Application for Pension Benefits

Application for Pension Benefits

What must employees do to receive their pension?

They must contact the CCQ’s Customer Services to apply for pension benefits and obtain their personalized Option Form and the accompanying documents.

Employees must contact the CCQ during the month preceding the date on which they wish to begin their retirement. For example, an employee eligible for an unreduced pension on October 1 may apply for pension benefits on any day in September.

The Option Form presents the different pension options for which employees are eligible and the corresponding amounts payable. If an employee is eligible for partial retirement, the choice of full or partial retirement will be offered. To receive their pension benefits, employees must indicate their choice on the form and return it to the CCQ before the deadline indicated. The form must be duly signed and accompanied by the documents requested.

The first payment will be made within three months following receipt by the CCQ of all the documents required. This first payment will include all payments due since the first day of the month following the date of the application.

If an employee misses the deadline, what should he do?

The form is valid for 60 days from the date of the application (90 days if the partial retirement option is offered). Employees who do not meet the deadline and still wish to retire must contact Customer Services to make a new application for pension benefits and obtain a new Option Form. The retirement date will then be the first day of the month following this new application, and the amounts payable and options offered may be different.

Particular conditions, limitations, or exclusions other than those mentioned above may apply to the payment of certain benefits; only the Règlement sur les régimes complémentaires d'avantages sociaux dans l'industrie de la construction, published by the Éditeur officiel du Québec, has official and legal force. Nevertheless, the provisions that apply to a specific event are those in force at the time of this event.

Pension Options

What Options are Offered to Employees?

The different pension options offered to employees are shown on the form Application for Pension Benefits which is sent out following the Application for Retirement:

The Application for Pension Benefits form can contain up to eight choices comprising a combination of options for the payment of a level pension or increased-reduced pension, the guarantee period and survivor benefits.

The pension amount an employee can receive is different for each of the options. For example, the pension amount paid to employees over their lifetime is lower if they choose a longer guarantee period. On the other hand, the benefits payable to their beneficiaries are higher. The same rule applies when opting or not for a survivor benefit. Employees should be sure to fully understand the impact of the pension option they choose at retirement, because their choice cannot be subsequently changed.

When an employee chooses partial retirement, the guarantee options and survivor benefit options applicable to the pension from the complementary account are the ones in effect for the pension from the general account when applying to receive your pension from the complementary account.

Note: New options for the guarantee period and reversion have been offered since November 1, 2013. They have replaced certain options offered up until October 31, 2013.

An example of the calculation following the death of a retiree before the end of the guarantee period can be found under the heading “Death of a Retiree”.

Special Rule for Low Pension Amount

When a retiree’s payable pension amount calculated at the time of the Application for Retirement, is less than 20% of maximum pensionable earnings (MPE) as set forth under the Act respecting the Québec pension plan, there is only one option available to the employee. The pension is not paid out in monthly installments. This is replaced by a lump sum payment. A lump sum is an amount payable in full in one single installment. The same applies when the pension amount payable to a spouse following the death of the retiree is less than 20% of MPE.

Some special terms and conditions, limits and exclusions other than the above-mentioned ones may apply to the payment of certain benefits. Only the Règlement sur les régimes complémentaires d'avantages sociaux dans l'industrie de la construction published by the Éditeur officiel du Québec has official and legal force. Nevertheless, the provisions applicable to a particular event are the provisions that are in effect at the time of the event.

  • Choice of Level Pension or Increased-Reduced Pension
  • Survivor Benefit
  • Guarantee Period

Employees may choose to receive:

  • level pension – that is, the same amount each month for the rest of their life;

OR, under certain conditions

  • An increased-reduced pension – that is, a monthly pension that is higher until age 65 and then lower starting on the first day of the month following the 65th birthday. This reduction applies as long as the pension is payable by the plan. The decrease in income starting at age 65 may be wholly or partially offset, by amounts received from governement plans: Québec Pension Plan and Old Age Security Pension.
Example:

The following options are offered to an employee :
  • A lifetime pension of $2,000 per month (a level pension);
OR
  • A pension of $2,300 per month payable untilage 65,when it isreduced to $1,600 per month (an increased-reduced pension).

If you are partially retired and you apply to receive your second pension, the option you are offered (a level pension or an increased-reduced pension) will depend on your situation.

 

If your first pension is Your Application for Pension Benefit form for your second pension will offer you Comment
A level pension The level pension option only If you want an increased-reduced pension, please contact the CCQ.
An increased-reduced pension with a difference of less than $700 between the increased pension and the reduced pension The increased-reduced pension option only If you want a level pension, please contact the CCQ.
An increased-reduced pension with a difference of at least $700 between the increased pension and the reduced pension The level pension option only You are not eligible for the increased-reduced pension option for your pension from the Complementary Account.

