Updates

About the University of Manitoba GFT Pension Plan (1986)

The University of Manitoba GFT Pension Plan (1986) is a defined contribution or money purchase arrangement. Under this type of plan, the benefit you receive at retirement is based on the amount you accumulate during your years of Plan membership.

If you leave the University prior to meeting the eligibility requirements for retirement, settlement of your account will be based on your assets in the fund and provisions of the Pension Plan document.

Eligibility and exclusions

Eligibility 

As an eligible full-time employee, you may join the Plan on your appointment date or any date before your required participation date.  You must join the Plan within 30 days following the completion of two consecutive years of employment with the University.  

  • Application for Membership form (PDF) is available from the University Medical Group or the Pension Office. 
  • For returning employees, please call the Pension Office to determine your pension plan status.  
  • For all employees who reach the mandatory participation rules, you will be sent the required forms from the Pension Office. 

Exclusions 

  • an employee who is a student on a substantially full-time basis 
  • an employee who is a member of a religious group which has as one of its articles of faith the belief that members of the group are precluded from being members of the Plan 
  • an employee who retired from the university and is in receipt of a pension, but subsequently returns to work for the university. 

Waiver 

You may waive the right to participate in The University of Manitoba GFT Pension Plan (1986) as of the initial participation date. Please complete the Participation Waiver Form (PDF).  Subsequent optional participation dates, prior to the compulsory participation date, are available at your discretion. 

Compulsory participation date is within 30 days following two years of full-time continuous employment.

Joining the plan and contributions

Joining the Plan

Membership will be effective on the first day of the next pay cycle following the Pension Office’s receipt of your Application for Membership form.

Contributions

The university makes the same annual contribution for each member which is equal to:

  • 6 per cent of the floor salary of a full professor up to the Year’s Basic Exemption (YBE) ($3,500)
  • plus 4.2 per cent of that floor salary between the YBE and the Year’s Maximum Pensionable Earnings (YMPE) ($61,600)
  • plus 6 per cent of that floor salary above the YMPE.

In 2021, the floor salary is $115,002, and the university’s contribution is $5,854.32.

This contribution is directed to your university contribution account, except that under current tax laws, the university’s contribution to a registered pension plan is limited to 18 per cent of the actual salary you receive from the university. Therefore in 2021, if the salary you receive from the university is less than $32,524.00, the university’s contribution to the pension plan on your behalf will be limited to 18 per cent of that salary and the difference between the $5,854.32 and the contribution will be paid to you in cash.

Employees cannot make contributions to the Plan.

Changes due to life events

Retirement

On retirement you will receive the total value of your contribution accounts.  This money must be transferred out of the Plan.

You can elect to transfer the value of your benefit either to:

  • an insurance company to purchase a lifetime annuity, or
  • a financial institution to purchase a locked-in retirement investment/income vehicle.

Retiring Early 

You can retire as early as the first day of the month following your 55th birthday. 

Retiring Later

You can continue working and delay your retirement beyond age 65.  However, your plan contributions will continue to age 69.  You must either begin your pension payments no later than December 31, of the year you turn age 71 or transfer the value of your pension out of the Plan. 

For more details regarding the calculation of your retirement benefit, please review  The University of Manitoba GFT (1986) Pension Plan Retirement Options (PDF) booklet.

Retirement package

Contact the Pension Office in writing indicating the date you are thinking of retiring. A retirement package will then be mailed to you.  If you have arranged for a meeting to discuss your retirement, your spouse or partner is welcome.

Notice of retirement

Check your collective agreement or the university policy for excluded employees to find out how much notice you must give prior to your retirement date.  Please remember to let the Pension Office know of your decision and the date you have selected for your retirement.

Information on OAS, CPP payments.

You should review the material on your eligibility and payment amounts for OAS and CPP by contacting Services Canada. 

Old Age Security (OAS) and Canada Pension Plan (CPP)

If you leave the university prior to age 55

Your benefit in the Plan is vested immediately.  If you leave the university, you can receive the total value of your contribution account, no matter how long you belonged to the Plan.

