Subject: Government of Canada Pension Modernization Project (GCPMP) - Release 2.0.1 - Impact on Systems, Business Processes and Procedures 2011-003
June 8, 2011
1.1. The purpose of this special advice is to provide Crown corporations, agencies and territorial governments that are not using the Regional Pay System (RPS) with instructions regarding the new Data Capture Tool (DCT) and the changes this new system is having on the current pension-related processes and procedures, and to provide detailed instructions for reporting pension-related information.
1.2. This special advice should also be read in conjunction with the following documents:
- ARCHIVED SACCO 2010-001 entitled "GCPMP - Release 2.0 (Contributors)"
- ARCHIVED SACCO 2010-002 entitled "GCPMP - Release 2.0 - New Secure Crown Corporation Portal"
- ARCHIVED SACCO 2010-003 entitled "GCPMP - Release 2.0 - New Data Capture Tool"
1.3. These changes came into effect on May 2, 2011.
2.1. On April 11, 2011, Public Works Government Services Canada (PWGSC) implemented the new core public service pension system called Penfax. In addition to the Penfax components related to active member accounts, a new software component, the DCT, was also introduced. It enables employers that are not using the RPS to report Human Resource (HR) and payroll information for all employees. The new DCT is being used for submitting employee data/information to Penfax.
3. Description of Changes
3.1. System Changes
3.1.1. With the launch of the GCPMP Release 2.0.1, the Crown Process Improvement (CPI) workbook was decommissioned and replaced by the new secure Crown Corporation Portal and the new DCT. With the decommissioning of the CPI workbook, non RPS Crown corporations, agencies and territorial governments are using the new DCT to report HR and payroll data to Penfax. The DCT is accessible through the new secure Crown Corporation Portal (see Special Advice to Crown Corporations 2010-002).
3.2. Business Processes
3.2.1. With Release 2.0.1, Crown Corporations, agencies and territorial governments are responsible for entering the appropriate employee, pension type codes and Supplementary Death Benefit Plan (SDBP) indicator in the DCT, as well as salary and service details. They are also responsible for initiating, amending and stopping transactions using the DCT, based on plan member activities. This would be required at such times as the initial hiring, at completion of the six-month qualifying period, and/or upon change in employment conditions and/or status (e.g. a change in an assigned work week to less than 12 hours, or a change in employment status that would affect an employee's eligibility to the public service pension plan, such as being employed on an "as required basis").
3.2.2. Once Penfax is updated with any changes in employment conditions or status, the Public Service Pension Centre (Pension Centre) will communicate, in writing, to the plan member to inform him/her of any possible or potential impact on pension benefits.
3.2.3. The Penfax System and the Pension Centre's pension experts use plan member contact information to send pension plan information, in writing, to plan members. Where a plan member's contact information is not received prior to termination of employment, the Pension Centre contacts the client organization to obtain the contact information. The Pension Centre will escalate the request to the Head of HR when contact cannot be made with the employer's representative, or when contact has been established, but the plan member's contact information has not been received within two business days following the date of the request.
3.2.4. As part of the employer pay function, Crown Corporations, agencies and territorial governments are responsible for deducting plan member's pension contributions (current, elective, arrears and Supplementary Death Benefit) from their regular and supplementary salaries, and for answering questions from employees on their payroll deductions.
4. New Procedures and Instructions
4.1. Data Update and Correction
Member data will be populated in Penfax by importing data from the DCT . This data will be used to maintain career information (e.g. eligibility, salary and service), to support Web self service, to provide counseling and estimates related to terminations/retirements, pension transfers and pension division, as well as to expand the automation of business processes that was begun in previous GCPMP releases.
4.1.1. In cases of discrepancies or errors, a Pension Centre's pension expert may need to contact an employer representative for additional information. This may include such details as the historical salary or leave without pay (LWOP) data. The employer representative may be required to amend the data in the DCT and, if applicable, in their respective pay system, to reflect the correct information.