The employee must decide whether the spouse will receive a pension should the employee die. The employee must therefore choose one of the following options:

  • A pension with a 60% survivor benefit, which means that 60% of the pension that would have been payable to the retiree will be paid to the spouse following the retiree’s death.

For example, a retiree is receiving a level pension of $2,000 per month at the time of his death. If the survivor option is in effect on the date of death, the spouse will receive $1,200 per month.

Note: If the 10-year or 15-year guarantee period has not ended at the time of the retiree’s death, the spouse will receive 100% of the pension that the retiree was receiving until the end of the guarantee period.

OR

  • pension without a survivor benefit, which means that no pension will be paid to anyone.

In this case, the spouse must sign the form waiving the 60% survivor option. If the employee does not have a spouse, he or she must sign the form for declaring marital status. These forms are attached to the Application for Pension Benefit form which the employee receives after submitting the Application for Retirement.

Note: If the 10-year or 15-year guarantee period has not ended when the retiree dies, a lump-sum benefit is paid to designated beneficiaries or to the retiree’s estate.

From January 1, 2005 to October 31, 2013, only the 50% or 60% survivor options were offered after expiry of the 5-year or 10-year guarantee period.

If an employee takes partial retirement, the employee may choose to receive a pension with or without a survivor benefit from the General Account. However, the option the employee chooses for that pension will also automatically apply to the pension from the Complementary Account when the employee applies to receive it.

Employees must choose the period during which the payment of 100% of their pension is guaranteed.

The two following guaranteed options are offered:
  • 10years (120 monthly payments)
OR
  • 15 years (180 monthly payments)

Employees receive their pension until death. However, if an employee dies before having receiving all of guaranteed monthly pension payments, the remaining payments are payable to the surviving spouse or beneficiaries, When the survivor option has been chosen, the spouse will receive a monthly pension; when the pension without a survivor option has been chosen, the beneficiaries will receive a lump-sum payment.

Example:
A retiree who chose a 10-year guarantee (120 payments) dies after having received 34 monthly pension payments. If this employee chose thepension with asurvivor option, the spousewill:
  • receive 100% of the pension that was payable tothe employeefor 86 months, that is:
    120 – 34 = 86

After the guarantee period has expired, the amounts payable vary depending on the survivor option chosen.

From January 1, 2005 to October 31, 2013, the following guarantee options were proposed: 5 years (60 monthly payments) or 10 years (120 monthly payments).

An employee who takes partial retirement may choose a 10-year or 15-year guarantee period for the pension from the General Account. The guarantee period starts on the employee’s retirement date. The same guarantee option will apply to the employee’s second pension from the Complementary Account, and the guarantee period will start on the date on which that pension begins.

Example:
Daniel took partial retirement on October 1, 2014; he chose a 10-year guarantee period for his pension from the General Account. His pension from the General Account is guaranteed from October 1, 2014 to September 1, 2024 (120 instalments). Danielwill applyto receive his pension from the Complementary Account as of November 1, 2020; his pension from the Complementary Account will also be guaranteed for 10 years, from November 1, 2020 to October 1, 2030.

 

 

Pension Amount

What is the amount of the pension payable?

The amount of the pension payable is different for each employee. It depends on the pension calculation, the application of the rules for eligibility for retirement and the pension options chosen at the time of retirement. The amounts are different for each option set out, on the Application for Pension Benefit form.

Are the amounts on the form guaranteed?

The pension amounts given on the form are guaranteed on condition that the employee returns the form before the indicated deadline. This deadline is for 60 or 90 days, as applicable, from the date on which the form was produced. 

Employees who do not return the form before the deadline will have to apply again if they still wish to begin their retirement. The options may then be different and the amounts calculated may be higher or lower than those on the first form.

If an employee’s hours have been adjusted or if the wrong date of birth was used in the calculations, the pension amounts on a form may be revised.

Can the pension be reduced once an employee begins to receive it?

Once a pension has begun to be paid to an employee (or a surviving spouse), it is payable for life.

Pensions received from other plans (for example, the Quebec Pension Plan, the Old Age Security Pension) do not change the amount of the pension paid by the construction industry plan.

Is the pension indexed to the cost of living?

The pension is not indexed to the cost of living. Indexing may be granted when the plan’s financial situation permits. Any indexing is applied at the beginning of the year and pensioners are informed of this in advance by mail.

Is the pension taxable?

The pension is taxable. The pension amounts before taxes appear on the Application for Pension Benefit form. The CCQ deducts taxes at source every month. It is also possible, if the pension amount is low, that no taxes will be deducted from the payment. This does not mean that these retirees will not have to pay income tax when they prepare their tax returns. They may ask the CCQ in writing to deduct amounts at source or to increase the amounts already deducted from the pension, for federal or provincial income tax. The Personal Tax Credits Return forms must then be filled out and sent to the CCQ: the TD-1 form for federal income tax and TP-1017 for provincial income tax.

