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SaskTel Pension Plan



About the plan

Mission Statement

The Board is committed to pursuing sound governance practices in discharging its responsibilities as administrator of the Pension Plan. The Board strives to ensure the Pension Plan is administered always in an effective manner and consistent with the fiduciary duties owed to plan members.

Regulation

The SaskTel Pension Plan is regulated by the Financial and Consumer Affairs Authority (FCAA) under the provisions of The Pension Benefits Act, 1992 and The Pension Benefits Regulations, 1993. The Plan is also registered under The Income Tax Act.

Prior to January 1, 1999, the plan was governed by the provisions of the Saskatchewan Telecommunication Superannuation Act and the Superannuation (Supplementary Provisions) Act.

Plan Documents

Plan Text

Plan Booklet

Statement of Investment Policies and Goals

Benefits and Features

This website describes the general terms and conditions of the Saskatchewan Telecommunications Pension Plan as of December 1, 2009. The information on this website includes changes made to the legislation and the SaskTel Plan Text (Plan Amendment No. P-8).

This information does not replace or supersede the Saskatchewan Telecommunications Pension Plan Text, related legislation, regulations or amendments thereto. The official Plan Text and relevant legislation and regulations should be consulted for all purposes of legal interpretation and application.

Benefit Formula

Your annual pension is equal to an amount calculated by multiplying 2% of your “Best Average Salary” by the total number of years of service, and any fraction of a year, to a maximum of 35 years.

The “Best Average Salary” means the highest average Salary during any three years of Employment Service, where the average Salary is the total Salary during the period divided by the total number of years and months of Employment Service during the period.

“Salary” means the regular remuneration received by an employee whether as periodic payments, commissions, or bonuses, but does not include pay related to overtime worked.

The calculated pension benefit is subject to a maximum limit as set out in the Income Tax Act for service occurring after December 31, 1991.

CPP Integration

On January 1, 1966, the Canada Pension Plan was introduced and it is integrated with the Saskatchewan Telecommunications Pension Plan. It is integrated on the basis that the employee contributions made to the pension plan includes CPP contributions, as follows:

1.8% of earnings in excess of the basic exemption up to the Year’s Maximum Pensionable Earnings (YMPE) is remitted to the Canada Pension Plan.  For an employee required to contribute 7% of their salary to their pension, this means they would contribute 5.2% on earnings below the YMPE to the SaskTel Pension Plan, and the remaining 1.8% would go to their CPP contributions. For income above the YMPE the total 7% contribution would go into the SaskTel Pension Plan.

The annual pension is reduced on the first day of the month following the month in which you attain age 65, by the Canada Pension Plan reduction amount. 

The normal commencement age for a CPP retirement pension is age 65, however, you may apply between ages 60 and 70.  Your SaskTel Pension will be reduced by the calculated amount at age 65 regardless of when you apply for CPP.

Your CPP reduction amount at age 65 is included in the letter you received upon retirement, and you will receive a letter from us when you turn 65 outlining the reduction.

For spouses receiving a spousal pension benefit, the reduction date is based on when the SaskTel retiree would have attained the age of 65.

For more information on the Canada Pension Plan, please visit Service Canada.

OAS Integration

An employee retiring with a pension may choose to receive an additional pension for life by integrating their Old Age Security with their normal pension. However, your total pension would be reduced on the first day of the month following the month in which you attain age 65, by an amount equal to the amount of pension payable under the Old Age Security Act (Canada) that was in effect at the date of retirement. This amount is paid to the retiree over and above the earned pension.

For more information on the Old Age Security program, please visit Service Canada.

Indexing

Indexing shall be implemented on the first day of April in every year, based on the previous years’ average Consumer Price Index (CPI) for Canada, subject to a maximum 2% increase. In years where the Consumer Price Index is less than 2%, indexing shall be at the rate established by the average Consumer Price Index for Canada. If the change in the Consumer Price Index is less than zero in any particular year, the pensions in payment will not be decreased in that year.

Survivor Benefits

The spouse of a retired member is the person who is the spouse at the date on which the retired member commences receiving a pension. Spousal benefits cannot be reassigned to another beneficiary after the pension has commenced.

If a member dies after retirement, and leaves a spouse and/or children under age 18, the spouse and/or children will continue to receive a pension (assuming the spouse did not waive their rights). If the member has the 60% joint annuity option in effect, the spouse would receive 60% of the pension that the retired member was entitled to. If the member had selected the 100% joint annuity option, the spouse would receive 100% of the pension that the deceased member was entitled to.

If a member dies prior to retirement, and leaves a spouse and/or children under age 18, the spouse may:

  • Receive a spousal pension calculated as if the member had retired on the day of death; or

  • Transfer the whole of the commuted value of any portion of the pension that is attributable to benefits accrued after December 31, 1998 to another pension plan, RRSP, a deferred annuity with an insurance company, or a lump sum cash payment. 

Current Reports

2016/17 Annual Report

2017 Member Newsletter 

Actuarial Status

Understanding the Actuarial Status

The Plan works with an independent actuary on an ongoing basis to monitor the financial health of the plan.

Performing a valuation is an exercise in predicting the future - we don’t know what is going to happen, but using advanced computer modeling the actuary can take a set of assumptions on future events and produce an estimate of the Plan’s status

The assumptions we make about what lies ahead are based on what we know to be true today and what we have experienced in the past. Some of the larger assumptions we make include:

  • Investment returns

  • Inflation rates

  • Interest rates

  • How long we live

The actuary uses the assumptions to calculate the value of all current and future payments over the entire life of the plan, from those payments due tomorrow to payments that may be made 50 years from now, to determine the value of the obligation today. The actuary compares the assets held by the plan to the estimated value of the obligation and determines whether the plan is properly funded. If not, contributions into the Plan would be required.

The three valuation figures

The actuary prepares three assessments of the Plan’s financial well-being:

  • Going concern (funding)

  • Solvency

  • Accounting

Each of the values looks at the Plan in a different way. The main valuation is the Going Concern method, also called the Funding valuation. This views the plan over the entire life of the plan, from now until the last plan members dies. It is the method used by actuaries to measure the ability of the plan to meet current and future obligations to plan members. It is also the method used by the provincial regulator to determine whether additional funding is required for the plan.

The Solvency method views the Plan as if it were to cease operations immediately and pay out lump sum payments to members on the date of the valuation. This valuation is very short term, and very volatile.

The final method is the Accounting method, which is based on the accounting rules used in the preparation of financial statements. It is this method that you see when reading the Annual Report for the plan.

Actuarial Report Summary

In 2017, the Board of Trustees filed an actuarial valuation for the Plan as of March 31, 2017, as required by The Pension Benefits Regulations 1993. The next valuation will be completed in 2020.

Going Concern

The valuation found that the Plan was in a surplus position using the going concern method of $40.3 million at the end of 2013, up from a $9.5 million surplus shown in the December 31, 2013 valuation report.

The increase in the surplus from the previous valuation was due to assets performing better than expected in the previous 3 years as well as lower than assumed pension payment increases, offset by assumption changes including a significant reduction in the discount rate.

Solvency

The solvency valuation as at March 31, 2017 was calculated to be a deficit of $158.2 million, a decline from 2013’s $155.7 million deficit. Better than expected asset returns over the past 3 years was offset by a reduced solvency discount rate and mortality table improvements.

Summary of Valuation Measures Surplus (Deficit) in millions

 
2017 Valuation
2016/17 Estimate
2015 Estimate
2014 Estimate
2013 Valuation
Going Concern
$40
$119
$76
$61
$10
Solvency
$(158)
$(180)
$(235)
$(237)
$(156)