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Your Questions Answered

General

A: The Toronto Electrical Industry Benefit Administration Services Limited (TEIBAS Ltd.) was founded in 1990 to administer the pension and benefit plans, and provide services to you, the members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 353. We are owned by the IBEW Local 353 Trust Funds. We’re a small organization with a dedicated and passionate team of benefit professionals that strives for excellence in delivering the best member experience possible. If you have questions about your pension or benefit plans, we’re here to help!

A: You can contact us either by email at members@teibas.com or calling us at 416-637-6789 (toll-free at 1-800-267-0602). Our hours of operation are Monday to Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Benefits

A: Coverage begins on the first day of the second month after you have earned 450 benefit contribution hours. You must earn these 450 hours within a period of no more than six consecutive months. This six-month period is extended to make up for time you may spend in trade school. Once you qualify for benefits, TEIBAS will notify you.

A: Canada Life adjudicates claims under the IBEW Local 353 Benefit Plan; however, almost all benefits, including health, dental, short-term disability and the first 10 years of long-term disability payments, are self-insured. Self-insured means eligible claims are paid directly from the plan, and not the insurance company. Active members are the ones picking up the tab.

A: If you don’t have an account yet, register here at https://my.canadalife.com/register.  Once you’ve done that, you can download the Canada Life App on your smart phone through the app store on your iPhone or Android. The app allows you to submit claims, find a provider, view your benefit balances and more, all on your phone. And it’s very simple and straightforward to use!

If you already have a GroupNet, GRS Access, or My Canada Life at Work account, you don’t need to register. You can just use your existing sign-in info to sign into the app.

A: Your claims must be submitted to Canada Life no later than one year from the date you incurred the expense, or else it maybe declined.

A: There are a variety of ways! Log into myteibas.com and review the IBEW Local 353 Benefit Plan booklet posted under myBenefits.

You also have a dedicated toll-free line at Canada Life for your questions. Dial 1-844-232-4239. Online benefit coverage details and eligibility are also available by logging into your Canada Life Groupnet Profile at: https://my.canadalife.com/sign-in.

Still have a question? Contact us by email at members@teibas.com or call us at 416-637-6789 (toll-free 1-800-267-0602).

A: Reasonable and customary refers to the maximum allowable amount that an insurance company will reimburse for a particular service or item. This amount reflects the typical cost associated with this service or product in a specific geographical region. Canada Life will pay up to the reasonable and customary charge for services and supplies, like registered massage therapy, chiropractor, dental procedures, prescription drugs, etc. Check with Canada Life to confirm these amounts before receiving treatment to avoid out of pocket expenses.

A: Contact Canada Life at 1-844-232-4239 and provide the Drug Identification Number. You can also check drug coverage online in GroupNet for members. Simply log into your account, click on “Coverage and Balances”, select “Drug Benefits”, then select “Drug Search” and follow the instructions.

If the drug requires pre-approval please visit the following link https://www.facetprogram.ca/en/.

A: Visit myteibas.com to print and complete a Change/Update Information Form and submit it along with proof of your marriage (i.e. Marriage certificate) or common-law relationship (e.g. utility bill, lease agreement etc.). If you don’t have a marriage certificate or proof of common-law relationship you will need to print and complete the Declaration of Martial Status Form available at myteibas.com. You will need to have the form notarized by a Commissioner of Oaths.

You can email or mail your completed forms and required documents directly to TEIBAS at 110 Sheppard Avenue E., Suite 705, Toronto, ON, M2N 6Y8.

A: Visit myteibas.com, print and complete a Change/Update Information Form then submit it along with acceptable proof such as a birth certificate or record of adoption. See the form for details.

You can email or mail your completed forms and required documents directly to TEIBAS at 110 Sheppard Avenue E., Suite 705, Toronto, ON, M2N 6Y8.

A: It depends. Dependents who are age 21 and under age 25 may qualify for coverage if studying full-time at an accredited post-secondary institution as defined by the Trustees. To apply for or continue coverage for your eligible dependents who are full-time students, complete the Declaration of Attendance form on myteibas.com or provide TEIBAS with official proof of enrolment from the post-secondary institution. Proof of student status needs to be submitted at the beginning of each semester or school year for the overage child to remain covered under the plan. If proof isn’t provided, coverage will end for the overage child.

You can email or mail your completed forms and required documents directly to TEIBAS at 110 Sheppard Avenue E., Suite 705, Toronto, ON, M2N 6Y8.

