SAM - Special Bulletin 2011-007

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This information is only accessible from inside the Government of Canada network.

Subject: Leave Without Pay (LWOP) Pension Services

November 7, 2011 Updated September 09, 2013

1. Purpose

1.1. The purpose of this bulletin is to inform compensation advisors and pay offices (POs) of the new process for the provision of LWOP pension services to members of the public service pension plan.

1.2. In accordance with the new process, the Your Public Service Pension and Benefits Web portal, the Superannuation Administration Manual (SAM), the Superannuation Procedures Manual – Public Service Corporations (PSC), SAM - special bulletins, compensation directives, national training courses, as well as various forms, have been amended or deleted.

1.3. The Treasury Board Secretariat of Canada (TBS) standard benefit letters have not yet been amended to reflect the new process. It is suggested that client organizations, including those not using the standard benefit letters, add a paragraph that advises their employees of the new process. For example:

  • There are pension and Supplementary Death Benefit (SDB) implications when a member of the public service pension plan takes a leave of absence (period of LWOP). Information can be found by consulting the Your Public Service Pension and Benefits Web portal. Upon your return to work following a period of LWOP, the Public Service Pension Centre (Pension Centre) will provide you with detailed information on the option of counting LWOP as pensionable service and the corresponding contribution payment options available for pension and SDB contributions under the pension plan and the SDB Plan.

2. Background

2.1. On June 13, 2007, TBS granted approval to proceed with two transformation of pension administration initiatives, namely the Government of Canada Pension Modernization Project (GCPMP) and the Centralization of Pension Services Delivery Project (CPSDP). The objectives of these initiatives were to renew the Public Works and Government Services Canada's (PWGSC) nearly 40 year old pension administration system, transform business processes and centralize the delivery of pension services to a Centre of Expertise (COE) within PWGSC, namely the Pension Centre in Shediac, New Brunswick.

2.2. Accordingly, the CPSDP team was established to develop and progressively implement pension services and business processes in accordance with the new model, which allows for self-service options and access to pension expertise through various channels.

With the centralization of the LWOP services, the final service to be centralized, the project team has made significant changes in the way pension services are delivered.

3. Policy

3.1. Effective November 28, 2011, the Pension Centre will be responsible to administer LWOP pension services to the pension plan members.

4. Definition

4.1. The LWOP services include the provision of information on the pension impact of being temporarily away from employment and the corresponding adjustments of pension and SDB contributions. Also included is the provision of LWOP deficiencies estimates to plan members, including plan members on loan to other organizations, the process of opting not to count a period of LWOP as pensionable service, the eligibility to apply for pre-retirement transition leave (PRL) with participating employers, and applying the Income Tax Act (ITA) period of LWOP limit, including the facilitation and completion of required forms.

5. Procedures and Instructions

5.1. The Pension Centre will be responsible for the provision of general and personalized LWOP pension services to pension plan members.

5.2. When plan members will be proceeding on LWOP for any reason for an extended period of time with an interruption in salary of more than six consecutive days, compensation advisors will direct plan members to the LWOP Information Package located on the Your Public Service Pension and Benefits Web portal, or advise them to contact the Pension Centre if they do not have Internet access.

The same process applies when the following inquiries are received with regards to:

  • Pension and SDB contributions owing or estimates for a period of LWOP
  • The option of not counting LWOP as pensionable service
  • The eligibility to apply for PRL with participating employers, or
  • Information concerning the ITA limit for LWOP.

5.3. Human Resources remains responsible to advise plan members of what type of LWOP is available to them. Compensation advisors continue to be responsible for temporarily stopping and recommencing plan members' pay, advising on the pay and insurance (except SDB) impacts of a LWOP, and reporting periods of LWOP to the Pension Centre. For procedures and information on the new process, reference should be made to the documents included with this SAM - Special Bulletin:

  • Work Procedures for Compensation Advisors, Pay Offices and the Public Service Pension Centre
  • Roles and Responsibilities
  • Contact Information

5.4. The links to the new forms and to the LWOP Information Package, provided in these documents, will ONLY be available effective November 28, 2011.

6. Publications

6.1. The SAM will be updated to incorporate the relevant information contained in this bulletin.

7. Inquiries

7.1. Inquiries regarding the information contained in this document should be addressed to the Pension Centre. Inquiries regarding the Social Insurance Number (SIN) and the Personal Record Identifier (PRI) problems should be addressed to your PWGSC's Compensation Services Office.

Original Signed by
Carrie E. Roussin

Carrie E. Roussin
Director General
Compensation Sector
Accounting, Banking and Compensation

Reference(s): CJA 9203-12(1) (a)-(c), 12(2) (b)-(d), 12(3)

Work Procedures

November 7, 2011 Updated September 9, 2013

For Compensation Advisors, Pay Offices and the Public Service Pension Centre

Leave Without Pay (LWOP) Pension Services

Effective November 28, 2011 the provision of pension services for LWOP situations will be the responsibility of the Public Service Pension Centre (Pension Centre) located in Shediac, New Brunswick. The Centre of Expertise (COE) will provide both general and individualized information to plan members.

A chart outlining the roles and responsibilities of all stakeholders involved in the LWOP processes has been included with this SAM - Special Bulletin 2011-007.

Throughout all documents, reference is made to compensation advisors and pay offices (POs). Compensation advisors include individuals in departments, Crown corporations, agencies and territorial governments. POs include regional and non-regional POs (offices not serviced by the Regional Pay System (RPS)) unless otherwise specified. In organizations not serviced by the RPS, the term "PO" refers to the human resources (HR) or payroll areas of the organizations.

The LWOP pension services include the provision of information on the pension impact of being temporarily away from employment and the corresponding adjustments of pension and SDB contributions. Also included is the provision of LWOP pension and/or SDB deficiencies estimates to plan members, including plan members on loan to other organizations, the process of opting not to count a period of leave without pay as pensionable service, the eligibility to apply for pre-retirement transition leave (PRL) with participating employers, and the managing of the Income Tax Act (ITA) period of LWOP limit, including the facilitation and completion of required forms.

