Please click here for an updated version of the
presentation regarding the Overwaitea Division
conversion to a target benefit structure.

Frequently Asked Questions

Have questions? See if you can find the answer to your question below.

Questions and Answers print

1. I would like to retire. What should I do?

Remember that the earliest age you can retire at is age 50. If you retire at age 50, your pension is subject to a reduction factor. If you choose to retire at age 60, your pension benefit is not reduced, assuming Trustee consent is granted. You should phone, email or visit the Plan Administrator at least three to four months before you plan to retire to discuss your options and complete the required paperwork.

In addition to this booklet, you will receive an annual statement from the Plan Administrator that provides a record of your benefit entitlements under the Plan. You should keep these statements for your own records.


2. Is my pension indexed?

No. In the past, the Trustees have granted benefit increases to retirees on an "ad hoc" basis. While they cannot guarantee that there will be similar increases in the future, it is the Trustees' intention to grant future benefit increases if the financial conditions of the Plan support it.


3. How is the lump sum value of my pension calculated? Can I find out what this value is?

In simple terms, the lump sum or commuted value is the value today of your pension at age 65. For example, if you are age 40 and have earned a monthly pension of $500, the commuted value is the amount of money that you would need to invest for 25 years (between age 40 and age 65) to be able to provide you with a lifetime pension at age 65 of $500 per month. This complex calculation also factors in mortality, your age and current interest rates. The older you are, the larger the amount of money you would need to invest, and the higher the assumed interest rate used to calculate your commuted value, the lower the amount of money you would need to invest. The interest rates that are used to calculate the commuted value are set by the Canadian Institute of Actuaries and are subject to change monthly.

Since the commuted value will fluctuate monthly, the commuted value of your pension is calculated only when you terminate your employment. Once you have actually terminated, please contact the Plan Administrator to request the lump sum value.


4. What happens if I start my retirement pension and return to work for my employer?

If you return to work in the industry and work less than 40 hours per month, you continue to receive your pension. If you work more than 40 hours per month, the Trustees have the right to suspend your pension and you would earn additional credited service and pension benefits. Once you stop working again, your pension would be recalculated based on your additional earnings. Regardless of the number of hours you work, employee contributions to the Plan will be deducted. These contributions with interest will be refunded to you once you stop work.


5. What happens if I move to another employer covered by this Plan?

If you move between Divisions of the Plan - for example from Overwaitea to Safeway - your pension for service after the transfer will be calculated according to the provisions of the new Division. Your status under each Division will remain active, and you will be entitled to any benefit increases or improvements that may be granted, provided your employment is not interrupted for more than two years.


6. What if I had service with Woodwards?

If you have past service credited to you under the Plan as a result of your employment with Woodwards Foods Ltd., you will receive a benefit under the Plan as determined in accordance with the Plan text. The amount of this benefit will be reflected annually on your statement and the Plan Administrator will provide you with additional details if requested.


7. My spouse and I are separating. What do I need to do?

If you marriage breaks up, your former spouse may be entitled to a portion of the pension you earned under the Plan during the marriage - as determined by the Family Relations Act. The provisions of your court order or written separation agreement will determine how your pension will be shared.

In the event of a marital break-up, the Plan Administrator will explain the Plan provisions and supply any required forms. These forms are also available on this web site.


8. How do I contact the Plan Administrator?

The Plan Administrator can be contacted as follows:

BILSLAND GRIFFITH BENEFIT ADMINISTRATORS
TEL: 1 888 345 8329
FAX: 604 433 8894
#1000-4445 Lougheed Hwy. Burnaby, BC V5C 0E4
EMAIL: ufcw@bgbenefitsadmin.com