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Pension Plan FAQs

The following are the most commonly asked questions by members regarding the Pension Plan. If you still have questions after reading this information, please consult the Pension Plan Booklet or contact the Plan Administrator

What is the objective of the Plan?
The Plan is designed to provide a monthly life income for Members who retire under the Plan after completing certain age and service requirements. Additionally, if a Member qualifies, a monthly income is payable if he becomes permanently and totally disabled before retirement.

Who is eligible for membership in the Plan?
Each person who is working under the terms of the Collective Agreement between an Employer and Heat and Frost Local Union 118 shall automatically participate in the Plan. An enrollment card must be completed by each employee and submitted to the Administrator.

What contributions are made to the Plan?
Each participating Employer will contribute based on an hourly rate at the amount stipulated in the Collective Agreement.

What is vesting?
Vesting means that you have a right to receive a pension benefit on retirement. Effective January 1, 1997, your Plan requires 2 years with at least 175 hours in each of these years before you become fully vested in the Plan accumulated to date.

When may I begin to receive a pension?
The following are possible dates when you can receive pension benefits.


The normal pension commencement date is the first day of the month on or after your 60th birthday.


If you have at least 10 years of Continuous Union Membership, and are age 50 or older, you may elect to receive pension benefits as of the first day of any month.


If you continue to work beyond your normal retirement date you may receive a pension on the first day of any month following your normal retirement date. You must, however, retire no later than the first day of the month following your 69th birthday.

Are benefits taxable?
All Plan benefits are included in your income for income tax purposes when they are paid (except for lump sums transferred directly to another registered pension plan or RRSP).

Are my Benefits portable?
If you terminate your membership in the Plan, if you are fully vested (i.e.., have more than 2 years of membership in the Plan) and under age 50, you can request that the Trustees transfer the value of your vested pension benefit to your locked-in RRSP or Life Income Fund (LIF), or to purchase an annuity.

A Locked-In RRSP or LIF is a special plan that does not allow you to receive the money in a lump sum payment. It must be used to provide you with pension income upon retirement. Under BC pension legislation, transfer amounts that qualify as a small pension do not have to be locked-in. The value of your pension benefit is not the same as the total contributions made on your behalf.

What happens to my benefits if my marriage breaks down?
In the event of marriage breakdown, the B.C. Family Relations Act provides for more flexibility as the Member’s pension becomes part of the family assets to be shared between the parties.