A: Log into myteibas.com to review your named beneficiaries under myProfile. If you’d like to make changes, fillable beneficiary change forms are available by clicking here, or on myteibas.com. Complete, sign, and send the form to TEIBAS by email at members@teibas.com or return by regular mail. You can also drop it off at an IBEW Local 353 office for forwarding to TEIBAS.

A: Please call Canada Life at 1-844-232-4239 or check your current balance and next eligibility date on your mycanadalifeatwork profile in Canada Life’s GroupNet before incurring expenses.

A: When submitting a claim for custom made orthotics or orthopedic shoes, you must submit the following to Canada Life:

Claims for custom-made orthotics:

Along with a completed claim form, the claim or treatment plan submission requirements for custom-made orthotics must include the following information:

  • A prescription from a physician, orthopedic surgeon, podiatrist, chiropodist, or chiropractor indicating the medical condition for which orthotics are being prescribed.
  • A detailed description of the type of orthotics provided.
  • The date the orthotics were dispensed.
  • A dated Biomechanical Assessment/Exam including a gait analysis, objective observations and measurements, as well as the provider’s summary and recommended treatment.
  • Details of the casting technique used to make the orthotics including the specific method used to capture the 3D contour of your feet. If a manual casting technique is used, your provider must describe it appropriately (e.g., plaster cast, foam impression, etc.). If a digital casting technique is used, your provider must indicate the type of image taken and the name of the technology or system used to take the image.
  • An invoice which includes the name, address, and phone number of the clinic or provider, along with a list of all charges.

Claims for orthopedic shoes:

Along with a completed claim form, the claim or treatment plan submission requirements for custom made orthopedic shoes, off-the-shelf orthopedic shoes, and/or modified off-the-shelf orthopedic shoes must include the following information:

  • A prescription from a physician, orthopedic surgeon, podiatrist, chiropodist, or chiropractor indicating the medical condition for which orthopedic shoes are being prescribed.

Claims for custom-made orthopedic shoes must be submitted with a lab bill which includes:

  • Details of the casting technique used to acquire an anatomical model of the patient’s foot.
  • Details of the fabrication process and materials used to make the shoes.
  • An invoice which includes the name, address, and phone number of the dispensing clinic or provider, along with a list of all charges.

Claims for off-the-shelf orthopedic shoes and modified off-the-shelf orthopedic shoes must include:

  • The brand name and model of the shoes.
  • A name of each modification made to the shoes (if applicable).
  • A breakdown of the cost of the shoes and each modification (if applicable).
  • The date the orthopedic shoes were dispensed to the patient.

Missing information or documents will result in a delay to the processing of your claims. It is recommended that members submit a predetermination to Canada Life to confirm whether your claim meets eligibility requirements.

Benefits at Retirement

A: If you are a working member and in the IBEW Local 353 Benefit Plan at the time you begin collecting your monthly IBEW Local 353 pension, you are placed in retiree benefits.

To maintain your retiree benefit coverage you must:

  • have enough banked hours to cover you each month, or
  • continue to work, or
  • be on the out-of-work list, or
  • self-pay, or
  • qualify for “fully retired” benefits.

“Fully retired members” are currently covered for benefits under the retiree plan at no cost.

Fully retired” means that all of the following apply:

  • you are 62 or older, or you are totally disabled and receiving a Canada Pension Plan or Quebec Pension Plan (CPP/ QPP) disability pension, and
  • you receive a benefit from the IBEW International benefit fund, and
  • you receive your IBEW Local 353 pension or upon retirement received a small lump sum payment, and
  • you were covered under the IBEW Local 353 Benefit Plan at the time you retired, and
  • you were covered under this plan for at least 36 of the 60 months immediately before you retired or have 39,000 hours of contributory service in the benefit plan.

If you retire under the earliest unreduced retirement age of 61, you won’t qualify for “fully retired” benefits until at least age 62 (the earliest date you can start your IBEW International pension). Currently, you would need one year’s worth of banked hours (1,620) to carry you to age 62 from age 61.

A: Retiree benefits last for the length of your retirement; however, the Trustees reserve the right to change the plan’s terms, benefit offerings, or terminate any/all benefits at any time.

To learn more about your retiree benefit eligibility, we encourage you to sign-up for a TEIBAS Pre-Retirement Seminar (visit teibas.com for upcoming seminar dates), email us at members@teibas.com, or call us at 416-637-6789 (toll-free 1-800-267-0602).