Below is an outline of the processes for the LWOP pension services effective November 28, 2011.

Attention: Important

The centralized LWOP pension services contained in this document only apply to plan members who are or will be going on an extended period of LWOP. An extended period of LWOP is defined as follows:

  • For RPS users, this is when plan members are temporarily struck off strength (T-SOS) and does not include short term LWOP of six days or less recovered with a REDUCTION COMMENCE (REC/PAC 15C). It also does not include periods of Leave With Income Averaging (LIA).
  • For employers not serviced by the RPS, this is when plan members go on an extended period of LWOP, and does not include short term LWOP of six days or less that is reported as a closed transaction (with both an effective from date and to date on the same DCT transmission). In cases of short term LWOP, pension contributions must be picked up by the employer. It also does not include periods of LIA.

Current processes for short term LWOP and LIA remain in place with no involvement from the Pension Centre.

Transitional Implementation Guidelines
Pension and/or SDB deficiencies
  1. The Pension Centre will calculate and advise plan members of deficiencies owing for all LWOP situations when the plan member returns to work on or after November 28, 2011.
  2. Deficiencies applicable to LWOP ending prior to November 28, 2011, must continue to be managed by the compensation advisors and the POs by following previously established procedures.
  3. On November 28, 2011, compensation advisors who have in their possession any post-dated cheques for LWOP pension or SDB deficiency payments from plan members should immediately forward them to the Pension Centre using the current process of forwarding the payments along with the SUPERANNUATION CONTRIBUTIONS FOR EMPLOYEES ON LEAVE WITHOUT PAY" form (PWGSC-TPSGC 4005).
Disability and Long-Term Disability Insurance

Compensation advisors remain responsible for all processes relating to plan members applying for Disability Insurance (DI) or Long-term Disability Insurance (LTD). The POs continue to be responsible to start DI or LTD deficiencies. The Pension Centre is only responsible for managing the pension and SDB deficiencies applicable to periods of sick LWOP.

Impact on Other Benefits While on a Period of LWOP

Compensation advisors must continue to advise plan members of the impacts on all benefits, except pension and SDB. This includes, but may not be limited to, Public Service Management Insurance Plan (PSMIP), Public Service Health Care Plan (PSHCP), Public Service Dental Care Plan (PSDCP), Quebec Blue Cross, Blue Cross of Atlantic Canada, and Provincial and Territorial Health Insurance Plans.

Starting an Extended Period of LWOP
Compensation Advisors

When plan members are contemplating or have started an extended period of LWOP on November 28, 2011, or later, compensation advisors will refer plan members to the Your Public Service Pension and Benefits Web portal for information on the pension impacts of taking a leave of absence and instruct them to contact the Pension Centre to provide their contact information.

Compensation advisors remain responsible for advising plan members of the impacts of taking a leave of absence on DI/LTD and all other benefits (excluding pension and SDB).

Compensation advisors will continue to be responsible to enter transactions for the individual plan member's account in the pay system at the appropriate time, including temporarily stopping regular salary payments. RPS users will action a temporarily struck off strength (T-SOS), and employers not serviced by the RPS will report an open period of LWOP with no end date.

In addition, employers not serviced by the RPS will continue to be responsible for reporting all periods of LWOP to the Pension Centre as they occur via the Data Capture Tool (DCT).

Employers not serviced by the RPS must report the date of birth or date of adoption of the child to the Pension Centre as soon as the date is known, by reporting a Status Change (STS) transaction in the DCT.

Pay Offices

There are no changes to the POs procedures when plan members start an extended period of LWOP.

Pension Centre

When contacted by the plan member, or if a plan member's contact information is available, the Pension Centre will provide to plan members who proceed on LWOP, information on the pension impacts of taking a leave of absence.

Changes to a Period of Extended LWOP

There can be situations where an extended period of LWOP must be changed. When this occurs, the new information must be reported to the Pension Centre via the RPS or DCT.

LWOP ending prior to November 28, 2011:
  • The PO is responsible for any required adjustments for the LWOP period, including any changes to pension and SDB deficiencies.
LWOP ending November 28, 2011, or later:
  • The Pension Centre will review the account for necessary corrective actions, such as recalculating the deficiencies when required.
  • For RPS users only, the PO must notify the Pension Centre by fax when a salary/service history update (HRO) is required to input data related to manual changes to a temporarily struck off strength (T-SOS) or retaken on strength (RE-TOS) movement. Details of the LWOP changes must be provided.
Pension and/or SDB Deficiencies Payments
Compensation Advisors

Compensation advisors will no longer be responsible for receiving or forwarding LWOP pension or SDB deficiency payments for any period of LWOP.

On November 28, 2011, compensation advisors who have in their possession any post-dated cheques for LWOP pension or SDB deficiency payments from plan members should immediately forward them to the Pension Centre using the current process of forwarding the payments along with the PWGSC-TPSGC 4005 form.

For RPS users, before sending the payment and the completed form to the Pension Centre, compensation advisors must create a CRT. Compensation advisors will also notify plan members that future LWOP pension or SDB deficiency payments should be sent directly to the Pension Centre using the "PAYMENT TRANSMITTAL FORM" form (PWGSC-TPSGC 570 - Payment Transmittal Form - This site is only accessible to federal government employees, and only to federal departments and agencies.).

Pension Centre

Effective November 28, 2011, the Pension Centre will be responsible for receiving all pension and SDB deficiency payments related to a LWOP and will issue receipts to plan members.

Return from an Extended Period of LWOP and Managing Pension and/or SDB Deficiencies Owing
Compensation Advisors

Effective November 28, 2011, when plan members return from an extended period of LWOP, compensation advisors will no longer be responsible to advise them of the pension and/or SDB deficiencies owing for that period or the payment options for these deficiencies.

