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Reserve Pension- Merged

dapaterson

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Corrected link for timelines:

http://www.admfincs.forces.gc.ca/dcf-dsp/rfp-rpf/pspt-etrp-eng.asp

In addition, some two years after implementation, Treasury Board is issuing some guidelines on the PSSA/CFSA interactions:

http://www.tpsgc-pwgsc.gc.ca/remuneration-compensation/bapr-samb/bapr-samb-2009-003-eng.html

My favourite nugget:

There are no provisions in the PSSA which would prevent a Reserve Force member from simultaneously contributing to the PSSA and to Part I.1 of the CFSA, that is to the RFPP, or to Part I of the CFSA, the pension plan for Regular Force members and long-term members of the Reserve Force.

Life is about to get more complicated, I think...
 

begbie

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dapaterson said:
Life is about to get more complicated, I think...

That little nuggett you posted is interesting.  I know of two members from my unit who are vested in Part I.1 only to be told that they couldn't contribute to the PSSA plan upon accepting a position with the PS.  Their choice: release from the reserves or do not participate in the PSSA plan.  They have since released.

I have personally been waiting for that shoe to drop in my case.  I am currently contributing to both and was fully expecting to be told that I couldn't participate in both.  That little nuggett appears to suggest that I may be alright in the end.  However, I am unsure whether or not the regulations surrounding the RFPP suggest otherwise.
 

dapaterson

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I called the Public Service Pension Centre and am awaiting their callback on this issue.

The full document at the link should be reviewed by any Reservist working in the Public Service.
 

RCA

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  I have passed on my concerns regarding the pension to my Honouraries to bring up at the their upcoming Conference this weekend in Edmonton.  If we are to raise the profile of this issue, we must find a forum to move this issue into the consciousness of the decision makers. Right now, all we seem to be doing is blowing smoke, and nobody who can do anything about it either doesn't care, or doesn't realize the effects of the terms of the pension.


For those interested I have included an answer to an email query (dated May 2009), to show the prioity DND is putting on this issue. Remember this is now over two years after CIF; (also with 1 Mar 2010 coming up, the implications of the reply are staggering).

QUESTION
> -----Original Message-----

> Subject: RESERVE PENSION CONCERNS
>
> Good morning ,
> As you will read in my signature block, I am currently employed with xxxxxxxxxxxx. I know that there is no need for me to explain what our jobs are, as nowadays, our mission is to ensure that we provide assistance to our injured, their family and of course, our Veterans. All of the programs we have, equally apply to both the Regular and Reserve Forces.>
> At a recent SCAN seminar, there were many questions about the Reserve Pension plan and the long delays in providing released individuals with information they need to make a safe and sound decision prior to releasing from the CF. Releasing from the CF is not easy. One must be able to financially plan for the future and this should be done months before a release date has been determined.
> The big issue that people have, is that they have not been able to obtain a figure from Ottawa as to how much they will have to pay in order to secure a pension at the end of their service. In most cases, they are ready to pay now but no one appears to be willing to tell them the amount owed. I know one individual who applied two (2) years ago and has yet to receive any info back on his request. He's not planning release now but still, why is it that we can provide this info sooner?
> I spoke with another one who is about to release from the Regular Force. His wife has been in the Reserves for years and although she too is retiring, they have not been able to make any financial commitments as she has not received information from Ottawa regarding her pension pay back with the Reserves. My understanding is that she applied for it some 18 months ago and nothing has come through.
> Is there any way of expediting the process of the requests your office receives? As I am sure you know, this issue has a major effect on the Reservists serving in this area and I am sure, across Canada.
> Thanks for your assistance,


ANSWER FROM PENSION OFFICE:


As background, in advance of the implementation of a new pension plan for the reservists introduced 1 March 2007, the Department undertook significant preparations to administer these changes. To prepare for implementation of the changes to pension administration, new staff was hired to address the significant workload increase that was anticipated. The staffing levels required to manage all of the increased workload, however, were unfortunately limited by accommodation capacity. This was coupled with a scarce supply of subject matter experts to do the work relating to the pension changes using legacy systems that are difficult to learn and use. As a result, there has been a significant impact on the ability to meet service targets in a high demand period.

