Pension Report

Ken MacLean/Mike Foran (Alternate)

GM 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.co

Pension Rep Hours

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

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

Canadian Pension Plan  (CPP)

The Canada Pension Plan (CPP) retirement pension is a monthly, taxable benefit that replaces part of your income when you retire. If you qualify, you’ll receive the CPP retirement pension for the rest of your life. To qualify you must: be at least 60 years old have contributed to the CPP.   CPP payments are not automatic you should apply in advance of when you want your pension to start.

Pension amount

The standard age to start the pension is 65. However, you can start receiving it as early as age 60 or as late as age 70. For 2022, the maximum monthly amount you could receive as a new recipient starting the pension at age 65 is $1,253.59

Should you wait to start collecting CPP? Your age affects your pension amount:

  • If you start before age 65, payments will decrease by 0.6% each month (or by 7.2% per year), up to a maximum reduction of 36% if you start at age 60 (Approximately $802 at age 60)
  • If you start after age 65, payments will increase by 0.7% each month (or by 8.4% per year), up to a maximum increase of 42% if you start at age 70 (or after). (Approximately $1,779 at age 70)

If you start receiving your pension earlier, the monthly amount you’ll receive will be smaller. If you decide to start later, you’ll receive a larger monthly amount. There’s no benefit to wait after age 70 to start receiving the pension. The maximum monthly amount you can receive is reached when you turn 70. There are different factors that can affect how much you’ll receive, such as time taken off from work to care for young children.

How long will it take to process your application?

We begin to process your application once we receive your completed application form. It will take: 7 to 14 days for online applications, normally within 120 days for applications delivered at a Service Canada Centre or sent in by mail It could take longer to process your application if Service Canada does not have a complete application.

Starting in 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 click on the following links www.servicecanada.gc.ca     For more information about CPP

How much you could receive for Old Age Security (OAS)?

As of January 2022, the maximum payment amount for OAS is $642.25 at age 65.

The Old Age Security pension is reviewed in January, April, July, and October to reflect increases in the cost of living as measured by the Consumer Price Index. Your monthly payment amount will not decrease if the cost of living goes down.

Should you wait to start collecting Old Age Security?

You can receive your first Old Age Security pension payment the month after you turn 65.  However, you  can receive a higher amount for each month you decide to delay your first payment. You have the option to delay payment of the Old Age Security pension for up to 60 months (5 years) after you are 65. The longer you delay, the larger your pension payment will be each month.

If eligible maximum OAS at age 65 = $642.25

Wait 12 months X 0.6% = 7.2% = $688.49 at age 66

Wait 24 months X 0.6% = 14.4% = $734.73 at age 67

Wait 36 months X 0.6% = 21.6% = $780.98 at age 68

Wait 48 months X 0.6% = 28.8% = $827.22 at age 69

Wait 60 months X 0.6% = 36% = $873.46 at age 70

There are many factors you should consider when deciding when to start receiving your Old Age Security pension. These include your health, your financial situation, and your plans for retirement. After age 70, there is no advantage in delaying your first payment. In fact, you risk losing benefits. If you are over the age of 70 and are not receiving an Old Age Security pension.

Your payment

You can receive your benefit payment by cheque or direct deposit to your banking account in Canada, the United States. You will receive your first Old Age Security payment either: the month after you turn 65, or on the specific date that you have chosen

Increased Old Age Security pension at age 75 July 2022 

Seniors aged 75 and over will see an automatic 10% increase of their Old Age Security pension, as of July 2022.

For More information about OAS

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 Benefits)

All GM retirees should have received a letter explaining the pending changes to Retiree benefits package provided by ASR Trust.  The benefit improvements will start in January of 2022 Gord Graham normally attends a retiree meeting to provide an update on our benefits, due to COVID Gord made the following video so he could explain the benefit coverage in a safe manner.

If you have any questions regarding the video or the retiree benefit package please contact the GM Benefit rep., Lawrence Robson 905-641-6444.

Click here to watch the video  (January 2022)

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 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 Activities, overview from the retiree chapter.

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.

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