Pension Report

Ken Maclean
Pension Report

Pension Rep 

Ken Maclean is the Pension Rep for GM St. Catharines. Ken can assist members sign up for retirement; provide an estimate for your GM pension benefits, assist surviving spouses with all survivor documents.  Ken also provides information about Canadian Pension Benefits and Old Age Security.

Ken Maclean

In Plant 905-641-6443
Cell: 905-246-0384
E Mail: Kenneth.maclean@gm.com

Pension Rep Hours

Monday to Friday  6:30 am – 12:00 pm  In plant GM benefits office located at the main gate.

Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, Friday 12:30 pm – 2:30 pm  Union Hall

Update For GM Members Interested in Taking the Commuted Value of their Pension

There are three options for members if they select to take the commuted value of their pension.

  1. Transfer the lump sum amount – up to the Maximum Transfer Value – to an individual Locked-in Retirement Account (LIRA). Benefits above the Maximum Transfer Value will be paid in cash, less withholding taxes.
  2. Transfer the lump sum amount to a new employer’s Registered Pension Plan (RPP), if that plan permits such a transfer. Benefits above the Maximum Transfer Value will be paid in cash, less withholding taxes. If the new employer’s plan is a Defined Benefit (DB) plan, the Maximum Transfer Value does not apply.
  3. UPDATED OPTION Transfer the lump sum to an insurance company for the purpose of purchasing a Life Annuity. Maximum Transfer Value (MTV) does not apply. The cost of the purchase of the Life Annuity must be less than or equal to the total lump sum. Funds above the cost of the purchase of the life annuity (if applicable) will be paid in cash less withholding taxes.The member would have to also submit a copy of the life annuity quote, reflecting an equivalent benefit to the monthly annuity you would have received.

The member would have to also submit a copy of the life annuity quote, reflecting an equivalent benefit to the monthly annuity you would have received.

It is important to note that the quote from the insurance company “must pay exactly what the GM pension plan would have paid monthly”. The quote must provide a cost and benefit explanation. The Annuity payment must match what the member is eligible to receive under the GM pension plan. Which may include; the basic amount, as well as any supplement or special allowance, and also have the survivor benefit if there is a spouse.

For example, if your commuted value is $600,000, and the insurance company’s annuity is quoted at 590,000, then at retirement the GM Benefit Centre would transfer $590,000 to the insurance company, and pay the remaining $10,000 less taxes to the member.

Before selecting this option members should read the following article Commuted Value Option at GM

Health Care Trust (GM Retiree)

At the retirees meeting this week Gord Graham and Joanne Hannah from the healthcare trust made a presentation for the retirees on the stability of the health care trust, which administers the health benefits for GM hourly retirees. The good news is that all monies committed by General Motors with interest has now been paid to the fund. The asr TRUST assets under administration is 1.9 billion dollars, which is invested in a diversified portfolio. With a portfolio of this size the fund has been able to keep the admin fees exceptionally low with 98.5% of the annual expenditure going directly to healthcare costs. The plan covers 30,000 current retirees and 24,000 dependants. The average age of plan members is 70, and the average claim per member, per year is $3,354. The Plan has sufficient funding and is projected to run through 2070. Executive Director Gord Graham and the board of trustees are doing an excellent job for our retirees securing the future of the Health Care Trust Fund.

Planning For Your Future

Free Unifor Retirement Planning Course, Any member who is considering retirement should attend the next Planning For Your Future Course. This is a great one-day course that both you and your spouse can attend, a free lunch is provided for both of you. We bring in a variety of speakers to explain your company and government benefits, CPP, OAS GM pensions, Estate planning and more. A very worthwhile and informative way to spend your day.

This new one-day course, helps workers and their families plan for the transition from worker to retiree and emphasizes the importance of advanced planning. The course will cover five main topics; Social and leisure time, what to do with your time. Legal presentation, wills and estate planning. Pensions and benefits, Service Canada presentation about the CPP and OAS. Financial Planning, by FirstOntario Credit Union. Retirees Chapter Activites, overview from the retiree chapter. Download and Print Poster

Survivors Information

In the event that a GM retiree should pass away, their death must be reported to the General Motors Benefit Centre at 1-877-442-4625.

The benefit centre will contact Sun Life, who will send out an insurance notification and claim statement form to the listed beneficiary (s).

When the survivor receives the Sun Life correspondence in the mail, and if they require assistance to complete the forms, she or he may bring that, along with all correspondence from the GM Benefit Centre along with, Two copies of the death certificate, a void cheque, and their S.I.N. card to the Union hall any weekday afternoon, between 12:30 and 2:30 and the Unifor Pension Rep. who help complete the paperwork, and answer any questions that you may wish to ask.

If a retirees spouse pre-deceases them, the death still needs to be reported to the GM employment rep. A spousal revocation form and insurance beneficiary designation form needs to be ordered, and then completed, so that survivor’s premiums are no longer deducted from your pension.

Your Pension Rep. will assist with these documents.

If a widowed retiree wishes to remarry or co- habitat with a new spouse it is very important to note, that you only have a one year window of opportunity to take out the survivors option again and add that spouse as a survivor on your pension. This means that you have one year to make application to add this spouse, and start paying the survivors premium so that your survivor receives a survivor’s benefit after you are gone. If you exceed one year after marriage or co-habitation before making application under the terms of our collective agreement, the company will not accept it.

Canada CPP

As of January 1st 2012 employees 60 years of age or older may apply for and receive Canada Pension Plan benefit while still working. If an active employee chooses to apply at age 60, they will still have to make contributions through payroll deduction to the annual maximum. If you have any questions regarding application for Canada Pension Benefits, please see your pension rep or go to the CPP website www.servicecanada.gc.ca and follow the links.

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