Disability

A: If you are ill or injured and unable to work make sure you contact the IBEW Local 353 Union Hall at 416-510-3530 and ask for the Disability Application Form. Remember, to receive disability benefits you must follow these steps:

1. See a medical doctor!

  • To qualify for disability benefits under the IBEW Local 353 Benefit Plan, you must see a doctor or chiropractor. Don’t delay. You must see a doctor or chiropractor within the first day for an accident, or not later than the eighth day for illness or injury. If you do not see a doctor within these time periods, your first day will be counted from the date of the doctor’s visit, meaning you may lose some benefits you otherwise would have been entitled to. If you are being treated by a chiropractor instead of a medical doctor, benefits can only be paid for a maximum of four weeks.

2. Contact the IBEW Local 353 Union Hall at 416-510-3530

  • Tell the IBEW Local 353 Union Hall as soon as possible that you’re sick or injured. Even if you don’t have all the information you need to complete an application, alerting the union will help get things rolling. They will be able to provide you with the forms to complete, and also provide Canada Life with some of the information they need to open your claim. This will help ensure disability payments start as soon as possible if you’re eligible.

3. Apply for benefits

  • To be eligible for disability benefits, you must be unable to work at your job due to illness or injury and must have worked within 91 days of your disability and have earned at least 100 bank hours in the 180 days just for the day your disability began. Ask the IBEW Local 353 Union Hall for a disability claim form. All completed forms and required documents are to be returned to the IBEW Local 353 Union Hall.

A: To be eligible for disability benefits, you must have:

  • worked within 91 days of the disability, and
  • must have earned at least 100 bank hours in the 180 days just before the day your disability began (including periods between different disabilities), and
  • meet the definition of disability.

Disability benefits provide eligible members of IBEW Local 353 with partial income replacement while they are recovering from an injury or illness and are unable to work.

If approved, short-term disability (STD) benefits are equal to 75% of your weekly earnings, to a maximum of $750 per week (less applicable taxes), payable for up to 26 weeks. STD benefits are paid on a weekly basis.

To learn more about your disability coverage read this helpful guide here, or review your Benefit Plan booklet on myteibas.com for more information.

Reminder: After seeking medical treatment for your injury or illness, contact the union right away at 416-510-3530. The staff at the hall will help you with the application process. They will confirm your eligibility based on your work history and provide you with the forms for you and your doctor to complete.

A: If approved, disability benefits are payable so long as you continue to meet the definition of totally disabled, up until age 62. You are considered totally disabled if you have an illness or injury that prevents you from performing the essential duties of your own job during the first 26 weeks (STD period) and the next 24 months (LTD own occupation period). After that, you are considered totally disabled only if, due to illness or injury, you are unable to perform the duties of any occupation for which you are, or may reasonably become, qualified for by your education, training, and experience.

Reminder: If you’re receiving disability payments from Canada Life and later receive payments from WSIB for the same period, there may be tax implications due to an overpayment of benefits from your disability claim. You will also have to pay back Canada Life for any overpayments. Canada Life will work with you on a repayment plan for any overpayments if you can’t make a lump sum payment.

A: Injuries suffered in a motor vehicle accident are covered by your motor vehicle insurance company, not the IBEW Local 353 Benefit Plan.  If you’re involved in an MVA, please contact the Union Hall and TEIBAS for more information about maintaining your IBEW Local 353 pension and benefits.

Hour Bank

A: “Bank hours” are hours that you earn and for which your employers make a contribution to the benefit plan on your behalf. Your hours are stored (banked) for future use when you work more hours than are required for your monthly benefit coverage.

A: Log into myteibas.com to review your hour bank balance under the myProfile tab, or by reviewing your quarterly contribution statements.

Group RRSP

A: The IBEW Local 353 Group RRSP is a retirement savings plan funded through employers who are required to provide RRSP contributions under the collective agreement. These funds are then used for retirement. For members whose employer is required to contribute, every hour you work your employer will contribute the required percentage of your wages to the IBEW Local 353 Group RRSP.

The plan is administered by Canada Life and is self-directed which means you pick which investments you want to direct your money to. Canada Life is available to assist members in understanding their choices and answer any questions they have. They will also send out the RRSP contribution receipt every year which you file with your income tax return to reduce the amount of tax payable.

A: For questions related to your self-directed Group RRSP, visit https://my.canadalife.com/sign-in or contact Canada Life Group Retirement Services (GRS) at 1-800-724-3402 and quote policy #GE11257.

