Enrolling a Member

Information: GCintranet disclaimer

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

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 (PWGSC-TPSGC 2018) form that is provided to the member and the process of how you will be advised when your employee becomes a member of the public service pension plan.

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 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" web portal or to the Pension Centre.

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 send the member a Plan Enrolment Package. This package includes:

The Plan Enrolment Package 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.). Plan members are to send any personal documentation directly to the Pension Centre.

Plan Member Contact Information

It is the responsibility of the compensation advisor to provide the new plan members' contact information to the Pension Centre. This will enable the Pension Centre to mail the Plan Enrolment Package directly to plan members. It is important for client organizations to understand that a delay in the provision of this information to the Pension Centre will impact the plan member.

When an employee is hired for a period of six months or less, it is recommended that client organizations put in place a procedure that ensures that the plan member's contact information is sent to the Pension Centre when the employee satisfies the eligibility criteria and becomes a member of the public service pension plan.

Regional Pay System (RPS) users

The Plan Member Contact Information (PWGSC-TPSGC 577) form must be completed by the compensation advisor and be faxed to the Pension Centre within three business days of the date pension plan contribution deductions are started. This form will provide the plan member's contact information as well as the employing department's coordinates. This will allow the Pension Centre to mail the Plan Enrolment Package directly to the plan member's mailing address.

Note: Compensation advisors should NOT fax the Plan Member Contact Information (PWGSC-TPSGC 577) form until the transaction to commence the pension plan contribution deduction is in history in the RPS. Forms sent prior to this may not be recognized where RPS data, specifically the PRI, has not updated the pension system. These situations would require manual intervention and ultimately delay the mailing of Plan Enrolment Packages to plan members.

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

Data Capture Tool (DCT) users

Plan member contact information must be entered in the DCT within three business days of the date pension plan contribution deductions are started. This will allow the Pension Centre to mail the Plan Enrolment Package directly to plan members.

Personal Record Identifier (PRI)

There are some Crown Corporations and Agencies that do not have access to Central Index to create a PRI. The compensation advisors must contact the Pension Centre to obtain one using the Contact Us - Employer Support Services toll free telephone number. 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.

Issuing a Notification of Plan Membership (PWGSC-TPSGC 2018)

When an employee becomes a contributor to the plan, a Notification of Plan Membership (PWGSC-TPSGC 2018) 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 (SDB) Plan are initiated on the correct date. A pension number is automatically generated when the Notification of Plan Membership (PWGSC-TPSGC 2018) is produced.

Compensation advisors will be advised when an employee becomes a member of the public service pension plan. A Notification of Pension Plan Membership report for all new plan members will be provided on a recurring basis, starting in February 2014. Compensation advisors will ensure that:

  • pension contributions are commenced on the correct date;
  • SDB contributions, if applicable, are commenced on the correct date; and
  • the Pension Centre has the most recent plan member address. Compensation advisors will be asked to submit missing or updated addresses (see Plan Member Contact Information).

If there is a discrepancy in the date of contributions, compensation advisors can communicate these discrepancies to the Pension Centre by email at SHE.2018@pwgsc-tpsgc.gc.ca. This will ensure that plan members receive accurate pension benefits.

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 (PWGSC-TPSGC 2018) 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 (PWGSC-TPSGC 2018) and was a plan member prior to reaching age 71, a Ceasing to contribute to Public Service Superannuation Act (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 - Eligible to Non-Eligible Status

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

  • occupying a position where the assigned work week Assigned Work Week (AWW) is less than 12 hours/week;
  •  accepting a term employment of 6 months or less, prior to reaching 6 months of continuous service (qualifying period)
  • 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 plan members advising them of the change to their public service pension plan membership status.

Note: In cases were an employee moves from a non-eligible status back to an eligible status, a new Notification of Plan Membership (PWGSC-TPSGC 2018) will be issued.

Notification of Plan Membership (PWGSC-TPSGC 2018) 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 by email at SHE.2018@pwgsc-tpsgc.gc.ca. The compensation advisors will also be required to correct the DCT or the RPS to ensure that the employee data is accurate.

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 (PWGSC-TPSGC 2018) could be issued.

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

    A change in the AWW could cause the pension system to issue a Notification of Plan Membership (PWGSC-TPSGC 2018). 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.

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.

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.

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 (PWGSC-TPSGC 2018) to the member and the employers will be advised.

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 (PWGSC-TPSGC 2018) to the member and the second employer will be advised.

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.

Compensation advisors will be advised when an employee becomes a member of the public service pension plan. A Notification of Pension Plan Membership report for all new plan members will be provided on a recurring basis, starting in February 2014. Compensation advisors will ensure that:

  • pension contributions are commenced on the correct date;
  • SDB contributions, if applicable, are commenced on the correct date; and
  • the Pension Centre has the most recent plan member address. Compensation advisors will be asked to submit missing or updated addresses (see Plan Member Contact Information).

If there is a discrepancy in the date of contributions, compensation advisors can communicate these discrepancies to the Pension Centre by email at SHE.2018@pwgsc-tpsgc.gc.ca. This will ensure that plan members receive accurate pension benefits.

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 (PWGSC-TPSGC 2719 - This site is only accessible to federal government employees, and only to federal departments and agencies.) form. Please visit Adding or changing data on the paylist - address file - This site is only accessible to federal government employees, and only to federal departments and agencies. 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.