Plan members should be referred to the Pension Centre for any questions regarding the pension impacts of returning to work.

Compensation advisors will continue to be responsible to enter transactions for the individual plan member's account in the pay system at the appropriate time, including restarting regular salary payments. These transactions will send a trigger to the Pension Centre.

The triggers required by the Pension Centre on return to work are:

  • RPS users process a RE-TOS;
  • Employers not serviced by the RPS close an open ended period of LWOP using the DCT.

Employers not serviced by the RPS will continue to be responsible for reporting all periods of LWOP to the Pension Centre, as they occur, via the DCT.

The compensation advisors also remain responsible for advising plan members of the DI/LTD deficiencies owing for a period of LWOP.

The RE-TOS Calculation System will remain available for compensation advisors and POs to calculate and start the DI/LTD deficiencies owing for a period of LWOP. The pension and SDB components of the RE-TOS Calculation System will not be updated and should not be used except in cases where changes are required to historical LWOP records that ended prior to November 28, 2011. Crown corporations, Agencies and Territorial governments that do not currently use the RE-TOS Calculation System must continue to follow their internal processes for the calculating of DI/LTD deficiencies, if applicable.

Employers who automatically recover deficiencies from certain payments while on LWOP can continue to do so, and the contributions received will be applied to the LWOP payment plan. The Pension Centre will validate all pension and SDB deficiencies on return to work for all periods of LWOP greater than six days, and advise the plan member and employer of any discrepancies.

Pay Offices

The Pension Centre will send a notice to the POs who will update the pay system with the pension low rate threshold and/or the retirement compensation arrangement (RCA) pension threshold within ten business days. This will ensure that current contributions are collected at the correct rate. If contributions were collected after the date of the notice, adjustments to the amounts indicated in the notice may be required.

Upon receipt of a notice from the Pension Centre, the POs will start recovery of pension and/or SDB deficiencies, as applicable.

Pension Centre

The Pension Centre will receive an automated trigger when plan members return to work following a period of LWOP. This automated trigger will be initiated when:

  • RPS users process a RE-TOS;
  • Employers not serviced by the RPS close an open ended period of LWOP using the DCT.

Upon receipt of the automated trigger, the Pension Centre will review the LWOP period and proceed as follows:

If plan members do not make a lump sum payment within 30 days of being notified of the total deficiencies owing, a notice is sent to the POs to have the pension and/or SDB deficiencies recovered from salary. The deficiencies quoted will include the total amounts of any deficiencies not collected for prior periods of LWOP.

Note: Once a payment plan is established in Penfax, a validation of expected payments will occur and notices will be sent to POs when required. It is therefore imperative that DCT users submit LWOP contribution data according to their pay cycle schedule (weekly, biweekly, or monthly).

Returning From an Extended Period of Sick LWOP on an Approved Rehabilitation Program

Plan members returning to work on an approved rehabilitation program (reduced hours) following a period of sick LWOP, continue to have the option not to pay current pension and SDB contributions until they return to their regular scheduled hours of work.

When a plan member wishes to pay current contributions during the rehabilitation program

When a plan member returns to work prior to November 28, 2011, and chooses to pay current contributions, LWOP deficiencies are to be commenced by the PO by following previously established procedures.

When a plan member returns to work on November 28, 2011, or later, and chooses to pay current contributions:

  • No change required to the pension type code. In addition, the Pension Centre will advise the plan member of deficiencies owing for the period of sick LWOP.
  • When a plan member resumes regular scheduled hours of work, the compensation advisor must forward a completed "Notification of Rehabilitation Leave, Education Leave (with allowance) or Dual Employment - same pay office, same department" form (PWGSC-TPSGC 140 - Notification of Rehabilitation Leave, Education Leave (with allowance) or Dual Employment - same pay office, same department) to the Pension Centre.
When a plan member wishes to defer the payment of current contributions, the following applies:
Compensation Advisors

When a plan member, on return to work, chooses to defer payment of current contributions and returns to their regular scheduled hours of work prior to November 28, 2011, LWOP deficiencies are to be commenced by the PO by following previously established procedures.

When a plan member, on return to work, chooses to defer payment of current contributions and returns to their regular scheduled hours of work on November 28, 2011, or later:

  • Upon return to work (reduced hours)

On return to work, the following actions are required:

  • Change the plan member's pension type code to a non-contributor by amending the pension type code to 62 "Indeterminate employee or term employee of more than six months temporarily working reduced hours (rehabilitation program)", effective the date of return to work.
  • Change the plan member's SDB status code to 4 - Death Benefit - Premiums temporarily suspended, Rehabilitation Program, effective the first day of the month of return to duty on an approved rehabilitation program.

Note 1: The above pay activities must be actioned within ten business days of return to work on reduced hours.

Note 2: The requirement to defer payment of DI/LTD premiums are not within the scope of the new LWOP pension services, however, may still apply.

Note 3: Employers not serviced by the RPS – Changes to pension type 62 and SDB status code 4 are reported under the Status Change (STS) transactions in the DCT screen.

Plan members resume regular scheduled hours of work

When plan members complete a period of approved rehabilitation leave and return to their regular scheduled hours of work, the following actions are required:

  • The compensation advisor must forward a completed "Notification of Rehabilitation Leave, Education Leave (with allowance) or Dual Employment - same pay office, same department" form (PWGSC-TPSGC 140 - Notification of Rehabilitation Leave, Education Leave (with allowance) or Dual Employment - same pay office, same department) to the Pension Centre in advance of processing any applicable pay activities.
  • The pension type code must be reverted from 62 to the original code effective the same date that was initially reported to temporarily suspend the current pension deductions.
  • A status change must be done to revert the death benefit code to Code 1, effective the first of the month that the rehabilitation period commenced.
  • RPS users must advise the pay office of the end date of the rehabilitation leave by updating Free Form Text (FFT)
  • Non-RPS users must ensure that current contributions are restarted effective the date of return to regular scheduled hours of work.

