Employees required to contribute once Eligibility Requirements have been met

The following information is intended to provide you, the Employer, with an understanding of the types of appointments that do not meet the eligibility requirements at the time of hiring. It describes situations when employees in those positions become contributors under the public service pension plan.

You may want to know…

Employees Appointed for a Period of Six Months or less

A person who is appointed as a term or casual for six months or less cannot contribute until he has completed six months of substantially continuousFootnote * full-time or part-time employment.

Example:

  • May 31 to November 30 = six months
    • plan member December 1
  • October 31 to April 30 = six months
    • plan member May 1
  • December 31 to June 30 = six months
    • plan member July 1
  • Aug. 29, 30 and 31 to Feb. 28 = six months
    • plan member March 1

A break of more than one day constitutes a break in qualifying service for a non-active plan member. If the employee's work week is other than Monday to Friday, it must be noted on the Termination Notice.

A break of one day constitutes a break in pensionable service for an active plan member.

Employees Reappointed to a "< 12 Hours per Week" or "As Required" Position

When an employee, who is continuously employed without interruption on a full-time or part-time (Assigned Work Week (AWW)  12 hours per week) basis, for a term of six months or less, transfers to a position with an AWW < 12 hours or to an "as required" position, this employee would not become a contributor until he is reappointed in a full-time or part-time (AWW 12 hours) position and has met all other eligibility requirements. This period of service, however, is included in the calculation of the six months qualifying service.

NOTES

  1. The employee can only become a plan member when he is reassigned to a full-time or part-time (AWW  12 hours per week) position again and he has completed the six months qualifying service.
  2. "AWW less than 12 hours" or "as required" service may only be included in the calculation of the 6 months qualifying period if it is immediately preceded and followed by full-time or part-time employment of 12 hours or more.

EXAMPLE 1

  • Appointed for a term of five months on April 3, 1995
    (AWW = 25 hours per week).
  • Without a break, transfers to another part-time position
    (AWW < 12 hours per week) on May 1, 1995.
  • Returns to the original position
    (AWW = 25 hours per week) on August 10, 1995.
  • Date of becoming a plan member is October 3, 1995;
    six months from April 3, 1995.

EXAMPLE 2

  • Appointed to a term of four months on April 11, 1995
    (AWW = 37.5 hours per week).
  • Without a break in service, transfers to an "as required" position on June 15, 1995.
  • Returns to full-time or part-time service of  12 hours per week on October 16, 1995.
  • Six months of qualifying service was reached on October 11, 1995, but since he was still an "as required" employee, he only becomes a plan member on October 16, 1995, when he is appointed to a full-time or part-time position of 12 hours or more per week.

EXAMPLE 3

  • Appointed on April 3, 1995 on a part-time
    (AWW < 12 hours per week) or on an "as required" basis.
  • Transfers to a full-time term or part-time  12 hours per week position of six months or less on September 5, 1995.
  • Only eligible to become a plan member on March 5, 1996, six months from September 5, 1995. The initial appointment on April 13, 1995 does not count as qualifying service.

Employees Reappointed to a Term of more than Six Months

If the employee is reappointed for a term of more than six months before having completed six months of substantially continuous service, contributions will begin from the effective date of the appointment to the term that is more than six months.

EXAMPLE

  • Appointed to a term of four months on August 17, 1995 (full-time or part-time at 12 hours or more per week).
  • Subsequent appointment to a term of seven months on November 13, 1995.
  • Date of becoming a plan member is November 13, 1995.

Student

Students are allowed to contribute if they meet the basic eligibility criteria to contribute to the public service pension plan. The eligibility to contribute rules apply to students the same way they do for other employees; the duration of their employment determines eligibility to contribute.

EXAMPLE 1

  • The initial appointment is for less than six months and the student is paid a salary with an AWW arrangement of 12 hours or more over a Standard Work Week (SWW) of, say, 37.5 hours
  • In this case, the student is not eligible to contribute until he has completed six months of continuous (qualifying) service.

