Benefit Plan Changes and Early Retirement Bridge Benefit Program

Date April 24, 2018
To: Professional & Managerial Staff (PM 1 – 5); Confidential Staff; Research Associates and Senior Research Associates
From: Erin Jackson, Chief HR Officer, Division of HR & Equity
Re: Benefit Plan Changes and Early Retirement Bridge Benefit Program

I am pleased to advise you about benefit plan changes recently approved by Business Board for members of the PM 1-5, Confidential and Research Associates/Senior Research Associates employee groups, as well as an Early Retirement Bridge Benefit Program.

Health and Dental Benefit Plan Changes

Effective May 1, 2018:

  • Expand existing Hearing Aid benefit to include cochlear implants;
  • Remove doctor letter requirement for registered massage treatment;
  • Add coverage for Dental Implants under existing Dental Plan major restorative coverage;
  • Increase lifetime orthodontia benefit from $2,500 to $2,650;
  • Add coverage for MSW and Psychotherapist, under existing Psychologist $2,000 / plan year; and
  • Introduce partial coverage for continuous glucose monitors for Type I diabetes.

Effective July 1, 2018:

  • Increase maximum for Dental Plan major restorative from $1,500 to $1,800 per plan year

There will be modest premium increase of less than 5% in July 2018 to pay for these enhancements to your coverage, in addition to the annual premium increase which reflects increased costs of the benefit plans. Final premiums will be available on the HR website in June.

 

Educational Assistance – School of Continuing Studies (SCS) Course Waivers

Effective July 1, 2018, the SCS waiver value will increase from $500 to $750 for work related courses, and decrease from $500 to $350 for personal interest courses (a taxable benefit).

The combined maximum number of SCS course waivers will be reduced from six (6) to four (4) per person per year.

Bridge Benefit for Unreduced Early Retirements

For members retiring with an unreduced pension under the 60/80 early retirement provision where minimum Age is 60 plus employment service totalling 80 or more.  (Example: Age 62 plus 18 years of employment service = 80) between March 31, 2018 and December 31, 2019, there will be a monthly bridge benefit, paid outside of the Pension Plan, from their date of retirement up to the month before their 65th birthday.

The annual value of the Bridge Benefit is $220/year of service, to a maximum of 30 years’ service ($6,600 / year or $550/month).  The details of this program are provided below.

Prior to your retirement, you can elect to take the Bridge in the form of one of the following;
Option 1: Monthly Annuity Option 2: Lump Sum (Available at Early Retirement Date)
Completed Years of Continuous Service Annual Amount Monthly Amount 1 2 3 4 5
Amount per year of continuous employment service $220 $18 Complete years of payments to age 65 *
16 $3,520 $293 $3,451
17 $3,740 $312 $3,667 $7,050
18 $3,960 $330 $3,882 $7,465 $10,771
19 $4,180 $348 $4,098 $7,879 $11,369 $14,577
20 $4,400 $367 $4,314 $8,294 $11,967 $15,344 $18,441
21 $4,620 $385 $4,529 $8,709 $12,566 $16,112 $19,363
22 $4,840 $403 $4,745 $9,123 $13,164 $16,879 $20,285
23 $5,060 $422 $4,961 $9,538 $13,762 $17,646 $21,207
24 $5,280 $440 $5,176 $9,953 $14,361 $18,413 $22,129
25 $5,500 $458 $5,392 $10,368 $14,959 $19,180 $23,051
26 $5,720 $477 $5,608 $10,782 $15,558 $19,948 $23,973
27 $5,940 $495 $5,824 $11,197 $16,156 $20,715 $24,895
28 $6,160 $513 $6,039 $11,612 $16,754 $21,482 $25,817
29 $6,380 $532 $6,255 $12,026 $17,353 $22,249 $26,739
30 $6,600 $550 $6,471 $12,441 $17,951 $23,017 $27,661
30+ $6,600 $550 $6,471 $12,441 $17,951 $23,017 $27,661
A monthy payment on the 28th of each month from date of Early Retirement up to and including the month prior to your 65th birthday. * Lump Sum Amount will be interpolated for partial years.  A lump sum retiring allowance at the date of early retirement, tax sheltered to the extent possible under the provisions of the Income Tax Act.