Note: Employers not serviced by the RPS – Changes to revert to original pension type and SDB status code are reported under the Status Change (STS) transactions in the DCT Screen.

It is very important that, when amending the pension type and the SDB code, the effective date is the same date used to temporarily suspend the contribution. If this is not done, the pension contributions and SDB premiums collected from the plan member will not be correct.

Employers not serviced by the RPS are reminded that when a plan member returns to work on a rehabilitation program, the sick LWOP must be stopped the day prior.

More information on Rehabilitation Leave reporting requirement can be found in the following Compensation Directives (CD) ARCHIVED CD 2009-004 and ARCHIVED CD 2003-010.

Pay Offices

When a plan member returns to work prior to November 28, 2011, and chooses to pay current contributions, pension and/or SDB deficiencies are to be calculated and commenced by the PO by following previously established procedures.

When a plan member returns to work on November 28, 2011, or later, and chooses to pay current contributions, the PO is no longer required to calculate the pension and/or SDB deficiencies for the LWOP period.

When a plan member, on return to work, chooses to defer payment of current contributions and returns to their regular scheduled hours of work prior to November 28, 2011, the POs are required to calculate and start the pension and/or SDB deficiencies for the LWOP or rehabilitation period by following previously established procedures.

When plan members resume their regular scheduled hours of work on November 28, 2011, or later, and the pension type code is reverted back to the original code, the POs are no longer required to calculate the pension and/or SDB deficiencies for the LWOP or rehabilitation period.

When plan members resume their regular scheduled hours of work, deficiencies must be picked up from the day the employee returns to their regular scheduled hours of work up until the current pay period. If the end date of the Rehabilitation period is not known, the department must be contacted.

Pension Centre

When a plan member returns to work following a period of sick LWOP, the Pension Centre will bring forward the file for two weeks.

After this period, if the member's pension type code is not changed to non-contributor, the Pension Centre will review the case and start the process to recover deficiencies owing.

If, however, the plan member's pension type code is changed to non-contributor, the Pension Centre will defer the starting of deficiencies until receipt of the PWGSC-TPSGC 140 - Notification of Rehabilitation Leave, Education Leave (with allowance) or Dual Employment - same pay office, same department form.

Prior Periods of LWOP with Outstanding Pension and/or SDB Deficiencies

There are situations when plan members starting an extended period of LWOP are already paying deficiencies for a prior period. In these situations, when plan members return to work following the second period of LWOP or terminate employment while on LWOP, the prior deficiencies are to be added to the deficiencies for the new period of LWOP. This reporting is only required for prior periods of LWOP that ended prior to November 28, 2011. All leave that ends after that date will be managed by the Pension Centre.

Pay Offices

For plan members that start an extended period of LWOP effective November 28, 2011, or later, the POs must fax to the Pension Centre, at the start of the extended period of LWOP, the following information:

  • The actual prior period(s) of LWOP;
  • For each deduction code outstanding, provide:
    • The total amount of deficiencies outstanding for each deduction code
    • The effective from and effective to dates for the remaining number of payments
    • The number of payments outstanding for each deduction code
    • The amount per pay period (PP) or month, by code

Example:

Period of LWOPJanuary 14 to June 14, 2011

Code 563

Non-RPS - Fund 2, LS

$540 total remaining balance with six payments (PPs) still to be paid, from September 1 to November 23, 2011, at $90 per PP.

Code 763

Non-RPS – Fund 2, LD

$700 total remaining balance with six payments (PPs) still to be paid, from September 1 to November 23, 2011, at $116.67 per PP.

Code 590

Non-RPS - SDB arrears

$87.20 total remaining balance with three payments (months) still to be paid, from September 1 to November 30, 2011, at $29.07 per month.

For plan members who started an extended period of LWOP before November 28, 2011, and deficiencies for prior periods of LWOP are owing, the POs, upon members return to work, must immediately fax the information mentioned above to the Pension Centre. For these plan members who terminate employment while on LWOP, the PO will report outstanding deficiencies on the PWGSC-TPSGC 2386 - Termination/Retirement Information - This site is only accessible to federal government employees, and only to federal departments and agencies. form.

Note 1: For regional pay offices, a "stop" must be processed for any outstanding pension and SDB deficiencies in addition to faxing the deficiencies information to the Pension Centre. The outstanding deficiencies are on the Master Employee Record (MER) or on-line on the Deduction Entitlement Select (DDT) screen.

Similarly, for any non-RPS employer that has the automatic restarting of deficiencies on return to work, the deficiencies must be stopped.

This will ensure that the plan member is not charged twice.

Note 2: When an employee terminates employment while on LWOP and prior deficiencies outstanding were already faxed to the Pension Centre, these outstanding deficiencies should not be reported again to the Pension Centre on a PWGSC 2386.

In these situations, the POs should write a note in Part 2D of the PWGSC 2386 stating "Prior deficiencies previously reported"

Note 3: There are no changes to current processes for DI/LTD insurance deficiencies.

Pension Centre

When plan members return to work, the Pension Centre will calculate the pension and SDB deficiencies owing for the new period of LWOP and add the outstanding deficiencies from the prior period.

Dual Employment within the Same Pay Office and Same Department

Note: With the centralization of LWOP, there are no changes to the responsibilities and processes for compensation advisors, POs, and the Pension Centre for dual employment situations other than dual employment within the same PO and same department.

Compensation Advisors

When plan members who are on LWOP from their substantive position, become engaged in a dual employment situation, within the same PO and same department only, the compensation advisor must forward a completed PWGSC-TPSGC 140 - Notification of Rehabilitation Leave, Education Leave (with allowance) or Dual Employment - same pay office, same department to the Pension Centre. The form does not have to be sent for all other dual employment situations.

A completed PWGSC-TPSGC 140 - Notification of Rehabilitation Leave, Education Leave (with allowance) or Dual Employment - same pay office, same department form must also be sent to the Pension Centre when the dual employment period ends.