A: Contributions are tax deductible, and any income or capital gains you earn on your investment within your RRSP account are tax deferred. This means you only pay taxes on your investment gains or income when you withdraw money from your RRSP. When you do this in retirement, you are often paying a lower tax rate than when you are working as your income is normally lower.

In addition to your RRSP helping you save for your retirement, you can borrow from your RRSP, tax free, to help purchase your first home (Home Buyers Plan), or to pay for education costs for you and/or your spouse (Lifelong Learning Plan).

Your IBEW Local 353 Group RRSP is contributed to by your employer under the terms of your collective agreement, and is a form of automatic savings, which overtime can grow to a substantial amount. Unlike your IBEW Local 353 Pension Plan, you can withdraw money from your RRSP at any time for any reason (unless your funds are in a locked-in plan), but there may be withholding tax payable depending on the amount withdrawn. Once you withdraw RRSP funds the RRSP room is gone, and the amount can’t be re-contributed later, except if the withdrawal was for an approved program.

A: Quarterly Contribution Statements reflect the hours you have earned  and the contributions paid on your behalf by your employer to various IBEW Local 353 Trust Funds such as the pension and benefit plans and Group RRSP. It’s important for you to review and verify information on your contribution statement  to make sure your employer has paid correctly. Your future pension benefits are tied to the amounts reflected on this statement. Quarterly statements are mailed to members, and are also available by logging into myteibas.com.

Pension

A: When to retire and stop working is a personal decision and is different for everyone. You can retire as early as age 55 but a reduction of 6% will be made to your pension for each year you are under the age of 65. If you’re eligible you can begin collecting an unreduced monthly pension as early as age 61, or you can defer it as late as age 71. If you delay taking your pension past age 65, your pension payment will be increased by 5% for each year of delay to account for the pension you were eligible to receive at age 65.

Remember, when you start collecting your IBEW Local 353 pension you can continue to work, but your pension will not increase. Any pension contributions made by employers will be directed to your health and welfare hours bank. Log into myteibas.com to review your pension plan booklet to learn more about what options are available to you.

We encourage you to sign-up for a Pre-Retirement Seminar (visit teibas.com for upcoming seminar dates), or email us at members@teibas.com or call us at 416-637-6789 (toll-free 1-800-267-0602).

A: No. You have to  contact TEIBAS at 416-637-6789 (toll free 1-800-267-0602) and request your Pension Option Package three months prior to your retirement date. Sign up for one of our personalized one-on-on retirement sessions or attend a pre-retirement seminar to learn more about your pension in retirement.

A: You can (and should) review your contribution statements (mailed every quarter) against your paystubs and confirm your hours worked and employer contributions made are accurate. This is an important issue to make sure you’re being compensated correctly based on your hours worked and earned. You can also find your contribution statements on myteibas.com.

A: Set up a personal one-on-one review of your retirement options with TEIBAS and request your personalized Pension Retirement Option Package today. We also recommend seeking independent financial advice as part of your retirement planning. TEIBAS can provide information, but not advice. A retirement plan is a roadmap for savings and it’s important.

Your pension plan is just one part of “three pillars” of retirement income in Canada. Here are all three pillars:

  1. Government-administered retirement income (Canadian Pension Plan, Old Age Security, Guaranteed Income Supplement)
  2. Employment-based retirement income (e.g., IBEW Local 353 Pension Plan and your Canada Life Group RRSP), and
  3. Personal retirement savings plans (like your individual RRSP, personal savings, real estate, etc.).

To learn more about your pension options at retirement we encourage you to sign-up for a Pre-Retirement Seminar (visit teibas.com for upcoming seminar dates) or email us at members@teibas.com, or call us at 416-637-6789 (toll-free 1-800-267-0602).

A: To calculate your estimated monthly pension visit myteibas.com and use the pension estimator.

The pension estimator takes in three important pieces of data:

  1. All previous years’ actual pension earned, and
  2. The current year’s pension earned for months we have received remittances for, and
  3. Projected future months earned pension, assuming 150 hours worked each month (unless you change the default) at the last wage rate, classification, and agreement you worked under.

Note: The estimate of pension benefits is based on the information we have on file for members and is an estimate only. The estimate is based on the normal form of pension which is a 10-year guaranteed pension. A member’s pension will be a different amount if they select a different option other than the normal form of pension. E.g., Life Only, Joint and Survivor 60%, etc., or if they retire at a different age, or work at different levels than used in the projection.

