Tips & Questions
When do I become a Participant?
You will become a Participant in the Plan at the end of any period of two consecutive calendar years following your Contribution Date in which you completed a total of at least 350 hours of work. The Contribution Date, in most cases, is the first day an employer makes contributions to the Plan on your behalf.
Elected or appointed officers of the Union, employees of the Union, or employees of the Trustees of this fund will become Participants upon completion of any period of two consecutive years following the employee's contribution date in which the employee has completed at least 350 hours of work or has earned at least 35% of the Year's Maximum Pensionable Earnings (YMPE) in each year. "YMPE" or "Year's Maximum Pensionable Earnings" is defined by the Federal government. For more information on the YMPE you can refer to the plan Booklet or go to www.servicecanada.gc.ca for current and historical YMPE rates.
What happens if I stop Working for a Union Employer?
If your employment is interrupted and you have a Break in Service, you may lose the Vesting Service and Pension Credit you earned before the break. This could affect the calculation of any benefit you later receive from the Plan. Here is how the Plan's Break in Service rules work.
Break in Service
failure to work at least 1 hour in Covered Employment (Local 720 or Local 725) within any period of three (3) consecutive calendar years.
Temporary Break in Service
failure to complete a total of at least 350 hours of work in Covered Employment over two (2) consecutive calendar years.
If you have not earned a right to a Vested Benefit before your Break in Service, then you will lose credit for all previously accumulated service (Vesting Service, Pension Credits and Benefit Credits).
If you have earned a right to a Vested Benefit before your Break in Service, you will not lose credit for all previously accumulated service as long as you leave your accrued Vested Benefit in the Plan. In this instance, you would remain entitled to receive a "deferred vested pension" from the date you ultimately decide to retire. If you choose to have your accrued benefit transferred to another plan under the Plan's "portability option", you will not be entitled to any further benefits from the Plan for the period of service over which the transferred benefits were originally earned. Should you return to active employment after previously transferring benefits using the portability option, your prior service will not count in any way when determining any future entitlements arising from the new period of active Covered Employment.
When do I become Vested?
A Participant acquires Vested Status after completion of the earliest of the following:
(a) the date you become a Participant if that date is after August 1, 2014.
(b) 500 hours of work in Covered Employment in a 24 month period, beginning after December 31, 2007, or
(c) the accumulation of two years of Vesting Service, or
(d) the attainment of Normal Retirement Age.
Can my Spouse or I take a refund instead of a pension?
No. If you are age 50 or older, your benefit must be used to provide you with a monthly pension upon retirement. However, if your benefits are Vested and you have not yet reached age 50, you may be eligible to choose the portability option and transfer the commuted value of your pension to another registered pension plan; a locked-in RRSP to provide a pension no earlier than age 50; or you may purchase a life annuity contract. Please refer to the Plan Booklet for full details regarding the portability option, or you can contact FAS directly by using the toll free number 1-800-770-2998 or by e-mail at email@example.com.
In the event of your death prior to retirement your spouse may also elect the portability option instead of receiving a monthly payment.