To: Active and Inactive Plan Participants
From: Howard Van Mersbergen, Executive Secretary-Treasurer
In 2013, we announced the Canadian Benefits Trustees and the Christian Schools International Board of Trustees approved funding changes to the Canadian Christian School Pension Plan.
On January 8, 2014, we held a national webinar series to review changes to the Pension Plan. If you weren't able to attend the webinar for your region, and would like to listen to the recording, please visit www.csionline.org/canada-pension and select one of the links listed at the bottom of the page.
One of the positive changes is that starting September 1st of this year, the final average earnings date will be moved to August 31, 2013. This change may give an increase in the basic pension amount to those who will retire in the future and those who have retired since August 31, 2011.
Another change was implemented that has caused concern among members who had been considering early retirement. Historically, the Plan included a generous feature providing a subsidy for those who wanted to start their pensions before age 65. However, the Plan’s shortfall resulted in this option being phased out over a five-year period starting on September 1, 2014.
If you had been considering early retirement, we understand your concerns on how this change may affect your financial planning. We also apologize for any frustration we may have caused you by the length of time taken in the decision-making and the announcement of the changes. Please be assured that your individual financial needs are very important to us and we want to make sure you are fully informed of the changes and options as you approach retirement.
There are various factors that apply to this plan change and we encourage you, if you are considering early retirement, to contact us to learn how the changes affect you. We have qualified pension specialists who can perform retirement calculations for you, listen to your concerns, and answer any questions you may have.
If you prefer to generate your own retirement calculations online, go to www.csionline.org/canada-pension and select the link under Online Retirement Calculations. If you have questions, we are happy to discuss your calculations with you.
In working together, we have been blessed by the overall strength of the Canadian Christian School Pension Plan that began over 70 years ago. The Plan currently serves 3,800 active/inactive participants and provides benefits for 775 retired Christian teachers and administrators.
Thank you for your dedicated years of service, your understanding of the these necessary changes, and for giving us the opportunity to assist you in your planning for the future.
Contacting Us for Support
More information about our benefit plans and past Updates are located on our website at www.csionline.org. 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 csipensionplan@CSIonline.org.