The form should be forwarded to the Pension Centre in advance of processing any applicable pay activities. This will ensure that deficiency payments are not started until plan members return to their original substantive position.

Pension Centre

The Pension Centre will ensure that recovery of deficiencies for the period of LWOP (excluding periods of dual employment) is deferred until plan members return to work following their original LWOP.

Change in Employer (Permanent)

Organizations are reminded that details on deductions for LWOP deficiencies to be restarted are to be shared between the two employers. The details must include a narrative description of the deficiencies and pension fund to be started, such as LWOP deficiencies single rate high – Fund 2. The receiving organization will remain responsible to commence LWOP deficiencies.

Change in Employer between Crown Corporations and Treasury Board Employers

When a plan member who is on LWOP changes from a Crown corporation employer to a Treasury Board (TB) employer, the Crown corporation employer is reminded that it is imperative that the LWOP is stopped in the DCT before the account is closed. If the LWOP is not stopped, the Pension Centre will not receive a trigger to advise the plan member of the deficiencies owing for the period of LWOP.

Educational LWOP when an Allowance is Payable

Plan members taking a period of educational LWOP with an entitlement to an educational leave allowance in lieu of regular pay continue to have the option to pay contributions while in receipt of the allowance or to defer until they return to duty.

When a plan member wishes to pay contributions while in receipt of an educational allowance

No change required to the pension type code.

When a plan member chooses to continue to have deductions taken on full salary while in receipt of an allowance, RPS users must continue to report an ENC 202 (18C 202) for the difference between the full salary and the allowance. Reference to ARCHIVED CD 2006-012 for more details.

Upon completion of the educational LWOP, the compensation advisor must forward a completed PWGSC-TPSGC 140 - Notification of Rehabilitation Leave, Education Leave (with allowance) or Dual Employment - same pay office, same department to the Pension Centre.

When a plan member wishes to defer contributions, the following applies:
Compensation Advisors

Starting educational LWOP with an allowance

When a plan member starts a period of educational LWOP with an allowance, the following actions are required:

  • Change the plan member's pension type code to a non-contributor by amending the pension type code to 62, effective the date the educational LWOP with allowance commences.
  • Change the plan member's SDB status code to 4, effective the date the educational LWOP with allowance commences.

Note 1: The requirements to defer payment of DI/LTD premiums are not within the scope of the new LWOP pension services; however, it may still apply.

Note 2: Employers not serviced by the RPS – Changes to pension type 62 and SDB status code 4 are reported under the Status Change (STS) transactions in the DCT Screen.

Note 3: If the plan member had already reached the maximum limit pensionable LWOP, the pension type code must be changed to 66 (plan member on educational leave, in receipt of an education allowance and who has reached the five-year limit of pensionable LWOP).

Returning to work following an educational LWOP with an allowance

When plan members return to work, the following actions are required:

  • The compensation advisor must forward a completed PWGSC-TPSGC 140 - Notification of Rehabilitation Leave, Education Leave (with allowance) or Dual Employment - same pay office, same department to the Pension Centre in advance of processing any applicable pay activities in order to ensure the timely managing of the member's ITA period of LWOP limit. The form is not required for periods of educational LWOP where no allowance was payable.
  • The pension type code must be reverted from 62 to the original code, effective the same date that was initially reported to temporarily suspend the deficiencies.
  • A status change must be done to revert the SDB status code to code 1 to reinstate the contribution deduction.

Note: Employers not serviced by the RPS Changes to revert to original pension type code and SDB status code are reported under the Status Change (STS) transactions in the DCT Screen.

More information on educational leave with allowance reporting requirements can be found in ARCHIVED CD 2009-004 and in ARCHIVED CD 2006-012.

Pay Offices

When plan members return to work and the pension type code is reverted back to the original code, POs are no longer required to calculate the pension and/or SDB deficiencies for the period of LWOP.

Pension Centre

When plan members return to work, the Pension Centre will review the case and start the process to recover deficiencies owing, if required.

The Pension Centre will ensure that plan members ITA period of LWOP limit includes all periods of LWOP taken during the educational LWOP.

Changes to an Existing Pension and/or SDB Deficiencies Payment Plan

There are situations when an existing payment plan for LWOP ending after November 28, 2011, must be stopped or amended, such as when plan members make a lump sum payment towards deficiencies owing.

Pay Offices

Upon receipt of a notice from the Pension Centre, the POs will amend or stop pension and/or SDB deficiency payment plans, as applicable.

POs will be responsible to refund any overcontributions, when required.

Pension Centre

In addition to sending a notice to the POs, the Pension Centre will also advise plan members whose LWOP ended after November 28, 2011, of the changes to be made to the payment plan.

Note: When the LWOP period that changes is a period of LWOP ending prior to November 28, 2011, the PO is responsible for any required adjustments to deficiencies by following previously established procedures.

Estimate of Outstanding Pension and/or SDB Deficiencies
Compensation Advisors

When plan members, whose LWOP ended prior to November 28, 2011, would like to know the balance of outstanding deficiencies owing, compensation advisors will provide the estimate to members by following previously established procedures.

Pay Offices

When plan members whose LWOP ended prior to November 28, 2011, terminate employment, POs will continue to report outstanding deficiencies on the PWGSC-TPSGC 2386 - Termination/Retirement Information - This site is only accessible to federal government employees, and only to federal departments and agencies. form by following previously established procedures.

When plan members whose LWOP ended after November 28, 2011, terminate employment, POs will no longer report outstanding deficiencies on the PWGSC-TPSGC 2386 - Termination/Retirement Information - This site is only accessible to federal government employees, and only to federal departments and agencies. form. These deficiencies will be managed by the Pension Centre.

Pension Centre

As of November 28, 2011, when requested by plan members, either in advance of taking a leave of absence or during a period of LWOP, the Pension Centre will immediately provide an estimate of the pension and SDB deficiencies owing. As previously mentioned, all plan members will be advised of deficiencies owing upon return to work.

