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Pension Information

Dear Members,

As you are all aware, as of the signing of the last contract, we negotiated the move to the new 2.33 pension.  This pension accrues at 2.33% per year instead of the 2% Group 2 pension.  These portions are both "defined benefit" pensions.  The Group 5 pension also came with a Special Agreement portion that was a "defined contribution pension" (2 ½ / 2 ½)

With moving to the 2.33% there was a saving of .56% on both the employer's side and the employee’s side.  Although, we believed the entire savings should have returned to our members, we were able to negotiate the realization of .28% (employer's side) + .56% (employee's side).  As part of our agreement, these funds (.84% total) will be invested with Manulife Financial in a TFSA to offset your retirement benefit costs in the future.


To facilitate this switch, we had to make an application to the Municipal Pension Board to allow the move to the 2.33 Pension and cease the Group 2 + SA Pension.  The application was sent in December 2012, and was given final Board approval in June of 2013. 

This switch was made retroactively to January 1st, 2013, although the new pension contributions only recently began coming off of your cheques  (Pay Period 17, August 15, 2013).

As mentioned, we agreed (with City/MPP-BC) to start the 2.33 pension retroactively back to January 1, 2013.  Thus, the City owes us .28% savings on Gross Pensionable earnings since January 1st, and we owe .56% on the same amount to our Manulife fund.  These amounts will be transferred to Manulife Financial for you.

So how are we going to pay for it retroactively?

Next paycheque, October 10th, you'll notice that your cheque will be short this amount (.56% of your gross pensionable earnings).  As an example, a 10 year firefighter will be short between $285-$325 on their next cheque ($284.95 + $30-$40 tax).  This is a one-time deduction to make your owed contribution to Manulife.

Special Agreement Monies:

At the same time, you will receive a second cheque that represents your Special Agreement Over Contribution monies.  This was won in arbitration in 1994.  That said, any extra money above the maximum pensionable earnings was to return to our members.  The city has kept this money in trust for each and every member since the arbitration, and it is presented to members upon retirement.  This amount will be paid out in the form of an actual cheque that you will need to pick up.  Stay tuned for exact details on where to pick up.

Example- a 10-year firefighter will get reimbursed approximately $1600.  Thus, this firefighter will be short upwards of $325 on their direct deposit paycheque, but will receive a check for around $1600.


There are 13 members (newest) that have not been in an special agreement over contribution state long enough to cover the .56% retroactive payments.  Those people will owe from $216-$250.  The city has agreed to spread this amount over the next 3 paycheques.  This would be the equivalent to all of those members who had to buyback their first 6 months of pensionable time.

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to call one of your executives.

Thank you, 

Cory Parker


Richmond Firefighters Association

IAFF Local 1286

Question Posed:

Had a question regarding what happens to the SA agreement that we had before...the answer is given below.

Q: How will a pension be calculated for a member who moves to group 5?
A: The basic pension will be calculated using the group 2 accrual rate of 1.3 per cent/2 per cent for all service prior to the date the member joined group 5 and 1.63 per cent/2.33 per cent accrual rate for all group 5 service.
The bridge benefit will be calculated using the member’s combined group 2 and group 5 service.

Q: What happens to a member’s SA account when they move to group 5?
A: The SA contributions remain in the Plan and earn interest until the member retires or transfers their pension benefit out of the Plan. The options to the member remain the same as they are today.
For Hemsted, the rules are as follows:
Q: A few of my employees already have 35 years of service in the MPP. Should I transfer them to group 5?
A: Yes. Since group 5 enrolment is mandatory for all eligible members designated by the employer, members who have 35 years of service should be transferred to group 5. However, these members will not make contributions or accrue further service at either the 2.0 or the 2.33 accrual rate, and any members who contribute to an SA will have to stop. You must continue to report service and salary for these members, because this information is used to calculate their highest average salary for the pension benefit formula.
The Board’s terms and conditions for group 5 enrolment require mandatory participation in group 5 for all eligible members designated in the employer application. They also require the cessation of SA contributions.

Q: If I opt to have my Stats bought out (as per new CA), is this buyout pensionable?

