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A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

There are a number of words and phrases that have very specific meanings when used to describe the pension plan. Here's an explanation of those special terms, to help you understand the plan better.

A

     
  Annualized earnings   Your basic pay, for the purposes of this plan, is always calculated on a full-time equivalent, annual basis for those who work on a less-than-full-time basis.
 
  Annuity   An annuity is a regular monthly pension that you buy from an insurance company.
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B

 
  Beneficiary  

In all provinces and territories, pension laws require that your spouse, if you have one, receive survivor benefits in the event of your death.

If you have a spouse, you can still designate a beneficiary. This “non-spouse” beneficiary would receive your pension benefits if your spouse dies before you.

In certain provinces, your spouse may sign a form waiving survivor benefits payable in the event of your death before retirement. If your spouse signs a spousal waiver, then your beneficiary would receive the survivor benefits in the event of your death before retirement.

If you don’t have a spouse, your beneficiary receives survivor benefits when you die.

You can designate any beneficiary: individuals or organizations.

If you do not designate a beneficiary, survivor benefits will be paid to your estate.

You may name a minor child as your beneficiary. However, the plan cannot pay survivor benefits directly to a minor, because minors can’t legally sign a release. You may wish to appoint a guardian or trustee to receive the survivor benefit and handle the child’s affairs until he or she reaches the age of majority. In Québec, however, the court will appoint a tutor for the child after your death; any trustee appointment made during your lifetime will merely record your wishes.

For up-to-date definitions of spouse in each province, call Morneau Shepell Ltd at 1 877 252-4442 or check the website at cbs.hroffice.com.

  Best Average Earnings  

The average of your five consecutive years of highest annualized earnings while a member of the plan. If you've worked less than five years, the average of your actual annualized earnings while a member.

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C

 
  Continuous service  

Continuous service is unbroken employment in Canada with Canadian Blood Services and the Canadian Red Cross Society (whether in a full-time or other than full-time position) including approved periods of leave of absence and disability.

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D

 
  Deferred pension   When a pension is deferred, pension payments start at a future designated age. This pension is still based on your best average earnings and the number of years of completed pensionable service.
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L

 
  Locked-in  

Your pension benefits are locked-in once they are vested. When pension benefits are locked-in, the money must be used to provide a pension or pension-like payout (for example, an annuity) or transferred to a locked-in retirement plan. You cannot generally make lump-sum cash withdrawals when pension benefits are locked-in.

If you want to transfer your pension benefit to a locked-in plan or account, the administrator of that plan must complete and sign a form agreeing to abide by this rule.

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P

 
  Past Service Pension Adjustment/PSPA   When a pension plan is improved retroactively, or when pensionable service is credited retroactively, a PSPA may be issued. The PSPA equals the increase to the sum of the past Pension Adjustments resulting from the plan amendment or additional service. The PSPA reduces your unused RRSP room.
 
  Pension Adjustment (PA)   The approximate value of the pension benefits you’ve earned under a pension plan in a year.
 
  Pension Adjustment Reversal   If you leave Canadian Blood Services before retirement and choose to transfer the value of your pension or you receive a refund of your contributions with interest, you may be entitled to a Pension Adjustment Reversal (PAR). Through PARs, CRA gives you back some of your RRSP contribution room that you lost if your past PAs are greater than the value you received from Canadian Blood Services.
 
  Pensionable Earnings   For the purposes of the plan, your pensionable earnings are made up of your basic pay and do not include bonuses, shift premiums, or overtime pay.
 
  Pensionable service   Service while you are a member of the plan, during which required contributions to the plan are being made by you or on your behalf. If you work less than full time, pensionable service is prorated, based on your actual earnings over the full-time equivalent earnings.
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S

 
  Spouse  

The term “spouse” includes your legally married, common-law, or same-sex spouse. Pension legislation in each province defines spouse slightly differently and, since the plan applies across Canada, the definition will depend on where you work. Go to the DB plan website at cbs.hroffice.com for the definition that applies to you.

Alberta
The legislation uses “pension partner” in lieu of “spouse.”

Pension partner” means, in relation to another person,

  1. a person who, at the relevant time, was married to that other person and had not been living separate and apart from that other person for 3 or more consecutive years, or
  2. if there is no person to whom subclause (i) applies, a person who, immediately preceding the relevant time, had lived with that other person in a conjugal relationship
    1. for a continuous period of at least 3 years, or
    2. of some permanence, if there is a child of the relationship by birth or adoption.

British Columbia
"Spouse" means, in relation to another person,

  1. a person who at the relevant time was married to that other person, and who, if living separate and apart from that other person at the relevant time, did not live separate and apart from that other person for longer than the 2 year period immediately preceding the relevant time, or
  2. a person who was living and cohabiting with that other person in a marriage-like relationship, including a marriage-like relationship between persons of the same gender, and who had been living and cohabiting in that relationship for a period of at least 2 years immediately preceding the relevant time.

Manitoba
Spouse” where used in relation to another spouse means the person who married to that other spouse and “spouses” means two persons who are married to each other.

"Common-law partner" of a member or former member means

  1. a person who, with the member or former member, registered a common-law relationship under section 13.1 of The Vital Statistics Act, or
  2. a person who, not being married to the member or former member, cohabited with him or her in a conjugal relationship
    1. for a period of at least three years, if either of them is married, or
    2. for a period of at least one year, if neither of them is married

A common-law partner shall be considered to have survived a member or former member with whom he or she had a common-law relationship only if they were cohabiting with each other immediately before the death of the member or former member.