There are certain LWOP types that require the payment of pension and SDB deficiencies in advance, such as, but not limited to, "on loan" to serve as a full-time paid official of a public service bargaining agent, and "on loan" for the purpose of serving with any organization, including a government other than the Government of Canada (GC) or an international organization, where the service has not been certified as being to the advantage of the department or is not being performed at the request of the GC. A period of LWOP is considered "on loan" only where there is an official agreement between employers for the loan of the member from the public service to the outside employer. When plan members commence a period of LWOP that is considered "on loan", the Pension Centre will provide an estimate of the pension and SDB deficiencies that must be paid in advance.

As of November 28, 2011, on termination of employment, the Pension Centre will advise plan members of the pension and/or SDB amounts owing and available payment options.

Pension Adjustments

There is no change to the processes involved with the reporting of pension adjustments for periods of LWOP. This remains the responsibility of the employer.

Pensionable Period of LWOP Limit under the Public Service Superannuation Regulations (PSSR)

The ITA places a certain limit on the maximum period of LWOP which can be treated as pensionable service under a registered pension plan (RPP).

Compensation Advisors

Compensation advisors will no longer be responsible to monitor plan members' LWOP in order to determine when the maximum permitted limit is reached. The ITA five-year Limit for LWOP report that was sent to departments, agencies, Crown corporations and territorial governments in the past will no longer be produced. Penfax will run a monthly report, taking into account historical LWOP data, to determine plan members who have reached the ITA limit.

When plan members reach the maximum permitted ITA period of LWOP limit, the Pension Centre will send a notice to compensation advisors advising of the effective date to change the LWOP type code to NON-PENSIONABLE (code W).

If plan members are on educational LWOP and have reached the ITA limit, and are receiving an allowance, the LWOP type code does not apply. However, the pension type code must be changed to 66. Please refer to the section "Educational LWOP when an Allowance is Payable" when a plan member returns to work following a period of educational LWOP.

More information on this reporting requirement can be found in ARCHIVED CD 2006-012.

Once plan members have reached the maximum permitted ITA period of LWOP limit, compensation advisors must ensure that all future periods of LWOP (other than leave due to illness, leave for on loan purposes and child care leave up to three years) must also be coded as non-pensionable periods of LWOP.

Pay Offices

Once the compensation advisor has amended the LWOP type code to non-pensionable, POs will continue to refund pension contributions, when applicable.

Pension Centre

The Pension Centre will be responsible to monitor plan members' LWOP and determine when the limit, as specified in the ITA, of the maximum period of LWOP which can be treated as pensionable service has been reached.

Three months in advance of reaching the ITA period of LWOP limit, plan members on LWOP will receive a notice from the Pension Centre. The notice will advise of the date when the ITA limit will be reached and will indicate that future periods of LWOP (other than leave due to illness, leave for on loan purposes and child care leave up to three years) after the specified date will not be counted as pensionable service, and will not be used in the calculation of pension benefits under the public service pension plan. Plan members can then choose to return to work earlier, if they wish.

Once the ITA period of LWOP limit date has been reached, a second notice will be sent to plan members for record purposes.

The Pension Centre will send a notice to compensation advisors for appropriate action, advising that the ITA period of LWOP limit has been reached.

Option Not to Count a Period of LWOP as Pensionable Service
Compensation Advisors

Compensation advisors will no longer be responsible to advise plan members of their option not to count a period of LWOP beyond the first three months as pensionable service. Plan members can find information on this option, along with deadlines to apply, in the LWOP Information package or by contacting the Pension Centre.

When plan members sign a form "Election not to Count Leave Without Pay as Pensionable Service" (PWGSC-TPSGC 2480 - Election Not To Count Leave Without Pay As Pensionable Service - This site is only accessible to federal government employees, and only to federal departments and agencies.), the Pension Centre will send a notice to the compensation advisors to change the LWOP reason code to "Option Not to Count LWOP", either single rate (LWOP code 1) or double rate (LWOP code 2), for the applicable period of LWOP.

When plan members have opted not to count a period of LWOP as pensionable service, compensation advisors must ensure any additional periods of LWOP that are consecutive to the periods coded as 1 and/or 2 must also be reported with a code "option not to count LWOP".

Pay Offices

Upon receipt of a copy of the notice from the Pension Centre, and once the LWOP reason code is amended, POs will remain responsible to stop and refund pension deficiencies and adjust the pension adjustment, when applicable. The period of LWOP in question, the date the PWGSC-TPSGC 2480 - Election Not To Count Leave Without Pay As Pensionable Service - This site is only accessible to federal government employees, and only to federal departments and agencies. form was signed, and details on adjustments to the pension high/low rates and/or RCA amounts will be provided on the notice.

Pension Centre

The Pension Centre will provide plan members with the process, impacts, and deadlines of opting not to count a period of LWOP as pensionable service via the PWGSC-TPSGC 2480 - Election Not To Count Leave Without Pay As Pensionable Service - This site is only accessible to federal government employees, and only to federal departments and agencies. form.

Pre-Retirement Transition Leave (PRL)

A plan member wanting to apply for PRL must attach proof of their earliest date of retirement with an unreduced pension to their pre-retirement leave application. The manager will require this date to determine whether the member meets the eligibility requirement of an unreduced pension at the start of the leave arrangement, or is within two years of becoming eligible for an unreduced pension, in order to approve. Plan members can obtain their earliest date of retirement with an unreduced pension date in the "Retirement or Departure" section available on the left-hand side menu bar within the Pension and Insurance Benefits Statement (PIBS). The Pension Centre can also be contacted, if required.

Please note that this type of leave is not available in all organizations subject to the public service pension plan.

Compensation Advisors

Plan members contemplating starting PRL should be advised to contact the Pension Centre, as this type of leave will impact the date they reach the maximum period of LWOP which can be treated as pensionable service under the ITA.

Once the PRL is approved and processed, a copy of the PRL application must be forwarded to the Pension Centre.

