Benefits for Participants

To:  Active and Inactive Plan Participants on August 31, 2013

From:  Howard Van Mersbergen, Executive Secretary-Treasurer

Status Report

The enclosed report shows your status with the Plan as of August 31, 2013. Be sure to check the information carefully and contact us promptly if it is incorrect or incomplete, or if your records do not agree with ours. Please check that your designated beneficiary is current. If you need to add or change your beneficiary (we need to have one on file), you can obtain the Change of Beneficiary form from the Employee Benefits section of our website (, under Canada Pension, then Forms.

Retirement Calculations Online

The status report contains a projection of your pension at retirement. However, you can go online and create your own projections. Instructions are in the status report. The information you receive will help you plan and prepare for retirement.

Of course, we are more than happy to do the calculations for you and project your benefit to your retirement date. We can do these calculations for more than one retirement date. Just call us at 877-274-8796, ext. 231 or e-mail us at and provide potential retirement dates.

Retirement Checklist

The enclosed checklist suggests steps you can take regarding your participation in the Pension Plan to prepare for retirement. Choose the checklist that is applicable to you and complete the steps to work towards your retirement goals.

Interest Rate

The Trustees confirmed 1.54% as the interest rate to be credited to the participant’s contribution account for 2013/2014.


At the Plan’s year end on August 31, 2013, the Trust Fund's net equity consisted of investments having market values in excess of $229 million. The asset composition was 2% cash or cash equivalents, 39% Canadian fixed-income securities, 23% Canadian equities, and 36% international equities. The total investment portfolio’s time-weighted annual rate of return through September 30, 2013, was 11.4% for the past year, 6.9% for the past three years and 7.1% for the past five years. The actuarially assumed interest rate is 6.75%.

Funding Status

As explained in the June, 2013 Pension Funding Update the last valuation as of August 31, 2012, showed the Plan to be under funded. The next valuation is as of August 31, 2013, and is being prepared.

Plan Book and Summary Plan Description

To stay current with the Plan, you may always request an updated copy be sent to you or you may view the most recent version of both documents on the website at, under Canada Pension, Publications.

More Bang for the Buck

Today, retirement planning is presented with a challenging marketplace. Due to the increased promotion and use of defined contribution retirement plans (RRSP) over the past several decades, the advantages of defined benefit (pension) plans are not well known.

A common misconception is that defined contribution plans cost less and are a better value. This is false. The only savings gained by employers who switch from a defined benefit to a defined contribution plan is through a dramatic reduction in the retirement benefit provided to the participant. When designed to achieve equivalent benefits in retirement, defined benefit plans like the Canadian Christian School Pension Plan dramatically outperform RRSP plans. In fact, an in-depth study by The National Institute on Retirement Security shows that defined benefit plans can deliver equivalent retirement benefits at a cost 46% lower than defined contribution plans.

How can this be? The key difference is in the approach — defined contribution plans are based on an individual's savings, whereas defined benefit plans use a community model.

There are several factors that combine to help defined benefit plans dramatically outperform defined contribution plans. These factors are:

  •  Lower fees
  •  Higher investment returns
  •  Sharing the risk of out-living retirement benefits.

For more information about these factors visit, click on Publications and scroll down to The Christian Schools International Pension Plan Delivers Value.

Contacting Us for Support

More information about our benefit plans and past Updates are located on our website at Select Employee Benefits and the appropriate plan. As always, if you have questions, please contact Marcy Sterken or Amy Slachter at 877-274-8796, extension 231 or 616-284-3231, or by e-mail at