Frequently Asked Questions

Pension FAQ

I’d like to change my address.

If you are an active employee (currently working), all address changes must be submitted to ADP by your payroll administrator through the payroll update form found on The United Church of Canada website.

If you are a pensioner, please send your change of address to pension@united-church.ca. Staff will update your address change and inform RBC.

All other members, please inform the Benefits Centre at benefits@united-church.ca. Please note, the Benefits Centre will not be able to process requests for active employees.

Do I have to retire at any particular time?

No, there is no mandatory retirement age.

You must begin to receive your pension by December of the year you turn age 71, as per CRA requirement, but there is no need to cease employment.  You can stay in a call or appointment.

If you elect to take pension before age 71, you must have a break in employment and end your call/appointment to meet CRA requirements and Employment Standards (as per plan text). After your call or appointment ends, you can only accept an appointment going forward (The Manual).

What do I need to do when I’m ready to start receiving my pension?

Please notify the Benefits Centre at 1-855-647-8222 or pension@united-church.ca. You will be asked to confirm the following:

  • Your date of birth
  • Your marital status, if you are married or have a common-law spouse, please provide name and date of birth of spouse
  • Your mailing address
  • Proposed retirement date

Once you are sure of your decision, if you are an Ordained Minister, or a Diaconal or Designated Lay Minister, you will also need to complete Form PR443 located in the document library, to advise the Office of Vocation. Once completed please submit the form to pension@united-church.ca and officeofvocation@united-church.ca

Please allow 30 days from the date of request (confirmation of information above) for your retirement option package to be mailed.

I applied for my pension several months ago, I still haven’t heard anything. Should I be concerned?

Our usual timeline is to send out the retirement option package two months prior to your requested retirement date, allowing time to set up your pension.  If information is missing or the volume of retirements is higher than average, staff will contact you.

I am a terminated member and I have not received my termination package. When can I expect to receive this package?

If you are a lay employee and you terminate service, Benefits Centre staff will send a pending status notice letter 30 days after the termination date. The employee is put on a 6-month leave in search of a position to allow the member to seek other employment. If, during that leave period, the member finds employment with another participating employer their pension participation will resume.

If the member does not find employment with another participating employer or if they notify the Benefits Centre that they are not seeking employment with another participating employer, staff will initiate the termination process and will send you your pension package. The turnaround time for these packages is approximately one month.

What is my pension at age 65?

Please refer to your latest pension statement.  Inside, under the heading “Your Future”, the first two amounts refer to the pension plan.  Take “THE AMOUNT YOU HAVE EARNED ALREADY” and add it to “YOUR PROJECTED ANNUAL PENSION TO AGE 65”, to see an estimate of the annual pension you would receive from the Plan if you continue working under the same employment conditions until age 65.

How do I update my beneficiary?

You will need to complete a beneficiary form and return it to the Benefits Centre at pension@united-church.ca. Please visit the document library for a copy of the form.

Can I request a pension quote?

Members can request up to two (2) quotes every calendar year.

Is there an online guide that I can refer to for all my pension related questions?

You can access the Pension Plan Summary online through the document library.  You may also want to attend a Pension Information Webinar offered through United in Learning.  For more information, please visit United in Learning.

Will my benefits continue once I retire?

If you terminate service with The United Church of Canada at or after age 55 and receive an immediate or deferred pension from the church, and you had group insurance coverage at termination, you are eligible to participate in the Group Benefits for Pensioners Plan once your pension payments commence. The appropriate forms will be included with your retirement package.

How much do I contribute to the pension plan?

You contribute 6% of your pensionable earnings, while your employer contributes 9% of your pensionable earnings.

How is the pension calculated?

The plan is a career-average defined benefit pension plan. Each year, you earn a percentage of Pensionable Earnings (PE) as a Pension Credit. That percentage has changed periodically over the years, as follows:

  • 1.4% from 2013 to 2019,
  • 1.85% for 2020 (this is a temporary increase), and
  • 1.4% for 2021 onward.

Each year’s pension credit is added to what has already been earned, forming the total amount of annual pension payable at age 65.

Why has my monthly pension amount changed?

