Pension FAQ

How is my pension calculated?

Your pension is calculated using the following Pension Formula. This formula provides an annual pension payable at your normal retirement date in the form of a Single Life Pension, guaranteed 10 years.

Final Average Earnings is the average of your best consecutive 60 month salaries in the ten years prior to retirement. 

What is the yearly maximum pensionable earnings?

It is the maximum earnings on which Canada Pension Plan (CPP) and Quebec Pension Plan (QPP) contributions and benefits are calculated. The yearly maximum pensionable earnings (YMPE) changes each year according to a formula using average wage levels and is published annually by the Canada Revenue Agency. The YMPE for 2021 is $ $61,600.

Please refer to Joining the Pension Plan for more details.

Who can I name as my beneficiary?

Your beneficiary can be any person or organization of your choice. However, there are some things to keep in mind when naming a beneficiary.

If you are naming an organization, you must clearly indicate the name and address of the person who will accept the funds on behalf of the organization.

If your beneficiary is under the age of 18, you must also name a trustee for the minor.

If you are married, your spouse is legally entitled to a pension benefit in the event of your death. In order to name someone other than your spouse as your pension beneficiary, your spouse must waive their right to the death benefit. Without a waiver, any pension benefit will be paid to your spouse, regardless of who you have named.

Under current legislation, a spouse is defined as a person to whom the Member is:

  • Legally married, provided the Member is not living separate and apart from that person; or
  • Not legally married, but the Member and that person are cohabiting continuously in a conjugal relationship for at least three years; or,
  • Not legally married, but the Member and that person are cohabiting in a conjugal relationship of some permanence, and are jointly the natural or adoptive parents of a child, both as defined in the Family Law Act, 1986 (Ontario).

When can I join the pension plan?

You can join the plan immediately upon becoming a regular employee of the University of Waterloo.

If you are a casual or temporary employee of the University of Waterloo, you can join the Plan upon completion of two consecutive years of employment in which you earned at least 35% of the YMPE or worked 700 hours in each of the two years.

Do I have to participate in the pension plan?

Participation in the Pension Plan is mandatory for regular full-time and regular part-time employees over the age of 35, but membership is offered on appointment.

If you are a lecturer, you do not have to participate in the plan until you have completed 5 years of employment or are promoted to a higher rank, and are over age 35.

Can I buy back any pension service that I've missed?

No. If you choose not to participate in the pension plan, for any reason, you are required to sign a waiver confirming that you understand the impact of your decision and that you are aware service missed cannot be purchased at a later date.

Back to top

 Pension Contribution

How much do I contribute to the pension plan?

Can I make additional contributions to the pension plan?

No, the terms of the pension plan allow members to contribute their required contributions only. Additional voluntary contributions are not allowed.

Will I have to contribute to the pension plan past age 65?

Yes. If you are not already receiving a Waterloo pension, you must contribute to the pension plan as long as you continue working at the University of Waterloo, but not past the end of the year in which you turn 71.

Back to top

 Retirement Benefits

When can I start receiving my pension?

You can commence pension payments from the University of Waterloo as early as age 55.

How is my pension affected if I retire before age 65?

Pensions that begin prior to age 62 are subject to early retirement reductions of 0.5% per month that your retirement precedes age 62. Unreduced pensions can commence as early as age 62.

What is the latest date that I can start receiving my pension?

You must commence receiving your pension on the first of December of the year you turn 71. If you are still working at this time, you will receive your monthly pension in addition to your salary.

Back to top

Termination of Employment 

What happens to my pension if I terminate employment at Waterloo?

Under the terms of the University of Waterloo pension plan, you are immediately vested. That means you are entitled to a pension from the University of Waterloo at age 65.

At the time of your termination, you will be provided with documents that outline your options with regard to your pension.

Do I get my contributions and the University's if I leave the workplace?

Under the terms of the plan, you are vested immediately upon becoming a member. That means you are entitled to the accrued pension earned to the date you leave the University, payable at your normal retirement date.

If at termination you elect to withdraw your pension from the University of Waterloo pension plan, you will be provided with the commuted value of your pension, which you can transfer to a locked-in retirement account.

Can I leave my pension with Waterloo?

Yes. Choosing to leave your pension in the University of Waterloo pension plan, the pension will be paid to you from the University of Waterloo plan when you retire, but not earlier than age 55 and no later than age 65. You will not have the option to transfer your pension at a later date after choosing a deferred pension.

Please visit the pension benefits in case of termination page for further information about your options at termination of employment.

Back to top

Self-Service Pension Estimator & Annual Statement

Where can I find my pension statement? When does it get released?

You will receive an annual pension statement by the end of each June with updated pension information on myPENSIONinfo. This annual statement is a snapshot of your account and shows an estimate of the monthly pension payments you may receive when you retire.

Why can't I log on to myPENSIONinfo?

New pension plan members are added to the pension database once a month. If you have just joined the pension plan, wait until approximately the 7th of the following month and try again.

Why don't the annual statements open when I click the link?

You may need to adjust your pop-up blocker settings to allow pop-ups from this site.

If you are using Internet Explorer 5 or greater, an information bar will appear between the toolbar and your current content window. Clicking the bar will provide you with a menu of options, select “always allow pop-ups from this site”.

Furthermore, you may have to scroll down to the bottom of the page, and scroll to the right in order to click on the icon to open the statements.

I bookmarked the login page for myPENSIONinfo. Why isn't it working?

The Central Authentication Service login page uses cookies to identify you as an authorized user of myPENSIONinfo and these cookies expire after a period of time. Please bookmark the Human Resources website and access myPENSIONinfo from the link provided.

Back to top

Contact or ext.43573 for any questions.