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Enrolling a Member

The following information is intended to provide you, the employer, with information concerning the process of enrolling a plan member. You will find information on the issuance of the Notification of Plan Membership form that is provided to the member as well as the Notice of Plan Membership - Employer Advice that is sent to the Compensation Advisor.

Reference to Compensation Advisor in the following text is the equivalent of an Employer Representative.

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Introduction

Since February 1, 2010, the Government of Canada Pension Centre (Pension Centre) is responsible for providing Plan Enrolment and Orientation Services directly to employees of the public service. Any member inquiries must be referred to the "Your Public Service and Pension Benefits" website or to the Pension Centre contact information. Please provide a copy of the "Contact Us - Your Public Service Pension and Benefits" information for employees without access to the Web.

Compensation Advisors are required to set up the plan member's account using the Data Capture Tool (DCT) or the Regional Pay System (RPS) regardless of the employee's employment status. This includes employees who are not yet eligible to contribute to the public service pension plan, e.g. employees with terms of less than six months, casual employees and as required (on call) employees.

When an employee becomes a plan member, the Pension Centre will issue a Notification of Plan Membership and will send a copy to the employee and to the employer.

When an employee becomes a plan member, a Plan Enrolment Package containing the Notification of Plan Membership, the Enrolment Information and Acknowledgement of Plan Membership form PWGSC-TPSGC 571 and an Orientation Information Kit is sent to the plan member by the Pension Centre. It contains important information about the pension plan for employees who become plan members.

Employee Personal Documentation

Since May 1, 2008, Compensation Advisors are no longer responsible for providing the Pension Centre with employee personal documentation (i.e. Birth Certificate, Marriage Certificate, etc.).


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Personal Record Identifier (PRI)

There are some Crown Corporations and Agencies that do not have access to Central Index to create a Personal Record Identifier (PRI). The Compensation Advisors must contact the Employer Support Services unit at the Pension Centre to obtain a PRI. Employer Support Services will create and provide the PRI over the telephone.

The following data is required in order to create a PRI in Central Index:

  • the employee's last name and initials;
  • the social insurance number (SIN);
  • the Crown Corporation/Agency's acronym and paylist number.

Employers who have access to Central Index will continue to create their employee's PRI.


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Issuing a Notification of Plan Membership

When an employee becomes a contributor to the plan, a Notification of Plan Membership is issued. The Compensation Advisor is required to update the plan member's account using either the Data Capture Tool (DCT) or the Regional Pay System (RPS) to ensure that contributions to the public service pension plan and premiums to the supplementary death benefit plan are initiated on the correct date. A pension number is automatically generated when the Notification of Plan Membership is produced.

Seasonal Employees

Seasonal employees can become plan members during a period of seasonal layoff as they are still "on strength". A seasonal layoff does not constitute a break in service. Although pension contributions are not required during a period of seasonal layoff, Supplementary Death Benefit (SDB) premiums are required for such periods and are picked up when the employee returns to duty when his or her leave without pay (LWOP) ends.

Hired Over the Age of 71

In cases where an individual is over age 71 at the time of hire, he cannot contribute to the public service pension plan because of his age. However, Compensation Advisors are responsible for collecting SDB premiums. The Pension Centre will issue a Notification of Plan Membership indicating "Supplementary Death Benefit only effective January 1st, following age 71".

Plan Member Prior to Reaching Age 71

In cases where a plan member had already received a Notification of Plan Membership and was a plan member prior to reaching age 71, a Ceasing to contribute to PSSA at age 71 - Contributing to SDB notification will be issued to the Compensation Advisor to notify them to cease PSSA contributions effective January 1 of the year, following age 71.

Plan member going from eligible to non-eligible status

In cases where an employee ceased contributing to the public service pension plan because the member is now:

  • occupying a position where the assigned work week AWW is less than 12 hours/week;
  • a plan member changed to a term employment of 6 months or less during the qualifying period;
  • a plan member starts working on an "as required" basis.

A Ceasing to contribute to PSSA notification will be sent to the Compensation Advisor to notify them to cease contributions. A notification will also be sent to the plan member advising them of the change to their public service pension plan membership status.

Notification of Plan Membership Issued in Error

In some situations, updates in the DCT or the RPS could result in creating a plan member in error. In the event that an employee is not eligible to contribute, the Compensation Advisors must advise the Pension Centre through a memo, fax or returned Notification of Plan Membership. However, the Compensation Advisors will also be required to do the corrections through the DCT or the RPS to ensure that the employee data is correct.

The most common situations which result in creating a plan member in error are:

  1. Struck-off Strength (SOS) prior to completion of six months of qualifying service

    When a term employee is SOS before being eligible to contribute under the public service pension plan and the SOS transaction was not done in the DCT or the RPS to update the pension system, a Notification of Plan Membership could be issued.

  2. Grandfathered part-time - did not opt to contribute as a part-time employee

    A change in hours (AWW) could cause the pension system to issue a Notification of Plan Membership. As long as the employee does not exceed 30 hours, he does not contribute unless he chooses to become a plan member.

  3. Part-time < 12 hours per week

    If the AWW was not posted correctly, the pension system could wrongly determine that the employee is a plan member. For example, if the employee is hired at less than 12 hours and the hours of work are posted as more than 12 hours.