Your benefit is locked-in except for certain conditions outlined below.  Locked-in benefits means your pension benefit continues to be subject to pension legislation requirements for pension sharing, survivor and death benefits, and may only be used to provide retirement income (i.e. you cannot get a cash refund).

You can transfer the total value of your accounts to one of the following:

  • A locked-in retirement account (LIRA) with a financial institution
  • Your new employer’s registered pension plan, provided the plan accepts transfers that can be administered under Manitoba legislation
  • An insurance company to purchase an immediate or deferred lifetime annuity

If you terminate your employment with the university

  • Please ensure your address/contact information is current in the VIP system before you leave.
  • When you leave the employment of the University, a weekly report is sent to the Pension Office advising the Pension Office of all status changes.
  • A settlement package, which contains the amount in your account, an explanation and the necessary forms will be sent to you.
  • Plan benefits can only be paid when there is an actual termination of employment or you have not contributed to the Plan for 54 weeks.

If you stop working but have not resigned or terminated your employment

  • If your position has ended and you do not have earnings from the university, you will continue to be a member in the Plan for a 54-week period after your last day of contributions to the Plan.
  • If you return to work within 54 weeks you will continue to accrue benefits with the same account.
  • If you wish to settle your account prior to the end of 54 weeks, you must resign from the university and notify the Pension Office of your intent. 
  • Following the 54 weeks  you will be  sent a pension settlement package and asked to  select one of the options to transfer the value of your account out of the Plan.
  • If you return to work after the 54-week period, you may join the Plan by submitting an  Application for Membership  form (PDF).

Relationship breakdown

Your pension is a family asset.  If you or your spouse or common-law partner ends your relationship, the pension you built during your relationship will be taken into account when your family assets are divided.  The Pension Benefits Act (PBA) states that pension benefits must be divided equally if there is:

  • a court order under The Family Property Act requiring the division of family property; or
  • a written agreement between you and your spouse, former spouse or partner about the division of family assets; or
  • a court order from another Canadian jurisdiction requiring the division of the pension benefits; or
  • an order of the Court of Queen’s Bench requiring the division of the pension benefits.

Opting out

If you and your spouse or common-law partner agrees, you may opt out of the mandatory credit splitting.  To opt out, each person must receive independent legal advice and a statement from their pension plan administrator showing the value of the pension credit subject to the credit splitting.  Both parties must enter into a written agreement with each other confirming that the pension credits will not be divided.  The value of the pension credit can only be prepared by the Pension Office and is required for the opt-out provisions to be legal. 

Splitting the difference

If both parties are members of pension plans, they may agree in writing to divide the difference in values between the two pensions equally, rather than dividing both pensions on a 50/50 basis.  This provision is available to those who separated on or after June 24, 1992, or those who had separated earlier, but had not finalized the division of pension credits.

More information can be found on the Pension Commission website.

If your marriage or common-law relationship has ended, please contact the Pension Office.  The value of your pension accrued while participating in the pension plan can only be determined by the Pension Office. 

If a common-law relationship occurred immediately prior to marriage, the period begins with the date the common-law relationship began.  For married persons who began living separate and apart before June 30, 2004, the pension credits subject to division are those earned from the date of marriage.

How to proceed

If your marriage or common-law relationship has ended, please contact the Pension Office.

Leaves of absence

If you are on an approved leave of absence without pay, pension contributions may continue subject to the university policies and maximums subject to the Income Tax Act. If pension contributions are maintained, you must participate in the Plan as if you would have been working in your regular position with regular pay, provided that you do not accrue benefits under a registered pension plan or a deferred profit-sharing plan of another employer.

In the event of your death

If you die before retirement as an active plan member (or as an inactive member on an approved leave), your survivor(s) will receive the total value of your pension. If you have a spouse, Manitoba law requires your spouse to be your beneficiary, unless he or she has waived the right to the pre-retirement death benefit.