EXAMPLE 2

  • The initial appointment is for a term of six months plus one day and the student is paid a salary with an AWW arrangement of 12 hours or more over a SWW of 40 hours. The student is immediately eligible to contribute to the pension plan.

Seasonal Employees

Seasonal employees are employees who are appointed, at a stated annual salary, to perform duties for a period of less than 12 months in successive years of employment. For example, they work the same period or season in the year (i.e. 3 months, 6 months, etc.)

Seasonal employees do not contribute until they have completed six months of substantially continuous employment.

In order for the lay-off period to count as qualifying service, the seasonal employee needs to have at least one day of remuneration before his seasonal lay-off.

EXCEPTION

The above definition does not include a teacher at a school established under the Indian Act or under an Ordinance of the Commissioner in Council of the North West Territories.

Effect of Seasonal Lay-off on Continuous Employment

Where an employee has service as a seasonal employee and has not ceased to be employed, the period between seasons during which he was not actively employed (seasonal lay-off) may be included to make up the six months' qualifying period. Seasonal lay-off does not constitute a break in service.

In order for the lay-off period to count as qualifying service, the seasonal employee needs to have at least one day of remuneration before his seasonal lay-off.

Seasonal employees can become plan members during a seasonal lay-off as they are still on strength.

As no salary is paid during seasonal lay-offs, pension contributions are not deducted and such periods do not count as pensionable service for pension purposes.

NOTE:

Although pension contributions are not required during periods of seasonal lay-off, Supplementary Death Benefit (SDB) contributions are required for such periods.

EXAMPLE

  • Appointed as a seasonal employee effective April 19, 1994.
  • Seasonal lay-off effective September 30, 1994.
  • Recalled and returned to active duty on April 10, 1995.
  • On October 19, 1994, the employee reaches the qualifying period of six months and becomes a plan member.
  • Unless he was employed in another position during the seasonal lay-off, he does not contribute to the pension plan for the period of September 30, 1994 to April 9, 1995. This service is non-pensionable service.
  • Contributions would only commence effective April 10, 1995 when he returns to active duty.
  • However, since the employee became a plan member on October 19, 1994, the Employer will deduct SDB contributions that are owing for the period of seasonal lay-off from his salary upon return to active duty. Please note that SDB contributions would be based on the rate of salary the employee would have received had he been on active duty.

Employees on Leave of Absence from Employment outside the Public Service but still Subject to the Pension Plan of that Employer

Any employee on leave of absence from an outside employer but still subject to the pension plan of that employer is prevented from contributing under the public service pension plan until he ceases to be subject to the outside pension plan.

An outside employer:

For the purpose of this section, refers to the Canadian Forces (CF) and Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). It also includes provincial government and any other outside employers.

NOTE

An employee appointed while on retirement leave (often called Terminal leave) from the CF or RCMP continues to contribute to the Canadian Forces Superannuation Act (CFSA) or Royal Canadian Mounted Police Superannuation Act (RCMPSA); therefore, he cannot become a plan member under the public service pension plan until the day following the last day of retirement leave.

EXAMPLE

  • Terminal leave from CF effective April 1, 1996.
  • Indeterminate appointment with the Department of Agriculture on April 8, 1996.
  • Terminal leave and contributions to the CFSA cease on August 2, 1996.
  • Plan member under the public service pension plan effective August 3, 1996.

Part-Time Employees Employed Prior to July 4, 1994

Grandfathered part-time employees, working an average of less than 30 hours per week, do not become plan members under the public service pension plan or the Supplementary Death Benefit (SDB) plan unless they lose their part-time grandfather protection. They will become plan members if:

  1. their Assigned Work Week (AWW) increases to 30 hours or more, (except if that increase is an acting or temporary appointment of three months or less);
  2. they have a break in service of more than one day.

In the two situations above, the employee loses the grandfather non-contributing protection and reverts to a part-time or full-time status according to the new provisions.

The employee would be eligible to contribute under the public service pension plan provided all eligibility requirements are met.