  4. On call/as required

    If the employee type is not correct, the pension system may determine that the employee will become a plan member after six months. "On Call" or "As Required" employees cannot contribute even if they worked continuously on a full-time basis for more than six months.


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Issue Date of Notification of Plan Membership

The Notification of Plan Membership will be printed by the Pension Centre on the date of issue. The date of issue is the later of the effective date of plan membership or the date of the transaction (RPS/DCT input) to initiate the start of contributions plus 10 compensation days (not including weekends or holidays).

EXAMPLE

  • Effective date of becoming a plan member: 04-Mar-2009
  • Date of Issue: 18-Mar-2009

If the effective date of becoming a plan member changes before the date of issue, a Notification of Plan Membership will not be printed by the Pension Centre. A new date of issue will be determined and the Notification of Plan Membership will be printed on the new issue date.

If the effective date of becoming a plan member changes after the date of issue, a new date of issue will be set by the pension system as 10 compensation days from the effective date of the change. A new Notification of Plan Membership will be printed by the Pension Centre on the new issue date.


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Transfers

Compensation Advisors will be responsible to advise the Pension Centre whenever an employee transfers from one Department or Crown Corporation to another by initiating the required transaction via the DCT or RPS.

Crown Corporations via the DCT:

The first department must SOS (struck off strength) the employee with the appropriate termination reason code and the second department must do the TOS (taken on strength) transaction.

Regional Departments via the RPS:

Regional departments must continue to do a TOU (Transfer Out) and a TIN (Transfer In) transaction.


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Dual Employment

Dual employment occurs when an employee is on LWOP from one employer and he is appointed to a term position with another employer. If the employee was already a plan member with the first employer and is hired with the second employer for a position of 12 hours or more per week, contributions will be based on the second employment only. The Pension Centre will generate one of the following Notifications to the first employer to advise of the second employment. The notification will also advise that deficiencies will not be required to be collected for the first position as of the date of the second employment.

  • Notification for plan members who work at least 12 hours
  • Notification for plan members who work less than 12 hours

If a plan member is on LWOP from one employer and is appointed to an indeterminate position with a second employer, the Pension Centre will send a notification to the first employer to request an SOS transaction as this is no longer treated as a dual employment.


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Dual Remuneration

Dual remuneration occurs when an employee occupies more than one position and receives salary from both positions at the same time. To become eligible to participate to the public service pension plan, the total combined hours of work must be equal to 12 hours or more per week (all other eligibility criteria must also be met).

If a member was not eligible to contribute with the first employer, then becomes eligible to contribute with a second employer, the Pension Centre will generate a Dual Remuneration Notification to all employers to start deductions. The Pension Centre will also send a Notification of Plan Membership to the member and to his employers.

If a member is eligible to contribute with the first employer and becomes eligible with a second employer, the Pension Centre will send a Dual Remuneration Notification to the second employer to start deductions and a Notification to the first employer to inform him of the dual remuneration status. The Pension Centre will send a Notification of Plan Membership to the member and to the second employer.


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Screening form required by the Government of Canada Pension Centre

PWGSC-TPSGC 577 (Plan Member Contact Information):

The Plan Member Contact Information form PWGSC-TPSGC 577 should be completed by the Compensation Advisor and faxed to the Pension Centre within three (3) business days from the date a plan member is eligible to contribute to the public service pension plan. It will provide the plan member's contact information as well as the employing department's coordinates to the Pension Centre. This will allow the Pension Centre to mail the Plan Enrolment Package that includes the Notification of Plan Membership, the Enrolment Information and Acknowledgment of Plan Membership form PWGSC-TPSGC 571 and the Orientation Information Kit directly to the plan member's mailing address.

Compensation Advisors should NOT forward the Plan Member Contact Information form PWGSC-TPSGC 577 until the deductions are commenced and updated in the Regional Pay System (RPS) or the Data Capture Tool (DCT). Forms sent prior to this may not be recognized if the pension system was not updated by the DCT or RPS system.

When an employee is hired for a period of six months or less, it is recommended that Compensation Advisors ensure the form PWGSC-TPSGC 577 is completed and faxed to the Pension Centre, should the period of employment be extended.

The following plan member's contact information should be on the form:

  • Name
  • PRI
  • Home mailing address
  • Home and work e-mail addresses (optional)
  • Home and work telephone numbers (optional)
  • Work fax number (optional)
  • Language preference


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Commencing Contributions to the public service pension plan

Compensation Advisors continue to be responsible for initiating contribution deductions for employees who become members of the public service pension plan, including the deductions for Supplementary Death Benefit (SDB) premiums, if applicable. Compensation Advisors continue to be responsible for answering questions from employees on their payroll deductions.


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Paylist Address

When a regional department is adding, updating, or deleting a paylist address, the department is responsible for providing the paylist address information to their pay office using the Compensation Client Address form PWGSC-TPSGC 2719. Please visit Adding or changing data on the paylist - address file for more information.

When a Non-RPS employer needs to add, update or delete a paylist address, the information must be provided to the Pension Centre in writing. The letter should bear a signature and the telephone number of the contact person. The Pension Centre is responsible for updating the information.