Retired Member Newsletter

The social value of your pension

As a retired member of the CAAT Pension Plan, you can take pride in the social value your pension provides. It’s an investment in the well-being and longevity of Canadians.

A study conducted by the Canadian Centre for Economic Analysis (CANCEA) found that every $10 that a pensioner receives generates $16.72 in economic activity for the country, driving $82 billion in national GDP. That is slightly higher than the GDP of Saskatchewan, or Nova Scotia and Newfoundland combined.

In rural and urban communities across Canada, pension spending supports 877,100 local jobs, and 55,500 mostly small businesses and businesses that employ young workers, a workforce demographic that is vital as the country recovers from the pandemic. In 2019, spending from pensions contributed $21 billion in government revenue, which can then be spent to support government services aimed at improving quality of life for Canadians.

Other studies conducted by CANCEA in Ontario found that people with pensions are more active in their communities, more prone to charitable giving, and enjoy higher satisfaction with their health. In fact, the study found that 90% of retired people with a defined benefit pension attribute higher life satisfaction to being part of a pension plan.

Why does the social value of pensions matter now? Because, amid headlining market volatility and inflation, pensions improve security for retirees and generate social and economic good for all Canadians.

At CAAT, and throughout the pension industry, the commitment to look after our larger responsibilities falls under Responsible or Sustainable Investing initiatives, which outline the integration of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) factors into investment decision making.

The social or ‘S’ pillar refers to the social value that a company’s products and services provide and the effects of its behaviour concerning social issues. The concept is built on the truth that a business can make a wider contribution to society through its products, the benefits it provides its members, and its actions in local communities.

By design, pensions reflect a responsible, long-term investment in the well-being and financial security of members and can be considered one of the key drivers of the ‘S’ pillar.
I and the CAAT team have long said that sustainable pensions and the lifetime retirement income they provide improve the quality of life for retirees, employees, and their families and networks.

All of Canadian society is a beneficiary of a widely accessible pension system, within which CAAT is proud to be a provider. We believe that sharing the direct economic benefits and indirect social benefits of pensions improve the lives of all Canadians and invite you to visit our website to learn more.

Most sincerely,
Derek W. Dobson,
Chief Executive Officer and Plan Manager

Changes to the Board of Trustees and Sponsors’ Committee

Members and employers share equally in making decisions that affect your pension through representatives on the Plan’s governing bodies - the Sponsors’ Committee and the Board of Trustees. We welcomed the following new representatives this year.

Glenn Vollebregt joined the Board of Trustees in January 2022 as an Employer-appointed trustee. Mr. Vollebregt is the President and CEO of St. Lawrence College.

Donald Wright joined the Board of Trustees in January 2022 as an Employee-appointed trustee. Before retiring, Mr. Wright was a General Accountant at George Brown College and previously served on the CAAT Pension Board of Trustees from 2000 to 2018.

Jonathan Lake joined the Board of Trustees in May 2022 as an Employee-appointed trustee. Mr. Lake is a business professor at Loyalist College and an executive member of OPSEU Local 420.

Janet Morrison joined the Sponsors’ Committee in January 2022 as an Employer-appointed member. Dr. Morrison is President and Vice Chancellor of Sheridan College.

CAAT’s joint governance structure continues to be recognized as a model for success in keeping defined benefit pension plans sustainable. To learn more, visit Joint governance.

What happens if I have a new spouse in retirement?

Your pension from the CAAT Plan includes a lifetime survivor pension for your eligible spouse* after you die. This is the case if you had an eligible spouse when you retired or, provided you earned your pension with the CAAT Plan, it can also apply if you have a new spouse during your retirement.

You may be aware that if you had an eligible spouse when you retired, they are entitled to a survivor benefit of 60% or 75% of your lifetime pension when you die, depending on which option you chose when you retired. It’s important to note that the 75% survivor pension is only an option at retirement, and only applies to the eligible spouse at retirement.

But did you know that if you have a new spouse in retirement and you either didn’t have a spouse when you retired or your spouse at retirement is no longer eligible, your new spouse may receive a survivor benefit when you die?

If you didn’t have an eligible spouse when you retired but you have a spouse when you die, your spouse will be eligible for a survivor pension of 60% of your lifetime pension.

If you had a spouse at retirement and you have a different spouse when you die, your spouse at the time of your death may be eligible for a survivor pension of 60% of your lifetime pension. This situation occurs if the spouse you had at retirement died, or your previous eligible spouse waived the survivor pension in accordance with pension legislation.

Make sure you notify CAAT if your marital status changes in retirement.

*You can find the definition of spouse that applies to your province on the Member Resources page of our website under Jurisdictional Differences. For more details on when a spouse becomes an eligible spouse for survivor benefits, visit the Member Resources page of our website under Survivor Benefits.

Join us - Become a Plan Ambassador

Plan Ambassadors is a new initiative from CAAT to help spread the message that every Canadian deserves retirement security. For the longest time, defined benefit pensions have been out of reach to many Canadians, leaving them unsure about regular income in retirement. Now, that can all change. CAAT is expanding pension coverage across Canada, and we need your help getting the word out.

Join as a Plan Ambassador today and help spread the message that pensions are for everyone.

CAAT’s Member Blog - Planner

Check out CAAT's member blog, Planner, where you'll find helpful material and resources that relate to important chapters of your life beyond your pension. From heartwarming CAAT community stories to informative topics on your personal financial literacy, enjoy a variety of helpful and enlightening reads, right on the Members section of our website.

Follow us on Facebook

Stay in the loop about how CAAT is contributing to a better financial future for all our members. Search for CAAT Pension Plan on Facebook or find the Facebook logo on our website.

New Season of Contributors Podcast

Season two of the award-winning Contributors podcast is here and features a whole new roster of Canadian leaders who are sharing their inspiring stories. As change movers, they focus on more than just the bottom line and inspire us to reach further and think bigger. Host Russell Evans goes beyond the headlines to learn who his guests are personally, while gathering insights into their leadership styles, and uncovering new ideas that shape Canada’s future. The episodes also share tangible takeaways for employers, employees, and Canadians like you. Join us as we learn from leaders like John Ferguson at Purolator, Anthony Viel at Deloitte and Christine Bergeron at Vancity.

Subscribe to Contributors and stream the episodes on your favourite platform. To learn more, visit the Contributors section of our website.