A: Your IBEW Local 353 Pension Plan statements are mailed out in early June and are available by logging into your personal profile at myteibas.com under myDocuments. Keep TEIBAS up-to-date and make sure your correct contact information and beneficiaries are on file with us.

A: To qualify for the IO Pension, an “A” IBEW member must be age 65 with at least 5 years of continuous membership in good standing immediately preceding retirement. The monthly pension is calculated at $4.50 ($5.50 starting January 1, 2023) for each full year of “A” membership in good standing.

To retire early, an “A” member between the ages of 62 and 65 must have at least 20 years of continuous membership in good standing immediately preceding retirement. The pension of a member who retires early will be reduced by 6.667% for every year the member is below the age of 65.

The IO Pension isn’t administered by TEIBAS. For more information and to apply for the IO Pension, call the IBEW Local 353 Union Hall at 416-510-3530.

Self-Pay

A: Self-pay keeps you and your family covered for benefits under the IBEW Local 353 Benefit Plan if you run out of banked hours and do not qualify for a subsidy or “fully retired” coverage. When you begin collecting your IBEW Local 353 Pension but don’t yet qualify for “fully retired” retiree benefits you can use self-pay to ensure that you stay in the plan until you do (a requirement under the rules).

Self-pay can also be used if you aren’t working, have fewer than 135 hours in your hour bank and aren’t otherwise eligible for subsidized coverage, for up to two years.

A: There are two options for self-pay:

  • The Standard Plan which provides 75% coverage at a current rate of $350 per month, or
  • The Deluxe Plan which provides 100% coverage at a current rate of $545 per month.

For more detail on the levels of coverage visit myteibas.com and click on myBenefits to review the IBEW Local 353 Benefit Plan booklet.

*Costs for survivors, and other types of self-pay coverage may differ. Contact TEIBAS for other types of coverage.

Supplementary Unemployment Benefit (SUB) Plan

A: The SUB Plan gives you added income – on top of any eligible EI benefits you may qualify for. SUB Plan benefits are paid in addition to your EI benefits and are taxable. Your SUB Plan benefits are calculated based on a formula that considers your EI benefits. The current maximum for SUB Plan benefits is $150 a week. SUB Plan benefits are currently payable for up to a maximum of 35 weeks. How much you receive – and for how long – depends partly on how much money is in the SUB Plan trust fund and partly on how many IBEW Local 353 members are eligible for SUB Plan benefits when you apply.

To learn more about your SUB Plan, review your SUB Plan booklet on myteibas.com.

A: You may be eligible for SUB Plan benefits if:

  1. Your employer pays contributions to the SUB fund for you,
  2. You’re laid off because of shortage of work, attending trade school, or are on a non-disability related leave under the Employment Standards Act,
  3. You make a claim for EI Benefits,
  4. You have worked for contributing employers for at least 1,800 hours in the last 24 months (to initiate your first claim), or 300 hours during the last 24 months since completing your last claim (if you have received SUB Plan benefits before),
  5. You’re registered as out of work, temporary layoff trade school, maternity leave, parental leave, family caregiver,leave, or compassionate care leave at the union hall.

You’re eligible for SUB Plan benefits if you’re on an eligible leave and are receiving EI benefits. Eligible leaves include maternity/parental, family caregiver, and compassionate care

leaves, as defined under the Employment Insurance Act (section 38). The do not include EI sickness benefits.

You can apply for SUB Plan benefits at any time — as long as you meet the eligibility conditions. To start your benefits without delay, you should submit your claim form to the union office as soon as you receive your EI Payment Details, Notice of Disentitlement, or Notice of Disqualification.

To learn more about your SUB Plan, review your SUB Plan booklet on myteibas.com.

Travel Insurance

A: Log in to myteibas.com to review your travel insurance booklet and to download a copy of your travel card. For questions about your travel insurance coverage, or to purchase additional/extended travel coverage, call 1-833-685-2788 or call collect from anywhere in the world +1 519-735-8331.

A: When travelling outside of Ontario you should always carry your valid health card along with your Manulife travel card and booklet. For questions about your travel insurance coverage, or to purchase additional/extended travel coverage, call 1-833-685-2788 or call collect from anywhere in the world +1 519-735-8331. You can also download the Manulife TravelAid app at your phone’s app store.

Access the digital travel care booklet and travel insurance booklet on myteibas.com.

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