New feature added to myPENSIONinfo: commuted value

Friday, February 23, 2024

Human Resources is pleased to announce a new feature has been added to myPENSIONinfo, Waterloo’s secure online pension portal.  You can now obtain an estimate of the current commuted value of your pension entitlement based on rates in effect on the date that the estimate is run.

What is a commuted value? It is the dollar value of your current pension accrual which, if invested to age 65, is expected to provide a pension similar to the pension that Waterloo’s plan would provide. If your employment ends before age 55, you can either have a deferred pension or withdraw your commuted value. Those who are age 55 or older have the option of an immediate or deferred pension from Waterloo when employment ends – although the commuted value is no longer available to you, the current estimated commuted value may still be of interest.

A commuted value can be financially volatile because the prevailing interest rates in effect at the date of the calculation are variable, changing month-to-month reflecting economic conditions. The commuted value declines when interest rates rise, and the commuted value increases when interest rates fall. As such, if you run a calculation of your current estimated commuted value figure on any given date, it could be lower at a future date even though your pension accrual has increased.   

The commuted value estimate feature is available when you run your pension projection on myPENSIONinfo.  Under the scenario calculator for the projection tool, you will find the new option to select “Commuted Value of Pension.” From there you can run the commuted value. Note:  you will be unable to change the age and date information as the commuted value estimate will be based on your age, interest rates, and other actuarial assumptions, as of the date that you run the calculation.

Please note that this figure cannot be used in a marriage breakdown situation, if you and your former spouse agree to an equalization payment from Waterloo’s pension plan. In this scenario, please contact Human Resources’ Pension team for the legislated Family Law Value calculation as defined in the Ontario Pension Benefits Act.

Contact should you have any questions.