Stay informed about your pension during disability leave
If, during your membership in the Plan, you stop working due to a disability leave, the CAAT Pension Plan has options that may enable you to continue to earn a pension.
This information applies to you if you are on a leave from employment with a CAAT Plan employer due to a disability and you are receiving regular and periodic disability benefits under your employer’s insurance plan (e.g. Long-Term Disability) or the workers’ compensation plan of your jurisdiction of employment, or, if you are a DBprime member and are eligible for an independent review of your disability claim by the CAAT Plan.
During your disability period, you will continue to receive Annual Pension Statements. Additionally, if you continue to earn CAAT Plan benefits while away from work due to disability, each year you will also receive T4A slips from the CAAT Pension Plan that you will use to file your annual income tax return.
It is important to remain in contact with your employer and the CAAT Pension Plan during your disability period, even if there is a chance you will not return to work. If your marital status changes or you would like to update your beneficiary information, please contact the CAAT Pension Plan as you will need to complete a Member Change of Information form. If you move, make sure to provide your employer with your new address.
During a period of leave where you qualify as disabled under the CAAT Plan Text, you are entitled to continue to earn a pension as a member of the Plan, whether you are participating in DBprime or in DBplus. Read on for details about your options:
You will continue to earn a pension in DBprime while you are unable to work, provided you qualify as disabled under the CAAT Plan Text.
During your period of disability, you stop contributing to the CAAT Pension Plan and your employer also stops contributing to the Plan on your behalf. During this period, you continue to earn pensionable service.
Your pension will continue to accrue at a tiered rate of 1.3% and 2% for the duration of the disability period. (1.3% on earnings below the Year’s Maximum Pensionable Earnings (YMPE) and 2% on earnings above the YMPE.) Deemed earnings are used for the purposes of determining the pension you accrue during the disability period and are based on the salary you were receiving from your employer right before you started collecting your disability benefits, adjusted from time to time.
At retirement, your pension will be calculated using your Highest Average Pensionable Earnings, which will be the five consecutive years your earnings were the highest (including years of deemed earnings).
If you are receiving regular and periodic disability benefits under your employer’s insurance plan (e.g. Long-Term Disability) or the workers’ compensation plan of your jurisdiction of employment, your pension accrual is automatic: you don’t have to do anything. Your employer will work with you to ensure you have the information you need and notify the Plan if your situation changes. For all other DBprime members who are on leave due to disability, contact the CAAT Plan to see if you are eligible for an independent review of your disability claim by the CAAT Plan.
You have the option to make contributions during the period you are receiving regular and periodic disability benefits.
If you choose to contribute, your employer will also make contributions on your behalf, at the applicable rate.
Your contributions will be based on the actual disability income you receive from a qualifying insurance provider. The income you receive must be regular and periodic; it cannot be paid to you in a lump sum. Your pension will continue to grow as if you were working based on the contributions from you and your employer, the annual pension factor, plus increases based on the Average Industrial Wage – a measure of wage inflation in Canada – when granted.
The decision to make contributions for the disability leave period is a one-time decision:
Your employer will work with you to ensure you have the information you need to make a decision about continuing to contribute to the Plan during the period you are receiving regular and periodic disability benefits. Once you have made the decision to contribute or not, your employer will submit your election form to the Plan on your behalf.
Your employer will notify the Plan when your period of disability is over. Your workplace disability benefits are considered to have ended for the purposes of the Plan when you:
If you return to paid employment, in the same role or a different role, you will no longer be considered disabled. You and your employer will resume contributing to the Plan based on your actual earnings. You will no longer be considered disabled once you start receiving compensation for employment. The one exception is if the employment is part of an approved rehabilitation program that supports a return to work.
If you stop receiving regular and periodic disability benefits and do not return to work with your employer or if you accept a lump sum settlement from the insurance provider and you have not reached age 65 (called Normal Retirement Age), you will be considered to have terminated your employment. At that point, you begin the 24-month extension of membership period.
If your employment is terminated by your employer while you are accruing a pension benefit under a disability provision of the CAAT Pension Plan, you will remain a member of the Plan and continue to earn a pension as if you were still employed, as long as you continue to receive workplace disability benefits that are regular and periodic. If you stop receiving these benefits and you are under age 65 (your Normal Retirement Age), you stop earning a pension and start the 24-month extension of membership period from the date your benefits end.
The CAAT Pension Plan may contact you periodically under this scenario to confirm your workplace disability benefits are continuing.
If your disability continues until you reach age 65 (your normal retirement age), you must start your pension on that date.
When you become eligible for an early retirement pension, you can choose to begin collecting the benefit you earned in the CAAT Pension Plan.You may want to speak to your employer’s human resources representative to help you understand what the impact would be on your disability benefits if you start to collect your pension before age 65.
If you die while accruing a pension in the CAAT Pension Plan and receiving disability benefits, you are considered to have died as an active Plan member and your surviving spouse or beneficiaries will be eligible to receive the applicable death benefit.
Each jurisdiction in Canada has some form of workers' compensation plan to provide benefits such as a “full loss of earnings benefit” to support workers who have lost income due to a work-related injury or illness.
LTD benefits offered by group insurance plans are meant to provide you with income following an illness or accident that renders you unable to work. You normally qualify for LTD benefits if you are employed and covered by an LTD plan. Your benefit and coverage are dependent on the provisions of your insurance carrier and the terms of your plan.
Disability income may come from one or several sources depending on your individual circumstance. Veteran's Affairs Canada, Employment Insurance and the Canada Pension Plan all provide some form of disability or sickness benefit based on eligibility. These benefits, however, have no impact on your CAAT Pension Plan benefits.
For more details, contact your employer’s Human Resources representative.
Download to learn about disability benefits and your DBplus pension.
Download to learn about disability benefits and your DBprime pension.
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A detailed legal description of the provisions of the Plan can be found in the
which can be accessed at your employer’s Human Resources department or downloaded from our website.
Should the information on this website or any other source differ from the Plan Text, the Plan Text will govern.