Collecting your pension

Now is the time to enjoy your retirement


A pension paid for life

As a member of the CAAT Pension Plan, you have access to a secure and reliable stream of pension income for the rest of your life. 

Ontario Colleges – OPSEU 2023 Settlement

Are you collecting your pension and entitled to a retroactive pay increase because of the 2023 OPSEU and Ontario College mediated settlement?

Keeping in touch

Once you retire, let us know as soon as possible about any changes to your residence, marital status, beneficiary or bank account.

It’s never been easier to get your pension information

You can now see your pension information on My Pension, CAAT’s member portal. It’s easy to activate your account. Here are some great reasons to use My Pension:

  • It saves paper and time – when you activate your account, set your preferences to “online” to get your retired member annual statement online, sooner.
  • It’s flexible – use My Pension on your tablet or computer.
  • It’s informative – you can see your personal information, including your current pension amount, all in one place.
  • It’s built for you – My Pension provides you an easy and secure way to reach CAAT’s pension experts whenever you have a question.
  • It’s improving – we’re building new features into My Pension, just for retired members. Activate your account now so you can see the latest enhancements when they happen.

To get started you need your Member ID. You’ll find your Member ID on your annual statement and other correspondence. Be sure to take note of your Member ID and retain it for future reference.

Watch the video to learn more about activating your account on My Pension:

Collecting your pension

Less than 40% of Canada's working population is fortunate enough to belong to an employer-sponsored pension plan. As a retired member of the CAAT Plan you have access to a stable source of income from the time you retire until your death. It comes with annual increases to offset the inflation and includes survivor benefits to continue payments to your spouse when you die.

Payments made by direct deposit

Your monthly pension is paid by a convenient and secure direct deposit into your bank account on the first day of each month, for that month. If you retired before age 65 and are receiving a bridge benefit, the bridge benefit payment is included with your lifetime pension in one payment.

Your pension payments start in the month following your retirement, providing all of the necessary forms and documents are accurately completed and promptly submitted.

Income tax will be deducted from your monthly pension payment if it applies.

2024 Pension payment dates

Month 2024 Pension payment
January January 1*
February February 1
March March 1
April April 1
May May 1
June May 31
July June 28
August August 1
September August 30
October October 1
November November 1
December November 29

*CIBC Mellon, CAAT’s pension payroll agent, will deposit your pension payment on Monday, January 1, 2024. Note that some financial institutions may not reflect the deposit until the next business day.

Receiving your pension if you live abroad

Those of you who spend the winter months, or have retired permanently outside of Canada, will want to ensure the uninterrupted delivery of your monthly pension. Regardless of your country of residence, you should have no problems collecting your pension benefit.

If you're among the "snowbirds" who winter abroad, your pension payment will continue to be deposited into your Canadian bank account. Even if you relocate to another country permanently, you can benefit from the convenient direct deposit service to a Canadian bank - or you can choose to have your cheque in Canadian funds mailed to your foreign address.

It's worth noting that the income tax deducted from your employment and government pensions may be affected by your new country of residence. The Canada Revenue Agency offers a variety of information that you should investigate before you leave.

Receiving a DBprime bridge benefit

If you retired before the age of 65 and earned a benefit under DBprime, you receive an additional monthly payment called a bridge benefit along with your lifetime pension. The bridge benefit is paid from the date of your early retirement until you turn 65.

If you are receiving a bridge benefit, we’ll mail you a reminder before you turn 65 to let you know that your bridge benefit is about to end. Be sure to keep us up to date with any changes to your address.

Benefits earned under DBplus are not eligible for a bridge benefit.

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Retired member handbook

This handbook is your guide as you navigate retirement.

Other income sources in retirement

For the many Canadians who don’t have access to a defined benefit plan, retirement income is derived from their savings and government pensions. For you, the main sources of retirement income are your CAAT Plan pension, your government pensions (Canada Pension Plan and Old Age Security) and personal savings such as your RRSPs or service from other pension plans.

Total retirement income can include income from working, either full-time or part time. In the near future, you may also be able to work, and collect a pension from the same employer.

You may have already read about your lifetime pension from the CAAT Pension Plan. Read on to learn about your other sources of retirement income, including RRSPs and your personal savings.

Your government pensions

Canada's public pension programs are designed to provide basic retirement income to Canadians. Human Resources and Social Development Canada (HRSDC) is the federal agency that manages the federal retirement savings programs - the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) and Old Age Security (OAS) as well as the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) and the Allowance. Several provinces also offer Provincial Income Supplements. Ontario's program is the Guaranteed Annual Income System (GAINS).

Visit Retraite Quebec to apply for QPP.

Canada Pension Plan (CPP)

The CPP provides income to individuals who have worked in Canada after the age of 18. The benefit is based on the amount of time you have contributed and the amount of contributions you and your employers have made to the CPP throughout your career. The full benefit is available at the age of 65 but you can collect a reduced benefit as early as age 60. An increased benefit is also available for those who choose to start their CPP pension after the age of 65.