Particular conditions, limitations, or exclusions other than those mentioned above may apply to the payment of certain benefits; only the Règlement sur les régimes complémentaires d'avantages sociaux dans l'industrie de la construction, published by the Éditeur officiel du Québec, has official and legal force.Nevertheless, the provisions that apply to a specific event are those in force at the time of this event.

Payment Date

When is the Pension Payable?

A retirement pension is payable as of the first day of the month following the month in which the employee does his Application for Retirement (if the form is properly completed, signed and submitted to the CCQ within the required time limit). The first installment, however may be made at the latest three months following receipt by the CCQ of the completed form and all required documents.

 Example:

An employee does his Application for Pension Benefits on January 8, 2020. His retirement date is February 1, 2020 and his pension is payable as of February 1.
If he submits his Option Form on February 20, 2020, he will receive his first payment on May 1, 2020.

The employee will then receive four months worth of pension payments: February, March, April and May.

From that point on, he will receive his pension on the first day of every month. Each payment is for the month starting, not the month ending.

For retirees residing in Canada, the pension is deposited in their bank account. To set this up, they must go to the CCQ’s Online Services and register for direct deposit under the "Direct Deposit” tab. For assistance registering or when retirees don’t have internet access, they can contact the CCQ’s Customer Service.

The deposit calendar shows the date on which pension payments are deposited in bank accounts. When the first day of the month is a statutory holiday or occurs on a weekend, the deposit is made on the previous business day. The pension payable for the month of January, however, is never paid on a different date. It is always deposited on January 1.

MONTHLY PENSION DEPOSIT DATES – 2020 CALENDAR
Month Date de deposit
January January 1, 2020
February January 31, 2020
March February 28, 2020
April April 1, 2020
May May 1, 2020
June June 1, 2020
July June 30, 2020
August July 31, 2020
September September 1, 2020
October October 1, 2020
November October 30, 2020
December December 1, 2020
January 2021 January 1, 2021

When retirees wish to have their pension deposited in a different bank (after moving, for example), they need to access their file at the CCQ’s Online Services and change their banking information under the “Direct Deposit” tab. For assistance making changes to their information or if the don’t have internet access, they must contact the CCQ’s Customer Service.

In the case of retirees residing outside Canada, or retirees residing in Canada who are not signed up for direct deposit, the pension is paid by means of a cheque sent in the mail. The CCQ is not responsible for any delays in the delivery of a payment by mail.

A retiree or retiree’s spouse receiving a pension must advise the CCQ’s Customer Service of any change of address, regardless of whether payment of the pension is by cheque or direct deposit.

Refundable Contributions

Some of the contributions recorded in an employee’s file are not used to calculate the employee’s pension benefit.

After Age 65

Employees who don’t retire can continue to work in the construction industry. They cannot, however, accumulate new pension credits in their file.

After their Retirement Date

Retirees may continue to work in the construction industry. However, contributions for their hours worked after the retirement date will not be used to increase the monthly pension amount.

 Exception:

When such retirees have opted for partial retirement and they continue to work in the construction industry, they will continue to receive their pension from the general account. The retirees and their employers will continue to contribute to the pension plan. Consult the section “Contributions to the Pension Plan” for details on how the employee and employer contributions are used.

After Final Pension Calculation

Contributions for hours worked before the retirement date of an employee but recorded in the employee’s file after the final benefit calculation will not increase the pension benefit amount.

 Example:

An employee obtains his Application for Pension Benefit form on February 7, 2020. His retirement date is March 1, 2020. Suppose the employee submits his form to the CCQ on March 10, 2020 and the final calculation of his pension occurs on April 8, 2020. If the hours worked in January 2020 (before the retirement date) are recorded in his file on April 24, 2020 (after the final pension calculation), contributions for hours worked in January 2020 will not be used to increase the pension amount.

Refund of contributions

Contributions to the complementary account by employees and employers during a year are refunded to employees over age 65 or to retirees in the following year. The part of the employer contribution used to pay the administrative costs of the pension fund is not, however, refunded. In addition, contributions made to the general account by employers, where applicable, stay in the pension fund to make up the deficit and constitute a reserve.

Refund Options

A letter is sent to employees advising them of the amount of their refundable contributions. The letter is sent in the month of March of each year. It can also be sent throughout the year when refundable contributions are recorded in an employee’s file.

The refundable contribution amount can be transferred directly to an RRSP. In this case, form T-2151 must be obtained from the financial institution to which the transfer is to be made. The completed form must be forwarded to the CCQ before the deadline shown in the letter. No income tax is deducted for such a transfer. Nor does the transfer reduce the amount that an employee can contribute to his RRSP, where applicable.

If the CCQ does not receive form T-2151, the refund is done through direct deposit when the participant is registered for direct deposit, otherwise, by means of a cheque in the mail. In such case, the corresponding income tax amounts are deducted. .

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