4.1.2. Where correspondence is produced by the Pension Centre to notify the employer of inconsistencies in pension or personal data, it is the responsibility of the employer representative to change the data in their respective pay system to reflect the required public service pension plan deductions or to amend salary or service in order to maintain consistency of data between the employer's pay system and Penfax. As required, the employer representative may also be asked to complete forms and forward them to the Pension Centre. The employer representative can contact the Pension Centre using the active member line in order to obtain guidance related to pension data-reporting information for a specific plan member's account.
4.2. Contribution Variance (Integrity Test)
4.2.1. Penfax will track and verify the accuracy of key pension data by comparing salary, service and contributions. The integrity test will use salary and service data to calculate the estimated contributions. The estimated contributions will then be compared to the contribution data received from the DCT to determine if the relationship between salary, service and contributions is valid and within acceptable tolerance levels. The Pension Centre will investigate the cause of any discrepancy identified between the estimated contributions and the actual contributions received and may need to contact the employer representative, in writing, to have erroneous data amended.
4.2.2. For accounts with discrepancies in contributions, the Pension Centre may need to notify the employer in writing to recover pension contributions in the DCT and in their respective pay system from the regular or supplementary payments, or to refund monies to the plan member. Pension contributions that are originally recovered via payroll deductions or refunded to the plan member via each employer's pay system must, subsequently, be adjusted in the DCT. Contributions paid directly to the Pension Centre by the plan member will be adjusted by the Pension Centre's Accounting section, if required.
4.3. 35 Years of Pensionable Service
4.3.1. Using Penfax, the Pension Centre is now solely responsible to confirm and validate the date of completion of the 35 years of pensionable service. The Pension Centre automatically notifies the Crown corporations, agencies and territorial governments by letter, three months in advance of an employee completing 35 years of pensionable service. It is the responsibility of the employer representative to cease current public service pension plan deductions and to report the pension type 03 within the DCT using the Status Change transaction and the effective date of the 35 years of service. There is no longer a requirement to complete form PWGSC-TPSGC 2019 (Notice of 35 Years of Pensionable Service) or to validate the plan member's service. The Pension Centre will notify the plan member directly that their 35 years of pensionable service date is approaching.
4.3.2. It remains the responsibility of the employer representative to adjust any pension plan deductions and to adjust the pension adjustment amount (PA) starting from the date of 35 years of service as per current procedures.
4.4. Age 71
4.4.1. Each year, Crown corporations, agencies and territorial governments will be automatically notified by the Pension Centre, in writing, of those employees who will reach the age 71 during the current calendar year. Each employer representative will then take action to ensure that no further public service pension plan deductions will be taken from these plan members effective the following January 1, and at the same time report the pension type 59 within the DCT using the transaction.
4.4.2. In addition, Penfax will automatically notify the plan member, in writing, three months in advance of the end of the year in which they reach the age of 71, that public service pension plan deductions will cease the following January 1. However, deductions and coverage will continue for the Supplementary Death Benefit Plan.
4.5. Dual Remuneration
4.5.1. Dual remuneration occurs when an employee occupies more than one position of employment in the public service and receives a salary for each position at the same time. The Pension Centre will send a letter to both organizations to notify them of the dual remuneration situation and to ensure proper action is taken in regard to plan enrolment. The second employer will be responsible to contact the former employer to obtain and record the Public Service Superannuation Act (PSSA) low rate amount to ensure that the correct amount of contributions are deducted from the employee's pay.
4.5.2. In cases where a plan member is employed in dual remuneration and has one or more secondary positions with the same employer, Crown corporations, agencies and territorial governments are to input in the DCT in a timely fashion the taken on strength (TOS) to the employee's account in the secondary employment with a different paylist than the paylist of the substantive employment account. This will ensure that the second and any subsequent period of contributory service are recorded. Failure to do so, will result in errors in determining pensionable service and salary for benefit calculation purposes.
