lump-sum benefit is greater than the legislated threshold, in accordance with pension law, you cannot transfer your benefit out of the plan as cash. Instead, it must be transferred to a locked-in retirement account, or remain in the pension plan. In this instance, you will only be given 90 days following receipt of your break in service package to notify the Plan Office of your decision.
If your lump-sum benefit is less than the legislated threshold, you may elect to receive your benefit as cash, less applicable income tax.
When you break service with the plan, you may be entitled to receive a lump-sum benefit. This is calculated as the amount of money that, if invested today and left until you are 65 years of age, would be expected to provide the same monthly pension as you would have received from the Plan at 65. The amount of pension you receive is based on your years of credited service as well as the contributions you and your employer contribute to the plan. If you break service and you have not attained age 55, you are entitled to receive a lump-sum transfer of your termination benefit, as long as you transfer in the time limit provided by the plan, usually 90 days after your break in service.
Your pension does not begin automatically, so you must inform the Plan Office of your intention to retire. Your pension will not be backdated. We recommended applying for your pension three months before your anticipated retirement date.
If you are an active member of the pension plan, you can retire as early as 60 years of age and receive 100% of your pension. Normally, you will continue to receive 100% of your pension for the remainder of your life. However, if you select the supplemented retirement option, your pension income will be reduced at age 65. This reduction is intended to equal the amount you will receive from Old Age Security.
Early retirement from the plan begins at age 55 for both active and inactive/deferred members. At retirement, if the lump-sum value of your pension is less than the legislated threshold, you can choose to transfer your pension out of the plan as a lump-sum. If the lump-sum value of your pension is above this threshold, you must instead take a lifetime monthly pension from the plan at retirement. Contact the Plan Office for a pension estimate and to see which situation applies to you.
Yes. Should you die before collecting a pension from the plan, depending upon the lump-sum value of your pension, your spouse will have the option of receiving either a monthly pension or a one-time lump-sum payout from the plan. Please make sure that we always have your correct beneficiary contact details on file, and be sure to keep us informed of any changes to your spousal status.
The Canadian Pension Plan (CPP) is separate from the IWA-Forest Industry Pension Plan. Whether or not you collect CCP has no impact on your pension from this plan.
As you have not worked for a participating employer for more than two years, you are considered an inactive (or deferred) plan member. Inactive members are eligible for a reduced pension from the plan as early as age 55, or a full pension from the plan at age 65.
The IWA-Forest Industry Pension Plan is a target benefit plan. According to provincial pension legislation, when negotiated contributions do not cover the minimum required contribution level to fund the plan on a going concern basis as per the actuarial valuation report, benefits must be reduced or a contribution increase must be negotiated to meet the required contribution level. Good news: at its latest valuation, the pension plan was fully funded on a going concern basis, and throughout its 45-year history, the pension plan has never reduced monthly pension benefits for retired members.
All members of the pension plan can retire as early as age 55. You can continue to work and receive your pension from the plan at the same time as long as you are not working for a participating employer for more than 76 hours per month (or an average of 19 hours per week).
Unfortunately, this is not something that we provide. We recommend seeking the advice of a trusted independent financial advisor.
Accrued excess hours can be used at retirement to give you one extra year of credited service. For example, you can retire in January 2023 and use 1,800 accrued excess hours to receive a full year’s worth of credited service for 2023, without needing to work even one hour. Doing this will boost your pension income by up to $85 per month.
No. Your pension income remains the same throughout your retired life. If you retire at age 55 as an active member, you will receive 82% of your pension for your lifetime. If you retire at age 56 as an active member, you will receive 86% of your pension for your lifetime… and so on, according to the subsidized early retirement benefit.
Yes. Your pension option and income remain the same throughout your lifetime.
Every pension plan is different. This pension plan provides certain benefits such as the subsidized early retirement benefit (which half of all retirees receive) and unfunded hours. Indexing is not available for this plan. The terms of the pension plan are established by the board of trustees, who are appointed by forest industry associations and the USW. At the Plan Office, we simply administer the pension plan according to the plan rules.
The IWA-Forest Industry Pension Plan does not offer medical coverage. If you would like extended medical coverage, you must purchase coverage through a group plan administrator.
If you are an active member of the plan, you can retire as early as age 60 and receive 100% of your pension from the plan. You must receive your pension from the plan by December 1st of the year you turn 71. If you continue to work for a participating employer after age 60, you will increase your years of credited service and therefore increase your monthly pension income from the plan in retirement. When you choose to retire is up to you, but you should know that your pension cannot be backdated, and you cannot work 76 hours per month for a participating employer and still receive a pension from the plan.