A: No, a member's salary does not include lump sum vacation pay in leiu of entitlement

  1. Exclusions—a member’s salary does not include the following:

    • lump sum vacation pay—if paid in lieu of vacationentitlement accumulated in a prior year by a full-time employee and not taken as leave;

    • overtime pay—unless taken as time off or an employerresolution or collective agreement specifies that overtime pay is pensionable;

    • premium or additional pay for statutory/paid holidaysworked;

    • WorkSafeBC payments when the employee is on approved LTD;

    • car, meal, travel and clothing allowances;

    • pay for on-call or stand-by hours;

    • a lump sum payment(s) (including accrued vacation entitlement(s)) made at the time of termination or retirement—unless it is used to extend the termination date;

    • severance pay—unless it is used to extend the termination date;

    • grievance pay—unless a period of service is associated with the payment;

    • performance or signing bonuses;

    • additional pay in lieu of group benefits or payment of premiums for group benefits; and

    • Employment Insurance rebate payments. 


NEW!!: Year at a glance: Summary of 2012 (Publication)

Here are some simple and memorable facts about the Plan:

The Plan is the sixth-largest defined benefit plan in Canada.
The Plan has almost 275,000 members.
One in seventeen British Columbians are in the Plan.
The Plan pays out around $1 billion in pensions each year.
The average annual pension paid by the Plan in 2011 was $15,980.
The total assets in the Plan are $28 billion.
Employers and employees share the cost of the Plan.
Around 75 per cent of the cost of pensions paid by the Plan comes from investment returns.

Reference: MPP "Straight Talk"

Straight Talk: Additional Resources

Q: When I retire can I cease getting benefits from "my" bluecross and continue under my spouses if they are still working?

Yes, your benefits must be maintained continuously under any of your plans.  If in the future (spouse retires or loses benefits) you want to go under your benefits, you must apply within 60 days of your spouse's benefits ending.

Q: Is the Special Agreement Pension indexed?

A: Although indexing is not guaranteed, if the MPP indexes the regular pension, then the SA portion that the member has kept with the Pension Corp is also indexed.

Q: What is the maximum benefit under MPP-BlueCross EHC/Dental

A: $100,000

See Summary:



Below is some information, but in summary...

  • Provider: Pacific Blue Cross
  • At time of retirement, one must choose to opt in or not
  • Deductible: $100 per family per year
  • Insulin injectors: 100%, $500 Max
  • Hearing aids: 100%, $700 Max
  • Vision Care: 100%, $150 Max
  • Other (everything else): 80%
    • Once an individual in the plan has paid $1000 in expenses, the coverage is 100%
  • Plan Maximum: $100,000 lifetime
    • Can be reconsidered if the person recovers fully or proof of continuous coverage with another provider
  • Dental: 70%, No maximum, No deductible
  • Paramedicals: see Blue Cross Extended Health & Dental Booklet below

If you have any other questions go to http://www.pensionsbc.ca/portal/page/portal/pen_corp_home/mpp_home_page/mpp_retired_members/ or call 1-866-876-6677

Welcome to Retirement


Blue Cross Extended Health & Dental Booklet


Municipal Pension Plan Health Benefits Booklet


Municipal Pension Plan EHC/Dental Premiums


Note: Rates for members who have contributed more than 5 years:

BC Medical Services Plan rates
These rates are in effect as of January 1, 2013, but may change at any time.
Pensionable service                                  One        Two          Three or more
Under 2 years (full premium)                  $ 66.50     $ 120.50    $ 133.00
2 years–under 5 years                          $ 49.88     $ 90.38      $ 99.75
5 years or more                                   $ 33.25      $ 60.25      $ 66.50

An individual must be a BC resident to qualify for coverage under MSP. See the MSP website

What is considered pensionable time (as per pensionsbc) Salary Policy Preamble Salary for pension purposes includes all ongoing compensation relating to scheduled or unscheduled hours of work paid at straight-time rates of pay and paid on a periodic basis (i.e., weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, semi-monthly, seasonal, or annual basis).

Page Last Updated: Oct 03, 2013 (22:40:40)
Richmond Fire Fighters


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