New Brunswick
Spouse” means either of a man and a woman who

  1. are married to each other,
  2. are married to each other by a marriage that is voidable and has not been avoided by a declaration of nullity,
  3. have gone through a form of marriage with each other in good faith that is void and have cohabited within the preceding year, or
  4. not being married to each other, have cohabited
    1. continuously for a period of not less than three years in a conjugal relationship in which one person has been substantially dependent upon the other for support, or
    2. in a relationship of some permanence where there is a child born of whom they are the natural parents, and have cohabited within the preceding year.

Newfoundland and Labrador:
"Spouse" means a person who

  1. is married to the member or former member,
  2. is married to the member or the former member by a marriage that is voidable and has not been voided by a judgment of nullity, or
  3. has gone through a form of a marriage with the member or former member, in good faith, that is void and is cohabiting or has cohabited with the member or former member within the preceding year.

"Cohabiting partner",

  1. in relation to a member or former member who has a spouse, means a person who is not the spouse of the member or former member who has cohabited continuously with the member or former member in a conjugal relationship for not less than 3 years, or
  2. in relation to a member or former member who does not have a spouse, means a person who has cohabited continuously with the member or former member in a conjugal relationship for not less than one year, and is cohabiting or has cohabited with the member or former member within the preceding year.

Nova Scotia
"Spouse or a common-law partner" means either of a man and woman who

  1. are married to each other,
  2. are married to each other by a marriage that is voidable and has not been annulled by a declaration of nullity, or
  3. have gone through a form of marriage with each other, in good faith, that is void and are cohabiting or, if they have ceased to cohabit, have cohabited within the twelve-month period immediately preceding the date of entitlement.

Ontario
Spouse” means either of two persons who,

  1. are married to each other, or
  2. are not married to each other and are living together in a conjugal relationship,
    1. continuously for a period of not less than three years, or
    2. in a relationship of some permanence, if they are the natural or adoptive parents of a child, both as defined in the Family Law Act”.

Prince Edward Island
Prince Edward Island has not enacted pension legislation.  The Canadian Blood Services Defined Benefit Pension Plan states:

Spouse”, in relation to a Prince Edward Island Member, means persons who, at the relevant time:

  1. are married to each other;
  2. are married to each other by a marriage that is voidable and has not been annulled by a declaration of nullity;
  3. have gone through a form of marriage with each other, in good faith that is void and are cohabiting or, if they have ceased to cohabit, have cohabited within the year preceding the relevant time; or
  4. not being married to each other and neither being married to another person have lived together in a conjugal relationship for three years and are living together at the relevant time.

Quebec:
The spouse of a member is the person who, on the day of reference defined in the second paragraph,

  1. is married to or in a civil union with the member;
  2. has been living in a conjugal relationship with a member who is neither married nor in a civil union, whether the person is of the opposite or the same sex, for a period of not less than three years, or for a period of not less than one year if
    • at least one child is born, or to be born, of their union;
    • they have adopted, jointly, at least one child while living together in a conjugal relationship; or
    • one of them has adopted at least one child who is the child of the other, while living together in a conjugal relationship.

Saskatchewan
“Spouse” means:

  1. a person who is married to a member or former member; or
  2. if a member or former member is not married, a person with whom the member or former member is cohabiting as spouses at the relevant time and who has been cohabiting continuously with the member or former member as his or her spouse for at least one year prior to the relevant time.

Yukon Territories, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut:
The federal pension legislation applies to these jurisdictions.

"Spouse", in relation to an individual, includes a person who is party to a void marriage with the individual.
"Common-law partner", in relation to an individual, means a person who is cohabiting with the individual in a conjugal relationship, having so cohabited for a period of at least one year.  Where a member or former member has a spouse from whom they are separated and a common-law partner with whom they are cohabiting, a reference to a “spouse or common-law partner” in respect of that member or former member means the common-law partner.

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V

     
  Value of your pension   The value of your pension is the worth of your future pension benefit expressed as a lump sum in today’s dollars. Also called a “commuted value”, this is the equivalent value of your deferred or immediate pension. The value of your pension is calculated, based on your age, and using assumptions about average life expectancy, interest earnings, and other relevant factors.
 
  Vested/vesting  

Vesting refers to your right to receive a pension from the plan, paid for with your contributions and Canadian Blood Services’ contributions.

Your pension benefits are locked-in -the money must be used to provide a pension or pension-like payout (for example, an annuity) or must be transferred to a locked-in retirement plan. In certain provinces, another date applies related to continuous service.

If you work in...Your pension benefits are vested as soon as…
New Brunswick
  • you have 2 years of plan membership, or
  • you have 5 years of continuous service whichever occurs first
Saskatchewan
  • you have 2 years of plan membership, or
  • you have 2 years of continuous service whichever occurs first
Manitoba
  • you become a plan member
Any other province
  • you have 2 years of plan membership
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Y

     
  YMPE   YMPE stands for Year's Maximum Pensionable Earnings. This is the amount the government sets each year, and uses to base your contributions and those of Canadian Blood Services to-as well as benefits from-the Canada or Québec Pension Plan. The government revises this amount every year, based on increases in the weekly earnings in Canada.
 

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