Designating your beneficiary

You may designate anyone to be your beneficiary. However, if you have a spouse or common-law partner at your date of death, pension legislation requires the pre-retirement death benefit to be paid to your spouse or common-law partner, regardless of the beneficiary designation, unless:

  1. you are living separate and apart from your spouse or common-law partner by reason of relationship breakdown, or
  2. your spouse or common-law partner has waived the right to the pre-retirement death benefit by completing Manitoba’s Waiver of Survivor Death Benefit (Form 2). In this case, legislation does not allow you to name your spouse or common-law partner as your beneficiary.  For more information please review Manitoba’s Waiver of Survivor Death Benefit (Form 2) or call the Pension Office.

Please note that if you wish to change your beneficiary (e.g., in the event of a breakdown of your declared spouse/common-law relationship), call the Pension Office and arrange to have forms prepared and mailed to you or click on the forms section of this website.  Remember that all forms must be signed by you and returned to the Pension Office.

Benefits cannot be paid to beneficiaries who are minors (under 18) or those who are unable to act on their behalf. Trustee Nomination forms are available from the Pension Office.

If you do not have a spouse/common-law partner at your date of death, the pre-retirement death benefit will be paid according to your beneficiary designation. All beneficiary designations are revocable.

Non-locked in benefits 

There are a limited number of circumstances in which a person may be allowed to withdraw locked-in funds as a lump sum.  These include: 

Commutation of small pensions 

In the event that the locked-in part of the sum of the pension value is less than 20% of the Year’s Maximum Pensionable Earnings (YMPE)  in the year of termination, the Member shall receive a lump sum payment of the value of the Contribution Account applicable to such benefit either in cash or by transfer to a Registered Retirement Savings Plan. 

Shortened life expectancy 

The Pension Benefits Act permits a pension plan to provide for a withdrawal of locked-in funds in a lump sum upon certification by a medical practitioner of a considerably shortened life expectancy which cannot exceed two years. 

Non-residents of Canada 

If you are no longer a resident of Canada, the Pension Benefits Act permits former plan members to withdraw pension benefit credits in a pension plan in a lump sum (subject to certain requirements). 

In all other cases, including cases of financial hardship, locked-in funds cannot be withdrawn as a lump sum.

Forms

The forms may be completed on-line; however, they must be downloaded for signature. The Pension Office requires an inked signature. Please complete the forms and send them to the Pension Office.

Booklets

Pension Committee and governance

Role of the Committee

The Committee acts as both Pension Committee and as “Administrator,” as described in the PBA and regulations. The Committee has the rights, powers, and obligations necessary for the Committee to administer the Plan in accordance with the Act and regulations.

The overall purpose of the Committee includes:

  • monitoring the operation of the Plan;
  • taking responsibility for the Plan’s administration;
  • ensuring that the Plan is in compliance with all applicable legislation; and
  • acting in an advisory capacity to the Board, making recommendations as required.

Elections

An election of an Active Representative is conducted every three years. The last election was held May 2020 and the next election is scheduled for May 2023. 

Pension Committee membership

The Committee is comprised of the following persons:

Elected members:

  1. One voting member to represent all active Plan members ("Active Voting Representative")
  2. The Board shall appoint:
    1. number of individuals equal to the total number of individuals elected or appointed as Active Voting Representatives;
    2. at least one additional individual, to be chosen at the Board's discretion; and
    3. those three individuals holding the offices of:
      1. Vice-President (Administration)
      2. Associate Vice-President, Human Resources; and
      3. Comptroller

all of whom shall be voting members of the Committee.

Pension Committee members

At December 31, 2020, the Pension Committee members were:

Naomi Andrew
Acting Vice-President (Administration)
General Counsel and Associate Vice-President (Fair Practices & Legal Affairs)
(Appointed by Position)

Carla Buchanan
Manager, Financial Reporting, Financial Services
(Appointed by the Board)

Dr. Aaron Chiu
Associate Dean
(Elected by active membership)

Darlene Smith (Secretary)
Associate Vice-President (Human Resources)
(Appointed by position)

Jeff Leclerc (Vice-Chair)
University Secretary
(Appointed by the Board)

Janice Martin (Chair)
Director, Audit Services
(Appointed by the Board)

Lance McKinley
Director, Treasury Services
(Appointed by the Board)

Dr. David Stangeland
Professor, Accounting and Finance
(Appointed by the Board)

Glossary of terms

Beneficiary

Beneficiary - is the person who will receive the survivor benefit of your pension benefit if you die.