The CPP provides a Statement of Contributions which, much like your Member's Annual Pension Statement, indicates the amount of contributions you have made and the amount of pension you can expect to receive. You can request your Statement from CPP up to once a year and use it to help with your retirement planning.

Old Age Security (OAS)

The goal of Old Age Security is to provide a minimum income to Canadian citizens and legal residents aged 65 and older. OAS income is not dependent on your employment history and you do not have to be retired to begin collecting it. In fact, even if you have never worked in Canada, you can still receive OAS if you meet certain age and residency requirements. In general, the amount you receive is based on the length of time you have lived in Canada - the longer your residency, the larger the benefit.

If your income is above a certain amount, you may be required to repay some or all of the benefit you received.

Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS)

The GIS benefit provides income for individuals over the age of 65 who are receiving OAS and who have little or no income from other sources. The amount of the benefit is based on both your income and that of your spouse. You must apply for the GIS benefit in order to receive it and you must renew it each year.

The Allowance and the Survivor Allowance

The Allowance acknowledges the circumstances facing couples who rely on one pension when the working spouse retires. To receive the Allowance, you must be between the ages of 60 to 64, married or in a common-law relationship and your spouse must be eligible to collect both the OAS and GIS benefits. You must also be a Canadian citizen or legal resident and meet certain residency requirements. The amount of your benefit is based on the combined income of you and your spouse. To receive the Allowance you must apply for it and it must be renewed each year.

Government benefits - Spending time outside of Canada

Canada has entered into social security agreements with several countries, which may make it easier for you to collect government benefits. If you don't meet the CPP contribution or the OAS residency requirements here in Canada, time spent living and working in other countries may allow you to qualify. For example, if after the age of 18 you lived in the United States, you can count this period as residency in Canada. Any contributions to the US pension program will also count as contributions for the purposes of the CPP, thereby allowing you to qualify for Canadian benefits.

Many of the agreements work both ways. If you lived and worked in other countries but do not meet their eligibility requirements, periods of contributing to the CPP may be applied to their plans. Human Resources and Social Development Canada's website contains numerous fact sheets on the agreements Canada has with other countries such as the United States, Germany, Ireland and Barbados.

Many Provinces offer additional income programs for low-income seniors. For more information, check with your provincial Ministry of Finance website, or your financial advisor.

RRSP and personal savings

Your personal savings are an important third component of your total retirement income. As a Plan member, you can expect to receive your CAAT Plan pension as well as your government benefits when you retire. It's important, however, not to overlook the role your RRSPs and other savings vehicles will play in your total retirement income plan.

Your personal retirement savings plan can be seen as a two-step process. The first step is building up your personal savings - the investment decisions you make will ultimately determine how much income you will have when you retire. The second step involves paying yourself out of the funds you have accumulated.

Some RRSP income options

Once you retire, the emphasis shifts from funding your RRSP to managing the retirement income you have accumulated along with your government and CAAT Plan pensions. Those benefits, once you have applied for them, will provide a steady stream of income for the rest of your life. RRSPs offer a flexible way to meet your retirement income needs by allowing you to enhance your income when you need to.

Funds withdrawn from a non locked-in RRSP can be taken as cash (subject to income tax), used to buy an annuity, or transferred to a Registered Retirement Income Fund. Funds transferred out of a registered pension plan into a locked-in RRSP can only be used for retirement income in the form of an annuity, or a transfer to another locked-in vehicle. They cannot be taken as cash.

How you manage your retirement income will depend on your individual circumstances. As with all financial decisions, it's a good idea to research the available options and consult an independent investment advisor or financial planner for advice.

Income tax and your pension

Each month, income tax will be deducted from your pension payment.

Keep in mind

In February of each year, CIBC Mellon, our pension payroll agent, will send your T4A tax slip to you. It will indicate the total pension paid to you and the tax deducted from your pension during the year. These slips are required for completing your income tax return and filing it with the Canada Revenue Agency.

You may choose to increase the amount deducted from your pension, especially if you receive income from other sources, such as investment and employment earnings. To make this adjustment, contact CIBC Mellon to request Personal Tax Credits Return forms. These forms detail the types of claims and deductions for which you may be eligible. Once you have completed them and sent them back to us, we can adjust the amount of tax we withhold from your pension.

For more information on income tax, as it applies to your pension, scroll down to the "More about" section.

Member blog

Taxes and your pension

Understand your tax provisions as a retired member.

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What is Power of Attorney?

Power of Attorney is a legal document that gives the holder (referred to as the Attorney) the authority to act on your behalf in matters relating to your property or personal care.

You can name anyone as your Attorney, and you can have separate Powers of Attorney for property and for personal care.

For the CAAT Pension Plan, only the Power of Attorney for Property is relevant. The Plan does not need information about the Power of Attorney for Personal Care.

Please read the Q & A below to learn more, and if your question isn’t answered, be sure to contact us. Note that this information does not constitute legal advice, but is meant to explain the CAAT Pension Plan’s requirements as they relate to the specific section of the Pension Confirmation form.

More about Power of Attorney

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More about Income Tax

Click the title to read the article, or use the "Visit the support centre" button for more