Frequently Asked Questions
Current plan rules allow you to be fully retired and still receive retiree benefits at no cost to you. To be fully retired all of the following rules apply:
- You’re 62 or older, or you are totally disabled and receiving a CPP/QPP disability pension, and
- You are receiving your IBEW Local 353 pension, and
- You’re receiving a benefit from the IBEW International benefit fund, and
- You were covered under the IBEW Local 353 Benefit Plan at the time you retired, and
- You were covered under the benefit plan for at least 36 of 60 months immediately before you retired.
If you’re talking about free of charge “fully retired” benefit coverage the answer depends on how old you are when you retire, and if you take your IBEW International pension before age 65.
“Fully retired members” are currently covered for benefits under the retiree plan at no cost to them. “Fully retired” means 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 were covered under this plan for at least 36 of the 60 months immediately before you retired or have had at least 39,000 hours of contributory service in the benefit plan.
It’s the Trustees’ intention that 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 benefits at any time.
If you retire and don’t yet meet the eligibility requirements above, in order to maintain your retiree benefit coverage, you must:
- Have enough hours in your hour bank to support continuing benefits (currently 135 hours per month) until you do qualify, or
- continue to work, or
- be on the out-of-work list, or
- self-pay for benefits.
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
Every person’s retirement situation is different. Currently, the majority of plan members who are close to early retirement age have enough hours in their hour bank to carry them from age 61 to age 62 (1,620 hours or more). At age 62 members who qualify can apply for their IBEW Local 353 International (IO) pension and receive fully retired benefits.
For those who don’t have sufficient hours to get them to age 62 or will not qualify for an IO Pension there are other options available to them. Given everyone’s situation is different, we recommend contacting TEIBAS directly to work through your individual situation when planning for your retirement.
There are several differences between retiree and active members’ benefit coverage. Some differences:
- Coverage doesn’t include short- and long-term disability;
- Coverage doesn’t include critical illness insurance;
- Life insurance coverage is reduced ($20,000 for retired members vs. $150,000 for active members);
- There is no life insurance coverage for dependants;
- Travel Insurance coverage is for 30 days.
In addition, the Ontario Drug Benefit Program picks up the cost for over 4,000 drugs for retired members over the age of 65.
For the full list of what’s covered and what’s not under retiree benefits, check out your benefit booklet on myteibas.com and read the Retiree Benefits at A Glance page for more details.
You can retire as early as age 55 without Trustee consent with a reduced pension. Your pension is reduced by six percent for each year that your retirement date falls before age 65. The reduction reflects the fact that you are likely to receive more pension payments than someone who retires later.
If you delay your retirement, your pension is increased by five per cent for each year that your retirement date falls beyond your 65th birthday. Keep in mind that although your pension is growing you are missing out on monthly pension payments. You must begin collecting your IBEW Local 353 pension no later than the end of the year in which you turn 71.
Any early retirement reductions or late retirement increases that are applied to your pension are permanent.
The amount of your pension is determined by:
- Total contributions paid into the plan on your behalf
- The pension factor
- Your age at retirement
- Your spouse’s age at retirement
- The type of pension option you choose
Currently the pension plan doesn’t provide indexing due to the prohibitive cost. However, ad hoc increases may be considered in the future if the funded position of the pension plan permits.
You can’t deduct your IBEW Local 353 pension contributions from your income. Your pension contributions are paid directly by your employer and because you do not pay income tax on them you can’t deduct them. Your personal RRSP contribution room however is reduced by these pension contributions which appear on your T4 as a pension adjustment.
The 2023 RRSP contribution limit is 18 per cent of your 2022 earned income to a maximum of $30,708 minus your pension adjustment plus any previous years’ unused contribution room.
You will have several pension payments options to choose from when you retire. The option you choose will affect the amount of your monthly pension and how much your spouse or beneficiary receives following your death. You cannot change your pension payment option once your pension starts.
Your pension is considered a family asset if you separate or divorce. That means that any pension you earn while you and your spouse are married or living as a common-law couple may be divided based on the legal separation or divorce agreement. You must inform TEIBAS of any changes to your marital status in writing.
By law your spouse is automatically the beneficiary of your pension. Prior to your retirement or death if both you and your spouse agree that you’d prefer to name someone else your spouse can sign a waiver declining your pre-retirement death benefit. You are encouraged to seek legal or independent financial advice before waiving death benefit rights.
If you don’t have a partner who qualifies as your spouse under the plan your death benefit will be paid to your beneficiary. If you do not have a spouse and do not name a beneficiary your death benefits will be paid to your estate.
TEIBAS sends you an annual pension statement in June to keep you informed of the amount of your pension. It’s important that you read your pension statement carefully and ensure that the personal information is up-to-date and correct. Please call TEIBAS should there be any changes.
You may qualify for special disability credits if you are disabled because of an illness or accident. These credits work much the same way as regular pension contributions and are used to increase your overall retirement pension. Special disability pension credits are based on proof of disability. Contact TEIBAS for more information on qualifying for and how to apply for special disability credits.
For more information about your IO pension entitlements and eligibility, contact the IBEW Local 353 Union Hall at 416-510-3530.
For all questions about your Manulife Group travel coverage insurance, or to purchase additional/extended travel coverage call 1-833-685-2788 or call collect from anywhere in the world + 519-735-8331. You can also log into myteibas.com and review your travel booklet and click on travel insurance under the myBenefits tab. Need help? You can contact TEIBAS directly by email at email@example.com.