Unfortunately, until the accommodation issues are resolved, expected in Dec 2009, it is unlikely that further significant improvements in service levels will be able to be achieved. Pensions Services has been given priority for space allocation with the accommodation plan briefed recently at DMC. In the interim, we have taken incremental steps to address these issues including maximizing tele-work arrangements to accommodate increased staffing levels, establishing a night shift to maximize use of limited office space and have very recently secured a limited number (fifteen cubicles) of space to hire an additional twenty employees.

  Other steps that have been taken to improve services to members. This includes the ongoing work of CMP and Fin CS staffs as well as the substantial work of DGCB staff in recently providing policy interpretations on nine issues, allowing work to proceed on several different types of files, have also contributed to addressing service demands. It is also worthy to note that a number of computer related problems that we faced when the changes to pension administration were implemented, and which had prevented the processing of hundreds of files, have now also been resolved.

  There are still many system limitations inherent in the legacy applications used for pension administration that result in the requirement for labour intensive manual processes to process pension files. While still years away, DND is actively pursing investment in a new and modern pension system with automated and streamlined business processes, oriented to service improvements for members.

  Recognizing that there are a number of stakeholder organizations involved in the processing of pension service requests and that our service levels have been negatively affected by the implementation of the new pension plan, the steps outlined above have resulted in relatively predictable turnaround times as follows:

· two months for a MCU,
· six months for a released reservist, and
· No timelines for reserve members that have not retired as their files are only worked on when there is down time in the above two types of files.

  With regards to your concerns about member communications, following an initial submission of information by a Reservist to Pension Services, there is regular and ongoing communication back and forth with the member. That communication continues until all information is gathered to ensure that a complete file has been submitted. At that point there one of two situations that occur:

  a. If the member is released or releasing, their file is processed. At any time that additional information is required, the member is contacted immediately to provide any missing documentation. If there are no issues, the file is processed within a six month period, on average. There is no additional communication from a service perspective needed to support the processing of the file. If the member does request a status update, they may contact their pension specialist and an update is provided.

  b. If the member is not immediately retiring, the file is not actioned and there is no additional communication with that member until a release notice is received or information is requested by the member. This is the case that you have mentioned below.

  Although we recognize that this is not ideal from a communications perspective, it is the most efficient use of limited resources that support both communication activities and the work required to actually process the files. If you have specific files that need urgent action, you can send them to me. Please keep in mind that the more work my staff does on these type of files, it delays the paying of pensions of retiring Reservists. This will be the case until well into 2010 when we get our additional space, can hire the people to fill the space and have them fully trained.

  I understand your concerns, but with limited resources we have to prioritize the work that gets done and retiring members will continue to be our top priority until we have the capacity to handle all pension admin issues as they arrive.
 

Rifleman62

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RCA, I hope you have at least read the last several months of this thread. This has been on the agenda of the LFWA Hon Col Conf in the past. At least twice. Notice the results.

So now the excuse is lack of office space. Pathtic.

I sure others will comment.

I intend to button hole the CDS tomorrow for a very few minutes on this. I am sure he will look at me like a deer in the headlights. He did nothing before as VCDS responsible for CMP, why expect otherwise now.

