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About The Plan & How to Join

About The Plan & How to Join

If you are considering joining a pension plan to assist with your employees’ retirement, we commend you for that decision. We trust our Plan will provide you with a worthwhile option to consider.

Nature of the Plan

The Plan is a Registered Pension Plan (RPP), registered with applicable government bodies. It is designed to provide a tax-sheltered means to accumulate contributions and earnings to produce retirement income. Unlike a Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP), which allows taxable withdrawals anytime, an RPP requires funds be held until retirement. Retirement payments can begin as early as age 55, but must start no later than the end-of- the-year in which the Member turns age 71. Limited early access to the account is allowed in specific circumstances (e.g. due to death, or serious illness leading to death).

Employees enrolled in the Plan are its Members. If a Member leaves the employ of a participating Employer, the Member may:

  • Retain their account in the Plan (though no further contributions are allowed), or,
  • Transfer their funds to a locked-in retirement savings account elsewhere (e.g. with a new employer).

Eligibility

The Plan is governed by a Plan Text, developed to be compliant with pension legislation. You will find specific details on eligibility in Section 3, on page 7 of the Plan Text .

How the Member’s Account is Funded

The Plan is a Defined Contribution RPP (sometimes also called a “money purchase” plan). The type and amount of contributions made into the Member’s account are defined.

Contributions

The 3 types of contributions are:

  • Employee:
    • Employee contributions are not required, but the employer can decide to make them a requirement. An Employee rate must then be set out in the Participation Agreement as well. The Trustees overseeing the Plan strongly encourage Employee contributions, to provide both a disciplined savings method for retirement, and, to accumulate sufficient contributions and earnings that will produce helpful retirement income.
  • Employer:
    • Employer contribution amounts are set out in a contract between your ministry and the Plan called a Participation Agreement. Though a Participation Agreement can be amended, the Plan Text requires a minimum 5% Employer rate at all times. Once the Participation Agreement is signed, the employer becomes a Participating Employer in the Plan.

      An Employer RPP contribution has special status in the Income Tax Act that exempts it from statutory deductions (CPP, EI and Income Tax).
  • Voluntary (by the Member):
    • Voluntary contributions are exactly as they sound – at the discretion of the Member.

Employee and Voluntary contributions are made from the Member’s income after CPP contributions and EI premiums have been applied, but, are exempt from income tax at source, since they are sent by the employer into an RPP account.

The total of Employer, Employee and Voluntary contributions cannot, by law, exceed the lesser of 18% of the Members earnings or the maximum dollar amount set by CRA annually.

A Member’s retirement income will depend upon the amount of accumulated contributions and earnings put into the account, and the nature of the payout mechanism the Member chooses. The Plan provides professional counseling to Members nearing retirement, via the Ready to Retire program from the Plan’s consultant: Proteus Performance Management (Proteus).

The CCCC Bulletin Article: Helping Employees Prepare for Retirement may provide further helpful details.

Plan Administration and Costs

The plan is registered with the Financial Services Commission of Ontario, Canada Revenue Agency, and all provincial jurisdictions in Canada.

CCCC is the Plan Sponsor, having set up the plan in 1982, and retains the on-going responsibility for ensuring the plan meets legislative requirements and operates properly.

The CCCC Board assigns Trustees to provide overall oversight of the plan. The Trustees main duties are to see government regulations are met and prudent, well-researched investments are offered to the plan Members to select from.

The Trustees hire and assign the plan’s administrative team. The team is made up of:

  • Three CCCC employees assigned to various administrative functions, the plan’s internet’s presence and to provide audited financial reporting.
  • Great West Life’s Group Retirement Services division for direct support of plan Members, their personal accounts and to provide educational services.
  • Proteus Performance Management, which provides both professional advice and guidance to the Trustees, and personalized services for Members approaching retirement.

CCCC and the plan’s administrative team serve the Participating Employers and their employees, as plan Members.


Pension Diagram

To become a Participating Employer in the Plan, the employer must be a CCCC Member.

There is an employer-paid, one-time enrollment administrative fee of $150.

All other administrative costs are taken from earnings of the Members’ investments in their account. Currently, the level of administrative costs is approximately 100 basis points (i.e. just under 1%).

Investment Options

The following choices of investments are available to plan members:

  • Bond Fund – MFS Fixed Income
  • Balanced Funds – JF Balanced and SRI Balanced
  • Canadian Equity Funds – JF Canadian Equity and GWL Ethics
  • U.S. Equity Fund – MFS American Equity
  • International Equity Fund – Sprucegrove International Equity

Once a member joins the plan they will have access to a simple questionnaire that will help them determine what type of investment mix is best for them.

The Plan receives Quarterly Performance Reports from its consultant, Proteus Performance Management, regarding the investment choices available in the Plan. The performance of the funds is compared to benchmarks for that investment class in order to ensure that the investment options are performing as set out in the Statement of Investment Policies & Procedures.

 

The Trustees have engaged the services of KPMG to conduct the annual audit and express an opinion on the financial statements of the CCCC Employee Pension Plan. Recent financial statements for the Plan are provided below for your information.

Want to Join?

If your ministry is ready to join, please contact us today!

If you would like to ask more questions, please email pension@cccc.org, or call 519-669-5137 to speak with Curtis Towns, who will be glad to assist.

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