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Welcome to Retirement

Welcome to Retirement. Be pension savvy and learn about your IBEW Local 353 Pension Plan. Your IBEW Local 353 Pension Plan is one of the most valuable assets you will ever have, and it’s for life. It grows with each hour you work for an IBEW Local 353 contractor until you retire, then it pays off as long as you live.

Don’t know where to start? Start with this checklist to get retirement ready!

  • Confirm your eligibility for your IBEW Local 353 pension.
  • Understand your pension options.
  • Calculate your pension benefits by using the pension estimator on
  • Contact TEIBAS within three months of your selected retirement date.
  • Confirm your International Pension (IO) eligibility.
  • Contact the Union Hall.
  • Confirm your eligibility for retiree benefits and be aware of retiree benefit changes.
  • Plan your Estate, Power of Attorney, Will, and confirm who are your beneficiaries.
  • Seek professional independent financial and legal advice for your retirement plan.

Want to learn more? Register for an upcoming pre-retirement webinar here.

Your Benefits in Retirement

When you fully retire with the IBEW Local 353, you continue to receive valuable health benefits which as a retiree would be either very expensive or unavailable if you were to purchase them directly from an insurance company. If you retire on your IBEW Local 353 pension, but aren’t fully retired (for instance you’re not collecting your IBEW International Pension or you retire before age 62) you must not allow your coverage to lapse. To remain eligible for full retiree benefits you can purchase retiree bridge benefits on a self-pay basis or use your accumulated hour-bank account.

If eligible, your excellent benefit coverage includes:

  • Eligible prescription drugs covered up to 100% with no deductibles or co-pays (special rules apply if you’re 65 and over),
  • $2,500 of paramedical coverage per insured, per year
  • $3,000 of mental wellness benefits per insured, per year
  • Comprehensive dental coverage,
  • Death benefit of $20,000, and
  • Retiree travel insurance which covers the first 30 days of each trip up to 100% of emergency medical expenses.

Your Pension in Retirement

In Canada, saving for retirement consists of three main avenues, also known as the “three pillars of retirement.” The three pillars are: 

  1. Government based programs (Canada Pension Plan, Old Age Security, etc.), 
  2. Employment based programs (like your IBEW Local 353 pension, and Group Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP)) and,
  3. Individual savings (individual RRSPs, Tax Free Savings Accounts, personal savings, property, etc.).

Along with your IBEW Local 353 pension, there are other sources of income to consider.


Other Sources of Income in Retirement

Canada Pension Plan (CPP)

The Canada Pension Plan (CPP) retirement pension provides a monthly benefit to eligible Canadians. You can apply for early CPP benefits between age 60-65 with a reduction and you can apply for late CPP benefits after age 65 to age 70.

For more information visit Service Canada website or call 1-800-622-6232.

Old Age Security (OAS)

The Old Age Security (OAS) pension is a monthly payment available to most people 65 years of age and older who meet the Canadian legal status and residence requirements. To qualify you must have 10 years of residence in Canada after age 18.

For more information visit Service Canada website or call 1-800-622-6232.

Ontario Drug Benefit (ODB)

The Ontario Drug Benefit (ODB) Program takes effect at age 65 if you’re a resident of Ontario and have a valid OHIP card. ODB currently covers over 4,400 quality-assured prescription drug products, some nutrition products and diabetic testing agents. For more information visit the  Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care website or call the Service Ontario Infoline at 1-866-532-3161.

When you receive a prescription from your doctor, your pharmacist claims the amount through the ODB Program as the first payor. If the ODB Program doesn’t cover 100% of your prescription amount, the IBEW Local 353 Benefit Plan will not cover the difference.

The IBEW Local 353 Benefit Plan only covers eligible prescriptions if the ODB Program doesn’t pay any portion. Your pharmacist will claim the amount through Canada Life if the ODB Program doesn’t cover your prescription.

Working and collecting a pension

If you return to work (in the trade or elsewhere) after you start collecting your IBEW Local 353 pension, your pension will continue. If you work for an employer that is required to remit contributions to the pension plan, you will not receive pension credit for any pension contributions which your employer is obligated to remit. These contributions will be redirected to the IBEW Local 353 Health and Welfare Fund to provide you with the equivalent value of hours in your hour bank (subject to the hour bank maximum).

Working after age 71

Tax law prevents you from building pension benefits after the end of the calendar year in which you turn age 71. Contributions made after December 31st of the year in which you turn age 71 will not increase your pension. If you continue to work beyond age 71, your employer is required to continue to submit contributions on your behalf, but these contributions will be redirected to the IBEW Local 353 Health and Welfare Fund to provide you with the equivalent value of hours in your bank (subject to the hour bank maximum).

Are you retirement ready?

Remember life doesn’t end at retirement, it’s a whole new chapter of your life. Make sure you have a retirement plan in place to protect your future. Contact TEIBAS, before you retire as part of your retirement planning, so you are aware of the changes that happen to your benefits at retirement, and make sure you know how to keep your retiree benefit coverage in force. Request your personalized pension retirement option package as part of your retirement planning and review your options.