 

dapaterson

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What the Army is currently doing:

CANLANGEN 010
CANLANDGEN 010/09 CLS 028/09
231400Z JUL 09
RESERVE PENSION ELECTION - REQUEST FOR INFORMATION
1. THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE RESERVE FORCE PENSION PLAN (RFPP) ON 1
MAR 2007 IS ONE OF THE GREATEST STEPS TAKEN TOWARD HARMONIZATION OF
BENEFITS BETWEEN REG AND P RES PERS
2. SINCE THE COMING INTO FORCE ON 1 MAR 2007, RESERVISTS HAVE
EXPRESSED CONCERN WITH THE PROCESS TO MAKE ELECTION OF THEIR PRIOR
SERVICE, INCLUDING THE OBTAINMENT OF PERS DOCUMENTS, A CONSISTENT
AVAILABILITY OF THE CALCULATORS TO EVALUATE AND MAKE AN INFORMED
DECISION AND DELAYS IN OBTAINING CLARIFICATION AND RESPONSE TO
INQUIRIES FROM THE HELP DESK, ETC
3. THIS BEING SAID, AN IMPORTANT MILESTONE IS APPROACHING FAST.
RESERVISTS HAVE TO MAKE THEIR ELECTION BEFORE THE LATTER OF ONE YEAR
FROM THE DATE OF ELIGIBILITY TO ELECT PRIOR SERVICE OR THREE YEARS
FROM THE CIF TO THE RFPP. THIS MEANS RESERVISTS WHO BECAME ELIGIBLE
FOR AN ELECTION OF PRIOR SERVICE BETWEEN 1 MAR 2007 AND 1 MAR 2009
HAVE UNTIL 28 FEB 2010 TO SUBMIT THEIR ELECTION
4. AS OF 30 APR 09, 12675 RES (ALL ENVIRONMENTS COMBINED) WERE
ELIGIBLE TO ELECT THEIR PRIOR SERVICE UNDER RFPP. ONLY 4179
SUBMITTED AN ELECTION
5. THE PROCESSES AND TOOLS TO SUPPORT THE ELECTION OF PRIOR SERVICE
ARE NOW WIDELY AVAILABLE. ASSISTANCE IS AT HAND THROUGH E-MAIL,
1-800 NUMBERS AND A SERVICE DESK RESOURCED TO RESPOND EFFICIENTLY TO
INQUIRIES. TO ENSURE CONTINUED PROVISION OF ADEQUATE SERVICES TO
MEMBERS WHO STILL INTEND ON SUBMITTING AN ELECTION BUT HAVE NOT YET
DONE SO, C RES AND CDTS HAS REQUESTED THAT LFC PROVIDE AN ORDER OF
MAGNITUDE OF THE EXPECTED NUMBER OF REQUESTS FOR ELECTION THAT ADM
(FIN CS) COULD EXPECT TO RECEIVE BETWEEN NOW AND 28 FEB 2010
6. TO SUPPORT THIS EFFORT, ARMY UNITS (REG AND RES) ARE TO REPORT,
THROUGH THEIR CHAIN OF COMMAND TO THE ARMY G1 NLT 31 OCT 2009, THE
NUMBER OF ARMY RESERVISTS ELIGIBLE TO ELECT PRIOR SERVICE, WHO STILL
INTEND TO MAKE AN ELECTION. A NIL RETURN IS REQUIRED
7. IT IS IMPORTANT TO NOTE THAT THIS INFORMATION DOES NOT CONSTITUTE
A COMMITMENT FROM THE MEMBER TO SUBMIT AND ELECTION. THIS IS FOR
PLANNING PURPOSES ONLY TO ENSURE THAT THE RESOURCES REQUIRED TO
MANAGE THE EXPECTED NUMBER OF REQUESTS WILL BE IN PLACE TO PROVIDE
THE PROPER LEVEL OF SERVICE. QUESTIONS REGARDING THIS ISSUE SHOULD
BE DIRECTED, VIA YOUR CHAIN OF COMMAND, TO G1 MGT, (name and telephone number removed).
SIGNED LGEN A.B. LESLIE, CHIEF OF THE LAND STAFF
 

Rifleman62

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Sitting at a table, a guy comes by. Thought it was the unit CO. It was CDS. Stand up, introduction, pleasentries (what Wpg High School, why move here), reminded him of my letter in Dec 06, passed him a one pager with Reserve Pension highlights which he glanced at and put into his pocket,very brief back and forth, somebody tapped him on shoulder, CDS turns around, lunch announced, lunch, excellent speech, departure  of CDS. A minute and a bit one on one.