Defined contribution

Defined contribution-  is a term used to describe a pension plan where Individual accounts are set up for participants and benefits are based on the amounts credited to these accounts plus any investment income on the money in the account.

Early retirement date

Early retirement date -  for purposes of the Plan is the first day of any month following your 55th birthday.

Employee contribution account

Employee contribution account -  consists of your required contributions, plus investment income.

Investment income

Investment income - includes interest payments and dividends, realized capital gains, realized capital losses, the change positive or negative in unrealized gains minus expenses.

Life income fund (LIF)

Life income fund (LIF) - is an alternative arrangement to a lifetime annuity from which an adjustable flow of retirement income is received, subject to an annual minimum and maximum.

Lifetime annuity

Lifetime annuity - provides you with a steady stream of income over your lifetime.  The amount of income is based on the amount invested, your current age, expected longevity and interest rates at the time you purchase the annuity.

Locked-in

Locked-in - means your pension benefit entitlement continues to be subject to pension legislation requirements for pension sharing, survivor and death benefits, and may only be used to provide retirement income (i.e., you cannot get a cash refund).

Locked-in retirement account (LIRA)

Locked-in retirement account (LIRA) - means an account with a financial institution, similar to a Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP), that is approved by the Pension Commission of Manitoba to receive locked-in pension funds.

Non-locked in

Non-locked in - means your pension benefit entitlement is not subject to any pension legislation requirements and you can receive your benefit as a lump-sum, taxable cash payment or as a transfer to your Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) on a tax-sheltered basis.

Normal retirement date

Normal retirement date - for the purposes of the Plan is the first of the month next following your 65th birthday.

Pension benefits act

Pension benefits act - means the Pension Benefits Act of the Province of Manitoba and includes the Regulations.

Pension fund

Pension fund -  is the fund established pursuant to the Plan and from which benefits to Members, Pensioners, beneficiaries and joint annuitants are provided.

Registered pension plan (RPP)

Registered pension plan (RPP) - an RPP is a pension plan that provides benefits for an employee upon retirement, death, or termination of employment. The University of Manitoba Pension Plan (1993) is registered with Canada Revenue Agency and the Manitoba Pension Commission and must comply with the provisions outlined in both the Manitoba Pension Benefits Act and the Canadian Income Tax Act.

Registered retirement savings plan (RRSP)

Registered retirement savings plan (RRSP) -  is an individual retirement savings plan that has been registered with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).  The CRA permits tax deductible contributions to an RRSP. Income earned in the plan is exempt from tax until money is withdrawn from the plan.  The CRA will advise you of your "available contribution room" that you can contribute to your RRSP when you receive your latest notice of assessment.

Spouse/common-law partner

Spouse/common-law partner - means the person you are married to and living with; the person you have registered a common-law relationship with under the Vital Statistics Act; or the person cohabitated with in a conjugal relationship for a period of at least three years, if either of you is married, or for a period of at least one year, if neither of you is married.

University contribution account

University contribution account - consists of the University contributions made on your behalf, plus investment income.

Year’s basic exemption (YBE)

Year’s basic exemption  (YBE) -  is fixed at $3,500.  It is the level of annual earnings below which contributions are not required by the Canada Pension Plan.

Year’s maximum pensionable earnings (YMPE)

Year’s maximum pensionable earnings (YMPE) - is a figure set by the Federal government each year to help determine Canada Pension Plan (CPP) contribution amounts.

This website is designed to provide information on the main features of the benefit programs. It is for information purposes only, and is not intended to provide you with specific financial, legal, investment, or tax advice. The actual benefit provisions are contained in the Master Contracts issued by the insurers to the University of Manitoba. The University of Manitoba retains the right to modify, reduce, or terminate benefits at any time. In the event of any variation or discrepancy, the contracts will prevail and not the information contained in this website.

Contact us

Pension Office
Room 180 Extended Education Complex
University of Manitoba (Fort Garry campus)
Winnipeg, MB R3T 2N2 Canada

204-474-6661
204-474-7640