Your net monthly pension can be impacted by a change in your benefit premiums or tax deductions.

Can I return to work and rejoin the pension plan?

Once a member starts receiving a monthly pension, they may continue as an employee but can no longer contribute to the pension plan.

My spouse/parent was a UCC pensioner and passed away, what do I do?

Please notify the Benefits Centre at pension@united-church.ca or 1-855-647-8222. Staff will:

  • Inform RBC to cease payments going forward
  • Collect your information; and
  • Draft a letter to the spouse (if applicable) or to the executor of the estate, outlining any pension or life insurance entitlements or any overpayments.

Group Benefits FAQ

What is included in the Benefits coverage?

Please take a look at the Benefits Coverage Summary which can be found in the document library.

I’d like to change my address.

If you are an active employee (currently working), all address changes must be submitted to ADP by your payroll administrator through the payroll update form found on The United Church of Canada website.

If you are a retired member receiving pension, please advise RBC as they process your pension payment and send you documentation for tax purposes.

All other members, please inform the Benefits Centre by email to benefits@united-church.ca. Please note, the Benefits Centre will not be able to process requests for active employees or retired member’s receiving pension.

I need to add a new dependant to my Benefits plan, what do I do?

It is crucial that you inform the Benefits Centre of any additional dependants that need to be added to your plan. Please fill out the “Enrol, Life Event and Dependant” form located in the document library and return to the Benefits Centre at benefits@united-church.ca

My beneficiary passed away, what do I do?

You will need to assign a new beneficiary, if you were predeceased. Please fill out the beneficiary form located in the document library and return to the Benefits Centre at benefits@united-church.ca

When will I be enrolled in Benefits coverage and will I receive a Welcome Package?

Generally, if you were hired January 1, you will receive the Welcome Package by mid February. Your coverage, and your dependant’s coverage, will start January 1. The Welcome Package will contain the necessary forms to add dependants and elect Optional coverage(s). Coverage in any Optional plan is always future-dated. Therefore, it would become effective on the first of the month following the receipt of the forms.

Is travel included in the Benefits coverage?

For Pensioners: Out-of-Province Emergency Treatment is covered (inside Canada only), but there is no out-of-country emergency medical coverage.

For Active employees: Emergency Medical Out-of-Province/Out-of-Country, Travel Assistance Coverage is available for the first six weeks after leaving the province of residence.

Further details can be found in the summary booklet within the document library.

Can I opt out of Benefits coverage?

If you are an active employee you cannot opt out of the core benefits. However, you may waive participation in the Health and Dental part of benefits, if you have another privately sponsored plan. However, it does not save any premiums because core benefits are assessed as one benefit, fully paid by the employer.

If you are a Pensioner eligible for benefits, at the start of your pension you choose if you would like to be covered for health and dental, or not. This election is irrevocable. However, if you gain a compatible coverage elsewhere, you may waive participation in the United Church plan within 60 days of acquiring the other coverage. Upon losing it, you may rejoin the United Church plan within the 60 days of loss of alternative coverage.

If I am enrolled in the United Church Benefits coverage, will I lose coverage from another provider?

No, you will not. However, you should advise all insurance carriers to maximize your reimbursement, as there is a particular order that carriers are obligated to pay if the first payer is the employee’s own insurance, then the employee’s spousal insurance. If the employee has more than one coverage, the first payer is the carrier of full-time employment, then part-time or the pension plan insurer. If the main insurer does not reimburse the full cost of a claim, the next insurer should receive a claim for the remaining amount and so forth until the entire expense is reimbursed.

For dependant children the first payer is the insurance company of the parent whose birthday comes first in the year.

My spouse/parent was a member of the UCC Benefits coverage and passed away, what do I do?

Contact the Pension Team at pension@united-church.ca and provide death certificate. The Pension Team will send a package to start process of death claim. Provided they have group life insurance, Benefits Centre will be notified.

What if I have an over age dependant?

Please complete the overage dependant form found within the document library and return this to the Benefits Centre at benefits@united-church.ca.

What if I have a disabled dependant?

The disabled dependant form cannot be made available online at this time. Please contact the Benefits Centre at benefits@united-church.ca.