Approx 100 people attended.

Interesting to find out (small world), that his son and my son-in-law just posted to same contingent and will serve together.
 

dapaterson

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I have received my final acknowledgement of payment, and indication of the number of days of service (both types - enrolled and paid) that I will receive credited to me.

Processing time:

My submission: 15 March 2007
Their sign-off: 17 August 2009

Elapsed time: 29 months, 2 days.


Note that I am not at or nearing release, thus was not a priority for processing.
 

dapaterson

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To further add to the humour:

On my original election form, I indicated I wanted to pay the amount in full.  However, as they had to validate the numbers, they would not take my money, but instead insisted on a $5 monthly withdrawal from my bank account.

Today's mail brought me a cheque.  A reimbursement for overpayment.  For $145.  Or, in other words, $5 a month for 29 months.

Every time I think I have plumbed the depths of incompetence I see that it goes deeper and deeper...
 

charlesm

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Dataperson

  What you have to ask is, what is the interest rate that you got on your $5 per month?? From what I see it is not 4%SI nor the 7% CI, but 0% interest.

:nod:


dapaterson said:
To further add to the humour:

On my original election form, I indicated I wanted to pay the amount in full.  However, as they had to validate the numbers, they would not take my money, but instead insisted on a $5 monthly withdrawal from my bank account.

Today's mail brought me a cheque.  A reimbursement for overpayment.  For $145.  Or, in other words, $5 a month for 29 months.

Every time I think I have plumbed the depths of incompetence I see that it goes deeper and deeper...
 

dapaterson

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Charles M:  Good catch  -tomorrow I shall query this oversight.  The Federal policy on payments is online at:

http://www.tpsgc-pwgsc.gc.ca/recgen/txt/71-eng.html

together with a table of old values at:

http://www.tpsgc-pwgsc.gc.ca/recgen/txt/70-eng.html


A quick and dirty review suggests interest of just under $10 should have accrued over that time.
 

dapaterson

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However, on examining the Act, the provisions on payment of interest for overpayments by a contributor are not in force.

Originated in bill C-50 - see http://www2.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?DocId=3365116&Language=e&Mode=1&File=9

—2008, c. 28, s. 150:

150. The Act is amended by adding the following after section 95:

Interest on overpayment

96. If there is an overpayment by a contributor, a participant or a former participant in respect of amounts required to be paid under this Act, interest shall be paid on the overpayment in accordance with the regulations.

Regulations — payment of interest

97. The Governor in Council may make regulations respecting

(a) the circumstances in which interest is to be paid;

(b) the rate of interest, the manner of calculating the rate and the period in respect of which interest is to be paid;

(c) the terms and conditions to which the payment of interest may be subject; and

(d) any other matters that the Governor in Council deems necessary for the purposes of section 96.

Still, something I shall have to inquire about...
 

begbie

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I get home tonight to find a letter from DMPAP waiting for me.  I don't know what DMPAP stands for but I got excited that my pension buyback is finally starting to move.  I was wrong.  It was a letter regarding the LDA, explaining that I may be eligible for the allowance, and that since I have released, simply fill out the questionnaire and a cheque would be sent to me.

I filed for my buyback in July 07, released in July 09, and I'm still waiting.
 

Fishbone Jones

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So I have 13 years Reg Force. 1971 - 1983. Made it to MCpl for the last year. Got out and they gave me $13,000.00 Return of Contributions. I can only buy back starting in 1973, so I used the Calculator from there.

Just for these 10 years Reg time, they want $227,000.00 payable at $1,500 some odd for 240 months. That gives me around $1,400\month pension. Over $100 less than they want me to pay them. And now I've been promoted, so who knows how much more that added.

