The following message, dated February 11, 2016, was sent to all members of the Teachers' Pension Plan regarding possible pension plan changes. A similar message was sent to the excluded member groups. Please see EC recommendation support materials below.
February 11, 2016
A year ago, delegates at our 2015 Annual General Meeting voted to have the Federation undertake a thorough consultation regarding possible changes to the Teachers’ Pension Plan, your pension plan.
That consultation, which involved over 4,000 survey responses, close to 90 meetings in communities across BC, and hundreds of phone calls and emails, was unprecedented. It has resulted in the Executive Committee making a specific recommendation on pension plan design changes to the upcoming 2016 Annual
General Meeting in March. The recommendation is based on all of the feedback we received and our commitment to ensuring the pension plan best meets the needs of current and future plan members.
Our pension plan is a strong, healthy, and stable plan that has served members very well in the past and will continue to do so in the future. But, demographics within our profession are changing and there is an opportunity now to make adjustments that will better meet the needs of our membership and all
plan members moving forward.
The proposed changes, which would come into effect on January 1, 2018 on a go-forward basis, are about smart stewardship to ensure we all have financial security when we retire, whether we’re currently 25, 45, or 60.
The recommendation, which is outlined in detail below, better reflects ongoing demographic shifts, allows for better gains with a higher accrual rate, and makes the plan more equitable for all members. Significantly, the proposal also ensures a larger lifetime pension and fits within the financial parameters
agreed to by the plan partners—the BCTF and the provincial government.
During our comprehensive consultation process, we presented members with six potential options, including the status quo. After all of the data were analyzed, a seventh hybrid option emerged that better meets the needs of members and addresses some specific concerns that we heard.
This recommendation from the BCTF Executive Committee to the 2016 AGM is:
That the Teachers’ Pension Plan design change of the pension formula include:
1. delinking from the Canada Pension Plan’s Year’s Maximum Pensionable Earnings (YMPE).
2. a single accrual rate of 1.85% be applied to Pensionable Service.
3. an Early-retirement Reduction Factor of 4.5% at age 61.
4. removal of the 35-year Pensionable Service cap.
5. an unreduced pension for those with 35 years of Contributory Service.
For those unfamiliar with the very specific language used in the pension world, the recommendation can be heavy on jargon. That’s why we have included a much more detailed description of the recommendation on the website
Each part of the recommendation is defined and explained in full. Combined, the changes add up to a significant improvement in our plan. We’ll see better returns, a larger lifetime pension, and more equity. In addition, the removal of the pensionable service cap means members will have more choices about when
For members who want to dig deeper into the changes and the consultation process, visit Pension Consultations where you’ll find a wealth of detailed information.
Finally, I want to thank all of you who participated in the consultation process and took the time to provide feedback. It really helped us put together an option that we can move forward with confidently. I also want to thank the BCTF Executive Committee members, BCTF staff, and pension plan trustees who helped
so much with the consultation and analysis.
Finally, thank you for all you do in classrooms and schools every day.