I have just enrolled in the Universities Academic Pension Plan. What does that mean?
Shortly after you enroll in UAPP, you will receive a Welcome Email which will provide you with information on accessing the Retirement Planner. To learn more about the UAPP, please refer to the Member’s Handbook and the Information Sheets under Publications on our website, uapp.ca.
How much do I contribute? How long do I make contributions?
Members and employers make contributions to the pension plan as recommended by a qualified actuary. The rates are reviewed and adjusted, if necessary, at least once every three years. Details can be seen under Contribution Rates in the Publications section of our website, uapp.ca/publications/contribution-rates/. Your contributions are based on a percentage of your pensionable salary and are made through payroll deduction.
You make contributions until you have 35 years of pensionable service, or until the end of the year in which you attain age 69, whichever is earliest.
After you have 35 years of service, you can continue working but will not make contributions or accrue additional service. Your earnings thereafter will be taken into account when calculating your highest average salary.
Once you reach the end of the year in which you attain age 69, you must begin to receive your pension from the Plan even if you continue to work.
Can I transfer my benefits from another pension plan into UAPP?
If you are interested in transferring your benefits from another Registered Pension Plan, please complete the Request for Former Member's Service Record form under Forms on our website, uapp.ca/forms/. We will prepare a calculation to determine the cost to purchase service in UAPP. You can then choose to purchase all, part, or none of your prior service.
What will my UAPP benefit be?
The specific details of a benefit calculation are summarized in the Member Handbook under Publications on our website, uapp.ca/publications/member-handbook/. The value of your pension is influenced primarily by your pensionable earnings, your number of years of pensionable service including any years of purchased optional service or leaves of absence, your age, and your spousal status. Your pension is paid for your lifetime.
Are my pension contributions tax deductible?
Yes, your pension contributions are tax deductible and will be shown on your annual T4 slip prepared by your employer.
How can I access my pension information?
You can access your pension information any time by logging into the Retirement Planner on our website, uapp.ca. On your first visit to the Retirement Planner, please click Register Now. Once you have registered, you will be able to reset your own password. The Retirement Planner can be used to access your Annual Member Statement as well as to prepare retirement estimates. If you forget your User Name, you can contact the UAPP Administration Centre toll-free at 1.866.709.2092. You will be prompted to answer security questions to have your password reset.
How can I change my beneficiary?
If you are an active member, your designated beneficiary information is maintained by your employer. If and when you terminate employment from UAPP, your employer will provide us with your latest beneficiary information. Please contact your Human Resources department to change or update your beneficiary information.
If you are a member with benefits in the UAPP but are not actively accruing service, your designated beneficiary information is maintained by the UAPP Administration Centre. You can make a change by contacting them at 1.866.709.2092. Alternatively, you can complete the UAPP Beneficiary Change Form for Pensioners available on our website under Forms (uapp.ca/forms/).
How can I update my address?
If you are an active member, your address is maintained by your employer. If and when you terminate employment from UAPP, your employer will provide us with your latest address information. Please contact your Human Resources department to change or update your address information.
If you are a terminating member under the age of 55 who is leaving Canada, you can apply to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) for non-resident status. Please see the CRA website for more information: cra-arc.gc.ca/tx/nnrsdnts/cmmn/rsdncy-eng.html. Non-resident status enables you to have your UAPP pension paid directly to you as a taxable cash refund.
If you are a retired member, your address is maintained by CIBC Mellon. Information on changing your address can be found at cibcmellon.com/en/retiree-assistance/index.jsp#ir/change-of-address.
What happens if I get married?
Under Alberta pension legislation, the spouse is automatically entitled to the member’s pension benefit unless a prescribed spousal waiver (Pension Partner Waiver of Entitlement to a Death Benefit Before Pension Commencement in a Pension Plan) has been completed. If you get married, make sure you update your employer with your new name and address as applicable. You should also update your beneficiary information. If you die and no spousal waiver was filed with UAPP, your spouse automatically becomes your beneficiary. If your spouse dies before you, any remaining benefits will go to your beneficiary upon your death.
What happens if I get divorced?
Under Alberta pension legislation, the spouse is automatically entitled to the member’s pension benefit unless a prescribed spousal waiver has been completed. If you have divorced or separated from a common-law spouse while a member of UAPP, your pension could be split in accordance with the terms of a Matrimonial Property Order (MPO) because a pension is considered an asset of the marriage. It is very important that any MPO is filed with our office.
For more details, please review the "Division and Distribution of Pension Entitlement on Marriage Breakdown" document, available in the Publications section of our website, under Information Sheets.
How does the “guarantee” work in the pension options?
Your pension is always paid for your lifetime. When you retire, you will choose a pension option, which may include a guarantee period of 5, 10, or 15 years. If you die before the end of the guarantee period on your selected pension option, your surviving beneficiary will be entitled to residual payments of your pension. If your pension is paid in a Joint and Survivor option, the guarantee period covers the death of both you and your spouse. Note that the guarantee period commences on the date your pension commences.