You can download pension-related forms, including a retirement application, from the Plan Office website at www.iwafibp.ca/forms.
No. Unless your spouse waives their right to lifetime survivor coverage, the minimum spousal coverage is 60% of your pension income.
A. The lump-sum value of your pension is calculated as the value today of your future pension, based on your age, applicable interest rates and other assumptions in accordance with the Pension Benefits Standards Act.
Because government benefits begin at age 65, you can choose to receive a greater pension amount from the plan prior to age 65 and a smaller amount after age 65. The difference between the amounts paid before and after age 65 is intended to equal the amount you receive from Old Age Security. If you would like specific numbers, contact the Plan Office for a pension estimate.
If the lump-sum value of your pension is less than the legislated threshold (set at 20% of the YMPE), you have the option of receiving your pension as a one-time lump-sum payout. If the lump-sum value of your pension is equal to or greater than the legislated threshold, you must receive a lifetime monthly pension from the plan, and do not have the option to transfer your pension out of the plan as a lump-sum payout. Note that your lump-sum payout is equal to the value today of your future pension, and is not necessarily equal to your total contributions to the plan.
The amount of your pension in retirement depends upon your years of credited service, your membership status and age at retirement, and the pension option that you select. You can find more information and a full explanation of the subsidized early retirement option for active members and the actuarial early retirement reductions for inactive members on pages 20 and 21 of the pension plan booklet.
Again, please refer pages 20 and 21 of the pension plan booklet for information on early retirement. Or, contact the Plan Office for a complete pension estimate.
This pension plan does not offer any buyouts. If you are a member of the IWA-Forest Industry Pension & LTD Plans and are currently receiving disability income from the LTD plan, you will continue to accrue credited service in the pension plan until you reach (typically) age 60. At that time, you will be able to collect a monthly pension from the pension plan, or transfer the lump-sum value of your pension out of the plan if it is less than the legislated threshold.
Your pension income is based on a formula which multiplies your years of credited service with the benefit level for those years. If you are a member of both the pension and LTD plans, you will accrue credited service in the pension plan for the length of time that your receive disability benefits from the LTD plan. Please contact the Plan Office and we will be happy to provide you with an estimate of your pension from the plan.
If you work or otherwise accrue more than 1,800 funded hours in a year, those hours in excess of 1,800 are recorded as excess hours. Your excess hours cannot be used to increase prior years of service. However, you can use up to 1800 accrued excess hours to increase your credited service in the year you retire. For example, you can retire on January 1, 2023, and use 1,800 accrued excess hours to receive a full year’s worth of credited service for 2023, without needing to work even one hour in 2023. Doing this will boost your pension by up to $85 per month.
Your monthly pension income will vary depending on the pension option you select. The variation between options is typically a few hundred dollars per month. If you would like more information, please contact the Plan Office and we will be happy to provide you with a pension estimate for all the different options. Note that if you have a spouse and wish to select any option other than a joint and survivor option, your spouse will need to sign a form waiving her right to a lifetime pension.
Inactive (also called deferred members) and active plan members can choose to retire and collect a pension from the plan anytime between the ages of 55 and 71. As an inactive member, as long as you are not working 76 hours or more per month for a participating employer, you can receive a reduced monthly pension from the plan as early as age 55, or a full pension from the plan as early as age 65. Whether or not you are part of another pension plan has no effect on the value of your pension from the IWA-Forest Industry Pension Plan, nor the age at which you can collect your pension from the plan.
If you have not received your pension cheque by the 1st of the month, please contact the Plan Office. If you moved recently, we may not have a current address.
Pension cheques are automatically deposited in your bank account on the 1st of every month. If your cheque does not arrive in your bank account, please contact the Plan Office. If you've changed bank accounts recently, we may not have the correct account information. Changes to your banking information do not occur automatically; you need to complete a new direct deposit authorization form.
If the 1st of the month falls on a weekend or public holiday, the payment will be deposited on the next business banking holiday.
You must complete a new direct deposit authorization form and return it to the Plan Office in order for us to make changes to your banking information.
Please contact the Plan Office as soon as possible. Any payments made to the pensioner in the month following the month of the pensioner's death must be returned to the plan. Plan Office staff will review the pensioner's file and determine if any death benefits are to be paid (depending on the option chosen by the member) and will adjust the records and, if applicable, the pension benefit amount, accordingly. The Plan Office also requires a copy of the death certificate.
You cannot receive a pension and earn pension credits in the pension plan at the same time. If you retire and begin to receive your pension, then return to work for a participating employer: Your pension will stop if you work 20 hours or more per week.
You ARE NOT restricted from working full-time or part-time in non-IWA work.