New Pension and Benefits Rates effective May 1, 2021

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

What is happening?

On May 1st of each year, the contracts that cover the University of Waterloo’s extended health, dental, long-term disability, and life insurance benefits are subject to a rate renewal. Pension contribution rates are not subject to an annual renewal, but changes are required through time. Where applicable, new rates are applied, and employee deductions processed. Participation in the University of Waterloo pension and benefits is mandatory for all eligible employees. Please refer to the employee Benefits section of the Human Resources website for more information.

How are new rates calculated?

New benefits rates are based on the University’s claims experience and expenses charged by our providers. As communicated in 2020, changes to employees’ pension contribution rates are being phased in over a three-year period and this year represents the second adjustment required.

How does this impact me?

You will observe an increase in your payroll deductions for the following benefit rate increases effective May 1, 2021:

    • Pension (employee contributions) by 6.5 per cent
    • Long term disability by 50 per cent
    • Basic life by 14 per cent (only if coverage is in excess of one times earnings)
    • Extended health by 4.7 per cent (only applicable to part-time employees)
    • Dental by 4.8 per cent (only applicable to part-time employees)

What will the 2021 Pension and Benefits rates be?

The table below reflects the rates effective May 1st, 2021.


Monthly Rates

Cost Sharing

Pension – employee contributions only

7.40% of base earnings up to the YMPE; and,

10.60% of base earnings exceeding the YMPE*

100% employee paid   

Long term disability

1.57356% of earnings (includes Ontario PST)

100% employee paid

Basic Life insurance

$0.1058 per $1,000 of coverage*** (includes Ontario PST)

1 x earnings is paid by the University, 2 and 3 x earnings is 66.7% university paid

Extended health

$74.05 single

$236.31 family

(includes Ontario PST)

100% university paid (prorated if part-time)


$48.00 single

$144.43 family

(includes Ontario PST)

100% university paid (prorated if part-time)

*the Year’s Maximum Pensionable Earnings (YMPE) for 2021 is $61,600

**the maximum insured salary effective May 1, 2021 is $184,283

***Optional Life insurance (employee coverage above 3 x earnings and spousal coverage) rates remain unchanged for the upcoming year


Please visit the benefits rate section to understand more about your benefits. For questions regarding these rates, please contact Human Resources at