Break in employment or Struck-Off Strength (SOS)

An employee ceases to be employed on the day following the last day for which he received pay.

A break of one day constitutes a break in pensionable service for an active plan member.

A break of more than one day constitutes a break in qualifying service for a non-active plan member. If the employee’s work week is other than Monday to Friday, it must be noted on the Termination Notice.

EXAMPLES

  1. Last day of pay - Wednesday, February 20, 2002
    Date of SOS - Thursday, February 21, 2002
  2. Last day of pay - Friday, January 20, 1984
    Date of SOS - Saturday, January 21, 1984
  3. Last day of pay - Friday, (noon) January 20, 1984
    Date of SOS - Saturday, January 21, 1984
  4. Last day of pay - Sunday, January 22, 1984
    Date of SOS - Monday, January 23, 1984
    Employee working a non-standard work week - normal days of rest are Monday and Tuesday
  5. Last day of pay - Friday noon, February 7, 2003
    Date of SOS - Saturday, February 8, 2003
    Date of Taken On Strength (TOS) - Monday noon, February 10, 2003

    This is not a break in service as the date of SOS is Saturday and Sunday is the day of rest. The service is continuous and is only broken if the employee is re-TOS'd on Tuesday rather than Monday at noon.

NOTE

For a Standard Work Week (SWW), we cannot SOS on a Monday, Sunday or Statutory Holiday.

No Break in Service for Eligibility Purposes only

The following examples show various scenarios that would not constitute a break in qualifying service.

EXAMPLE 1

SUN MON TUES WED THURS FRI SAT
Day of Rest Last Day Worked Struck-Off Strength (SOS) One Day Break Taken On Strength (TOS) W W Day of Rest

W = Worked

EXAMPLE 2

The example shows a scenario that does not constitute a break in qualifying service.

SUN MON TUES WED THURS FRI SAT
Day of Rest W W W W Last Day Worked SOS
Day of Rest TOS W W W W Day of Rest

NOTE: If the last day worked is Friday and the employee goes back to work on Monday, the weekend does not count as a break in service.

W = Worked

EXAMPLE 3

The example shows a scenario that does not constitute a break in qualifying service.

SUN MON TUES WED THURS FRI SAT
Day of Rest W W W W Last Day Worked SOS
Day of Rest Statutory Holiday TOS W W W Day of Rest

W = Worked

Holidays and days of rest (i.e. Saturdays and Sundays) do not constitute a break in service provided a day of work immediately precedes and follows them.

Breaks in Service for Eligibility Purposes only

The following examples show various scenarios that would constitute a break in qualifying service.

EXAMPLE 1

The example shows a scenario that constitutes a break in qualifying service.

SUN MON TUES WED THURS FRI SAT
Day of Rest W Last Day Worked Struck-Off Strength (SOS) Break Taken On Strength (TOS) Day of Rest

W = Worked

This is a two-day break when determining eligibility to contribute. The person must complete another 6-month qualifying period to become a plan member.

EXAMPLE 2

The example shows a scenario that constitutes a break in qualifying service.

SUN MON TUES WED THURS FRI SAT
Day of Rest W W W Last Day Worked SOS Day of Rest
Day of Rest TOS W W W W Day of Rest

W = Worked

This is a three-day break because the period between employments constitutes a weekend and one working day.

Effect of Leave without Pay (LWOP) on Continuous Employment

Periods of LWOP do not break continuous service. The employee must be Struck-Off Strength (SOS) to break the service. Temporary SOS as LWOP is not a break in service.

EXAMPLE

  • Appointment from February 1, 1995 to June 2, 1995.
  • SOS on June 3, 1995 (Saturday).
  • Appointment from June 5, 1995 to October 6, 1995.
  • LWOP from July 10, 1995 to July 14, 1995.
  • Date of becoming a plan member is August 1, 1995 (six months after February 1, 1995). There is no break in service with the SOS of June 3rd (SOS on the Saturday).

Footnotes

Footnote 1

Substantially continuous employment: service for which there was not a break in employment of more than one day.

Return to footnote * referrer