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What Happens if You Become Disabled?

If you are receiving monthly benefits from your employer’s long-term disability (LTD) plan, in most cases:

  • You remain a member of the Pension Plan for purposes of earning continuous service.
  • Required contributions will be waived in respect of the period for which you are receiving LTD benefits and you do not have offsetting earnings.
  • You will continue to earn credited service in the Plan during that period of disability, based on your regular schedule at your date of disability. If there is no regular schedule, the level of hours will be based on your level of hours worked in the calendar year preceding the commencement of the disability.
  • You will continue to earn pensionable earnings for Pension Plan purposes will be deemed to be the same as your pensionable earnings at your date of disability, subject to any increases the Trustees may approve from time to time in their sole discretion.

The accrual of benefits described above does not apply to Plan members who were not actively at work when their employer started participating in the Plan if this was after August 1, 2006.


What if You are Receiving Workers’ Compensation Benefits?

If you are receiving Workers’ Compensation income replacement benefits and have not terminated your employment with your employer, you may choose to continue to contribute to the Plan. Both the employee’s and employer’s share are required:

  • You are required to make your regular contributions.
  • Your employer is also required to make its regular contributions, unless a collective agreement or other employment contract otherwise states how the total cost will be paid.

By paying contributions, you will continue to earn credited service during this period. This will be based on the pensionable earnings you were receiving immediately before your Workers’ Compensation benefits commenced.


Leaves of Absence Approved by the Employer

Approved Leave of Absence with pay:

Both you and your employer will continue to contribute to the Plan as if you were at work and you will continue to earn continuous service and credited service.

Approved Leave of Absence without pay:

For purposes of granting continuous service under the Plan, an employer-approved leave of absence without pay shall not exceed 2 years in duration. If the leave exceeds 2 years, you will be terminated from the Plan.

You have two options before the start of a leave of absence without pay:

Option 1 - Contribute during the leave period
  • You may choose to contribute to the Plan during your unpaid leave of absence.
  • For a maternity/parental leave, your employer is required to make its contributions (unless a collective agreement or other employment contract stipulates another cost sharing arrangement).
  • For any other type of leave, you are required to pay both the employee and the employer’s share (unless a collective agreement or other employment contract stipulates another cost-sharing arrangement).
  • By choosing to contribute, you will receive credited service based upon making contributions for deemed hours worked during the leave of absence period based on your regular schedule at the start of the leave. If there is no regular schedule, the deemed hours shall be in proportion to the number of hours worked in the calendar year preceding the commencement of the leave of absence.
Option 2 - Don’t contribute during leave period
  • You may choose not to contribute to the Plan during your unpaid leave.
  • Your employer is not required to contribute on your behalf if you choose this option.
  • You will not accrue credited service during this period of absence.
  • Continuous service will not be granted for the period of the leave unless you return to employment:
    • For at least 3 months immediately following the leave of absence, and
    • Work the equivalent of 3 months of the average service for the calendar year prior to the commencement of the leave.

Deferred Salary Leave Plan

If you participate in a deferred salary leave plan sponsored by your employer, you may continue to contribute to the Plan and accrue service during your leave.


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