If a PRL is cancelled, the Pension Centre must be notified via fax of the date of the cancellation and the last day of LWOP taken.

Pay Offices

POs responsibilities related to PRL remain unchanged.

Pension Centre

When contacted, the Pension Centre will provide plan members with the pension impacts of starting a period of PRL. Plan members will be referred to the compensation advisors for all other information needed on the subject.

Upon receipt of the PRL application, the Pension Centre will validate the:

  • Plan members date of eligibility to an unreduced pension, and
  • Whether the LWOP for a given period of PRL is within the plan members ITA period of LWOP limit, which can be treated as pensionable service.

If there is a problem with one of the above requirements, the Pension Centre will contact the compensation advisor.

Cessation of Employment Date - LWOP

This is a reminder that the cessation date rules used for LWOP situations, as described in the SAM 2-2-3, still apply. Compensation advisors will continue to advise the Pension Centre in writing when plan members, who are on authorized or unauthorized LWOP, have or will cease employment. The effective date of cessation of employment is the day following the date the deputy head of the department notifies the minister (Pension Centre).

Service Standards
Compensation Advisors

Upon return to work on an approved rehabilitation program, compensation advisors must change the plan members' pension type code and SDB eligibility code within ten business days of return to work on reduced hours, if applicable.

When plan members, described above, resume regular scheduled hours of work, the compensation advisors will forward a completed PWGSC-TPSGC 140 - Notification of Rehabilitation Leave, Education Leave (with allowance) or Dual Employment - same pay office, same department to the Pension Centre in advance of processing any applicable pay activities.

In dual employment situations, within the same PO and same department only, the compensation advisors will forward a completed PWGSC-TPSGC 140 - Notification of Rehabilitation Leave, Education Leave (with allowance) or Dual Employment - same pay office, same department to the Pension Centre in advance of processing any applicable pay activities.

Upon return to work following a period of educational LWOP with an allowance, the compensation advisors will forward a completed PWGSC-TPSGC 140 - Notification of Rehabilitation Leave, Education Leave (with allowance) or Dual Employment - same pay office, same department to the Pension Centre in advance of processing any applicable pay activities.

Pay Offices

When notified, the POs will update the pay system with the PSSA high/low rates for pension contributions and/or RCA amounts within ten business days.

Pension Centre

Upon return to work, the Pension Centre will forward a notice to plan members within ten business days outlining the pension and/or SDB deficiencies owing.

Upon return to work, the Pension Centre will forward a notice to the POs within ten business days outlining the pension low rate threshold and the RCA pension threshold.

Upon request, provide plan members with an estimate of pension and/or SDB deficiencies owing immediately.

Information: Disclaimer

This information is provided to illustrate the new pension services and processes for LWOP. All other existing compensation processes remain unchanged, unless mentioned in this document.

Roles and Responsibilities

November 7, 2011 Updated September 19, 2012

Leave without pay (LWOP) Pension Services Roles and Responsibilities

In organizations not serviced by the Regional Pay System (RPS), the term "pay office" refers to the human resources or payroll areas of those organizations.

Leave without pay (LWOP) Pension Services Roles and responsibilities
Activities Plan Members Compensation Advisors Pay Offices (PO) Public Service Pension Centre (Pension Centre)
Starting an extended period of LWOP Obtain information from the Your Public Service Pension and Benefits Web portal.

Contact the Pension Centre to provide their contact information.

Encourage plan members to view information available on the Your Public Service Pension and Benefits Web portal and instruct them to contact the Pension Centre to provide their contact information.

Advise of the impacts of taking LWOP while on Disability Insurance (DI) / Long-term Disability Insurance (LTD), and all other benefits (excluding pension and Supplementary Death Benefit (SDB)).

Temporarily stop regular salary payments. RPS users action a temporarily struck off strength (T-SOS), and employers not serviced by the RPS report an open period of LWOP with no end date.

  On request, or when the plan member contact information is available, provide information on the pension impacts of starting LWOP.
Returning from an extended period of LWOP Obtain information from the Your Public Service Pension and Benefits Web portal or by contacting the Pension Centre. Refer plan members to the Pension Centre for information regarding the pension impacts of returning to work.

Provide contact information including the pension and benefits Web portal address, a toll free telephone number, an email address, a facsimile number and a mailing address for inquiries related to LWOP (LWOP Your Public Service Pension and Benefits - Contact Us).

Restart regular salary payments.

Non-RPS users are responsible for stopping the LWOP period in the DCT. Advise plan members of the DI/LTD deficiencies owing for a period of LWOP.

When notified, update the pay system with the pension low rate threshold for pension contributions and/or the retirement compensation arrangement (RCA) pension threshold within ten business days.

When notified, s tart recovery of pension and/or SDB deficiencies.

Advise plan members, within ten business days , of the pension and/or SDB deficiencies owing and the available payment options.

Fax to the PO the pension low rate threshold and the RCA pension threshold within ten business days.

Advise the PO of amounts of pension and/or SDB deficiencies to be recovered.

Returning to work on an approved rehabilitation program Obtain information from the Your Public Service Pension and Benefits Web portal or by contacting the Pension Centre. When a plan member returns to work on November 28, 2011, or later, and chooses to pay contributions, no change to the pension type code is required.

When a plan member resumes regular scheduled hours of work, forward a completed PWGSC-TPSGC 140 - Notification of Rehabilitation Leave, Education Leave (with allowance) or Dual Employment - same pay office, same department form to the Pension Centre.

When a plan member, on return to work, chooses to defer payment of current contributions and returns to their regular scheduled hours of work on November 28, 2011, or later:

On return to work (reduced hours)

Change the pension type code to a non-contributor within ten business days.

Suspend the SDB contributions within ten business days.

Updated When regular scheduled hours of work are resumed Forward a completed (PWGSC-TPSGC 140 - Notification of Rehabilitation Leave, Education Leave (with allowance) or Dual Employment - same pay office, same department) to the Pension Centre.