- TOS - must have a different paylist number
- Report salary
- If applicable during the period of employment, report any LWOP , salary changes, change in assigned work week, status changes or address changes
- To close, report Struck Off Strength (SOS)
4.6. Dual Employment
4.6.1. Dual employment occurs when an employee is on an extended LWOP and is appointed to another position, on a temporary basis, in the same or in another public service organization. The Pension Centre will send a letter to the organization with the secondary position advising of the dual employment situation to ensure proper action is taken in regard to plan enrolment.
4.6.2. In all cases of dual employment, Crown corporations, agencies and territorial governments are to input in the DCT, in a timely fashion, the TOS to the employee's account in the secondary employment with a different paylist than the paylist of the substantive employment account. Failure to do so, will result in errors and the data will not post to Penfax. The Pension Centre will then need to contact the employer in order to determine pensionable service and salary for benefit calculation purposes.
- TOS - must have a different paylist number
- Report salary
- If applicable during the period of employment, report any LWOP, salary changes, change in assigned work week, status changes or address changes
- To close, report SOS.
4.6.3. It is the responsibility of the employer, where the account now resides, to obtain and record the amount of PSSA low rate contributions paid with the former employer. This is necessary to determine when the employee will reach the annual PSSA low rate threshold, thus ensuring contributions are accurate.
4.6.4. PA Amount - Where the employee is on LWOP and the period of absence is considered pensionable service, the salaries the employee would have earned had he not been on LWOP, are to be utilized in the PA calculation. The calculated PA includes the period of LWOP.
A PA should be calculated for the employee with the primary department from which he is temporarily SOS (T-SOS). If the employee, while on LWOP, worked as a term and was a contributor to the public service pension plan, a PA would also be calculated for the period where he worked as a term. The PA calculated for the period in T-SOS status should not include the period of pensionable employment as a term and, therefore, must be amended.
The secondary personnel office, who has the employee in a term of dual employment, must advise the personnel office from which the employee is T-SOS of the dates and the number of pay periods the employee has been a contributor while employed with them.
The personnel office of the primary department, who has the employee in T-SOS status, must adjust the PA amount by the number of pay periods of the dual employment, as reported by the secondary personnel office, and the pensionable earnings from the corresponding time period that should not be counted in the PA calculation for the year. The amount of pensionable earnings should be calculated using the pensionable salary of the substantive position at the primary department from which the employee is T-SOS.
Personnel is not required to make adjustments for employees who are not contributors to the public service pension plan at the second employment, as no PA will be issued for that employment.
5. Forms to Certify Salary and Service
5.1. Whenever possible, the Pension Centre's pension experts will use the salary and service information available within the pension system. However, if there are discrepancies, the pension expert will contact the Crown corporations, agencies and territorial governments to request certification of salary and service information via DCT. This will reduce the requirement for employing organizations to complete forms.
5.2. The following forms are to be used by the employer's representative for this purpose:
- PWGSC-TPSGC 2001 (Elective Non-contributory Pensionable Service Record)
- PWGSC-TPSGC 2001-1 (Elective Pensionable Service Record for Operational Service)
- PWGSC-TPSGC 2123 (Certification Leave Without Pay)
- PWGSC-TPSGC 2201 (Request to Certify a Salary Rate)
- PWGSC-TPSGC 2471 (Certification of Operational Service - Correctional Service Canada)
- PWGSC-TPSGC 2493 (Confirmation of Information for Pension Benefits Division)
6.1. The appropriate manuals, directives, bulletins and national training courses will be updated in the coming months to incorporate the relevant information contained in this bulletin.
7.1. Any inquiries concerning the information contained in this document should be addressed to the Pension Centre Employer Support Services.
Reference(s): CJA 9006-24-0, 24-6, 29, CJA 9203-5(3.1)(b), 71(1)
- Date modified: