Academic Staff Pension Plan Summary
- Pension Plan for Academic Staff - Full Text
(Revised November 22, 2004)
The Simon Fraser University Pension Plan was introduced July 1, 1969 to provide retirement benefits for faculty members of the University.
Each person who joins the faculty has automatic membership in the Pension Plan and immediate vesting of the University's contributions from the first day of employment provided he or she is appointed for a term of more than one year on a full or part-time basis as a professor, associate professor, assistant professor, instructor, lecturer, limited term faculty member, professional librarian, or laboratory instructor.
As a member, you are not required to contribute to the Plan. The University contributes ten percent of your basic salary, less the contributions required to be made by the University to the Canada Pension Plan on your behalf, to a maximum of $419.40 per year.
The University's contribution is allocated to your Money Purchase Account. The funds are invested under the direction of professional money managers and the profit (or loss) incurred by the Plan is allocated to your account daily.
You may elect to make voluntary contributions to the Pension Plan in which case your funds will be credited to an individual Voluntary Contribution Account. You determine how the contributions are invested, and your profit (or loss) will be allocated daily to your account.
Should you wish to make voluntary contributions, please download the Voluntary Registered Pension Plan (RPP) Contributions form and return it to your Human Resources Assistant.
Each year you will receive Pension Plan Member Statements showing the opening balance, contributions, interest allocated, and final balance of your Money Purchase Account and Voluntary Contribution Account (if applicable).
View the Annual Report describing the current operation and performance of the Plan.
You choose how your account is invested. There are a range of investment funds including:
- Guaranteed funds
- Money market funds
- Bond funds
- Balanced funds
- Canadian equity funds
- Foreign equity funds
The Balanced Fund is set as the default fund; that is, if you do not make an investment choice, all contributions will be invested in this fund.
More information about the investment choices can be found at www.mysunlife.ca.
1. Normal Retirement
Normal Retirement dates under the Plan are as follows:
(a) Professor, associate professor, assistant professor, instructor, laboratory instructor, lecturer, limited term faculty member - the first day of September following your sixty-fifth birthday.
(b) Professional Librarian - the first day of the month following your sixty-fifth birthday.
2. Early Retirement
You may choose as an early retirement date the first day of any month after your fifty-fifth birthday.
Benefits on Termination or Retirement
You have the following options:
1. Money Purchase Account:
(a) Leave your balance in the Plan until your normal retirement date. It will continue to earn its proportionate share of the fund's earnings. You are required to remove the full value of your pension from the Plan by the end of the year in which you turn 71.
(b) Transfer your account balance to another registered pension plan.
(c) Transfer your account balance at December 31, 1992, plus investment earnings, to a registered retirement savings plan or registered retirement income fund.
(d) Transfer contributions plus investment earnings accrued from January 1, 1993 to a locked-in RRSP or to the purchase of an annuity.
The B.C. Pension Benefits Standards Act requires all University contributions received by a member since January 1, 1993, plus investment earnings on these contributions may only be transferred to a "Locked-in" RRSP, Life Income Fund (LIF) or the purchase of a lifetime annuity, upon termination or retirement.
2. Voluntary Contribution Account
Voluntary contributions may be withdrawn from the Plan while employed, at your termination of employment, or at retirement.
You have the following options with your Voluntary Account at termination:
(a) Leave your balance in the Plan until your normal retirement date. It will continue to earn its proportionate share of the Plan's earnings. You are required to remove the full value of your account from the Plan by the end of the year in which you turn 71.
(b) Take your balance as a taxable lump sum.
(c) Transfer your account balance to another registered plan, or to a registered retirement savings plan or to a registered retirement income fund.
Should you elect to leave your Money Purchase Account or Voluntary Contribution Account in the Plan until retirement, you may then use your balance(s) to purchase an annuity in any approved form then available.
Benefits on Death Prior to Retirement
Should you die before your retirement date, your designated beneficiary will receive an amount equal to the aggregate of the following:
1. The balance of your Money Purchase Account at the date of your death plus investment earnings until the funds are paid out, and
2. The balance of your Voluntary Contribution Account plus investment earnings.
If your beneficiary is your spouse, s/he may transfer the funds, without attracting tax, directly to their RRSP, RRIF, LIF or the purchase of a lifetime annuity without impacting their "RRSP Room". The legislated "Locking-in" provisions that applied to the late spouse, will prevail to the surviving spouse.
Benefits on Death Subsequent to Retirement
The amounts payable upon your death, if any, will be made in accordance with the provisions of the annuity option selected by you at the time you retired. Otherwise, capital may be left to your beneficiary if funds were invested in a Life Income Fund, a "Locked-in" RRSP, or a Registered Retirement Income Fund.
Designation of Beneficiary
You are required to designate a beneficiary to receive any benefits that may become payable under the Plan. You may change your beneficiary designation at any time. If at the time of your death there is no current designation of a beneficiary, or if your last designation beneficiary is deceased, your estate shall be your beneficiary.
Your pension plan is administered by eight Trustees, four elected by and from the faculty and four appointed by the University. The powers and duties of the Trustees are outlined in detail in the Trust Agreement between the University and the Trustees. The University has no interest, right, or title to pension monies after transfer to the Trustees.
Sun Life Financial serves as custodian of the Plan's assets.
Pension Plan Governs
This information outlines the main provisions of the Plan. Benefits and privileges are governed by the provisions of the official Trust Agreement and Pension Plan text. In the event there is any conflict between the general description contained here and the text of the Trust Agreement or Pension Plan, the latter documents shall in all cases prevail.
Revised: January 24, 2012
Pension & Benefits
Human Resources Department