What a fucking joke.

I didn't even look at my Reserve time starting in 91. What a waste of time this was.
 

Monsoon

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recceguy said:
Just for these 10 years Reg time, they want $227,000.00 payable at $1,500 some odd for 240 months. That gives me around $1,400\month pension. Over $100 less than they want me to pay them. And now I've been promoted, so who knows how much more that added.
Really? I bought about seven years (max rank Lt(N)) for about $17K. You might want to check your numbers... or maybe I should check mine.
 

dapaterson

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Hamiltongs:

7% compounded from 1973 to 2009 = 1142% of the original amount for that year (which is inflated to current day amounts already).

Frankly, I'm surprised that it's only $227K.
 

charlesm

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I was chatting to a retired SNR OFFICER the other day that bought his pension back. Made the mistake of buying back 32 years worth of pension while still having 3 years left to serve!

Had a big fight with Ottawa to get it changed so that his last 3 years contributions on Class B would count but his first 3 years as a junior officer on Class "A" he wouldn't buy back. Was a huge difference in his buyback (Those summer training courses really expensive to buyback) Also his pension was increased as his current level is much than 32+ years ago.

Big thing to note, if you think you are going to CRA at 55 or 60 count back 32 years from your CRA date and that's when your buyback of your pension should start.

Of course if your have 10-15 years before you CRA who can tell what will happen???


 

dapaterson

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The CF Pension annual report was issued (very quietly) in June of this year, reporting on 07/08.

The greatest piece of info I've found so far is buried on a table on page 8:

As of 31 Mar 08:
Eligible members: 16,100
Elections received: 2,485
Elections completed: 66

So: 15.4% of eligible reservists elected in the first 13 months.  Of those, 2.7% were completed.

The pension administration implementation
of this new plan, and plan members response to the new
plan quickly exceeded management expectations. The
demand for information by members, particularly in the
area of election of prior service, required accelerated
organizational growth to support this new Plan. Although
the support situation has stabilized during the first half of
FY 2008-2009, a series of briefings of Reserve Force units
has generated a continuing high level of interest by Reserve
Force members. This response by Reserve force members
is viewed by management as a measure of success in the
introduction of this new Plan.

http://www.admfincs.forces.gc.ca/doc/dcf-dsp/ar-ra-0708-eng.pdf
 

AC 011

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dapaterson said:
The CF Pension annual report was issued (very quietly) in June of this year, reporting on 07/08.

The greatest piece of info I've found so far is buried on a table on page 8:

As of 31 Mar 08:
Eligible members: 16,100
Elections received: 2,485
Elections completed: 66

So: 15.4% of eligible reservists elected in the first 13 months.  Of those, 2.7% were completed.

http://www.admfincs.forces.gc.ca/doc/dcf-dsp/ar-ra-0708-eng.pdf

Not surprising.  I finally got my prior service figured out and submitted my documents earlier this year.  The whole process is about as far from user-friendly as you can get.  I don't know about the pension briefings received by other units when this was first rolled out, but ours was utter garbage.  I know plenty of members who gave up on the whole election process in frustration. 

I'm still waiting for the reply from Pension Services to confirm the buy back amount.  Maybe I'll get it by the time I'm looking to get out?  We'll see...
 

dapaterson

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Andy011 said:
Not surprising.  I finally got my prior service figured out and submitted my documents earlier this year.  The whole process is about as far from user-friendly as you can get.  I don't know about the pension briefings received by other units when this was first rolled out, but ours was utter garbage.  I know plenty of members who gave up on the whole election process in frustration. 

I'm still waiting for the reply from Pension Services to confirm the buy back amount.  Maybe I'll get it by the time I'm looking to get out?  We'll see...

It took about 23 months for me to get confirmation of the buyback amount, and 29 months to sort out all the details.  Depending on the complexity of your case, pension office workload, and the number of releases (as they get bumped to the top of the pile) your results may vary.
 
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