Updated RPS users, advise pay office of rehabilitation leave end date.

Ensure contributions are restarted. Revert the pension type code to the original code.

Revert the SDB status code to the original code.

  When regular scheduled hours of work are resumed Advise plan members within ten business days of t he pension and/or SDB deficiencies owing and the available payment options, if applicable.

Provide the PO with the pension low rate threshold for pension contributions and the RCA pension threshold within ten business days, if applicable.

Advise the PO of amounts of pension and/or SDB deficiencies to be recovered, if applicable.

Prior periods of LWOP with outstanding pension and/or SDB Deficiencies    

Updated Stop recovery of prior deficiencies and fax amount owing to the Pension Centre.

Updated For RPS pay office, prior deficiencies can be found on the Master Employee Record (MER) or on-line on the Deduction Entitlement Select (DDT) screen.

For LWOP that starts effective November 28, 2011, or later, fax the deficiencies owing to the Pension Centre, at the start of the LWOP.

For LWOP that starts effective before November 28, 2011, immediately fax the deficiencies owing to the Pension Centre, upon a members return to work.

Upon the plan members return to work, calculate the pension and SDB deficiencies owing including prior deficiencies.
Dual employment within the same PO and same department   Forward a completed PWGSC-TPSGC 140 - Notification of Rehabilitation Leave, Education Leave (with allowance) or Dual Employment - same pay office, same department to the Pension Centre at start of and on completion of a period of dual employment.   Ensure that recovery of deficiencies for the period of LWOP is deferred until plan members return to work following their original LWOP.
Educational LWOP when an allowance is payable Obtain information from the Your Public Service Pension and Benefits Web portal or by contacting the Pension Centre. When a plan member chooses to pay contributions No change required to the pension type code.

RPS users must report an ENC 202 (18C 202) for the difference between the full salary and the allowance when a plan member chooses to continue to have deductions taken on full salary.

Upon completion of educational LWOP forward a completed PWGSC-TPSGC 140 - Notification of Rehabilitation Leave, Education Leave (with allowance) or Dual Employment - same pay office, same department form to the Pension Centre.

When a plan member chooses to defer contributions:

Starting educational LWOP with an allowance

Change the pension type code to a non-contributor.

Suspend the SDB contributions.

Return to work following the educational LWOP with allowance

Forward a completed PWGSC-TPSGC 140 - Notification of Rehabilitation Leave, Education Leave (with allowance) or Dual Employment - same pay office, same department to the Pension Centre.

Revert the pension type code to the original code.

Revert the SDB eligibility code to the original code.

  S tart the process to recover deficiencies owing, if applicable. Ensure that plan members Income Tax Act (ITA) period of LWOP limit includes all periods of LWOP taken during the educational LWOP.
Changes to an existing pension and/or SDB deficiencies payment plan Request information from the Pension Centre on changes to be made to the payment plan. Refer plan members to the Pension Centre for information on LWOP payment plans.

Provide contact information including the Your Public Service Pension and Benefits Web portal address, a toll free telephone number, an email address, a facsimile number and a mailing address for inquiries related to LWOP (Your Public Service Pension and Benefits - Contact Us).

Upon receipt of notice, amend or stop pension and/or SDB deficiency payment plans, as applicable. Refund over contributions, when required. Advise plan members whose LWOP ended after November 28, 2011, of the changes to be made to the payment plan.

Advise the PO to amend or stop pension and/or SDB deficiencies, as applicable.

Estimate of outstanding pension and/or SDB deficiencies Request estimate of pension and/or SDB deficiencies owing from the Pension Centre.

For on loan situations, obtain estimate of pension and/or SDB deficiencies to be paid in advance from the Pension Centre.

For LWOP that ended prior to November 28, 2011 only, provide balance of outstanding deficiencies to plan members. For LWOP that ended prior to November 28, 2011 only, when plan members terminate employment, report outstanding deficiencies on the PWGSC-TPSGC 2386 - Termination/Retirement Information - This site is only accessible to federal government employees, and only to federal departments and agencies. form. Upon request, provide an estimate of the pension and/or SDB deficiencies owing immediately.

Provide an estimate of the pension and/or SDB deficiencies that must be paid in advance for on loan situations.

On termination of employment, advise plan members of the pension and/or SDB deficiencies owing and available payment options.

Pension Adjustments (PA)   The reporting of PA remains an employer responsibility. The reporting of PA remains an employer responsibility.  
Pensionable LWOP Limit Request information from the Pension Centre on the pensionable LWOP limit. When notified, change the LWOP type code to NON-PENSIONABLE (code W). R efund pension contributions, when applicable. Monitor plan members LWOP and determine when the limit of the maximum period of LWOP that can be treated as pensionable service has been reached.

Advise plan members that they will or have reached the LWOP limit.

Advise compensation advisor to change the LWOP type code to NON-PENSIONABLE (code W).

Option not to count LWOP as pensionable service Request information from the Pension Centre on the option not to count LWOP as pensionable service. When notified, change the LWOP reason code to 'Option Not to Count LWOP' for the applicable period of LWOP and ensure additional consecutive periods of LWOP are coded the same. Stop pension deficiencies and adjust the PA, when applicable. R efund pension contributions, when applicable. Provide plan members with the process, impacts, and deadlines of opting not to count a period of LWOP as pensionable service using the PWGSC-TPSGC 2480 - Election Not To Count Leave Without Pay As Pensionable Service - This site is only accessible to federal government employees, and only to federal departments and agencies. form.

Advise compensation advisors to change the LWOP reason code to "Option Not to Count LWOP" for the applicable period of LWOP.

Pre-retirement transition leave (PRL) Request information on applying for a PRL. Refer plan members to the Pension Centre for questions on the pension impacts of starting a period of PRL.

Send a copy of the PRL application to the Pension Centre.

Advise the Pension Centre if a PRL is canceled.

  Provide the pension impacts of starting a period of PRL to plan members, when requested.