Clicking the term below will show the definition.
Alberta Consumer Price Index
Approved Long-Term Disability Income (LTDI) Plan
Canada Pension Plan (CPP)
Consumer Price Index (CPI)
Cost-of-living Adjustment (COLA)
Current Employment Status
Defined Benefit Plan
Dependent Minor Child
Highest Average Salary
Leave With Partial Salary
Locked-In Retirement Account (LIRA)
Long Separated Spouse
LTDI (Long-Term Disability Income Continuance Plan)
Matrimonial Property Order
Member Plan Status
Normal Pension-Guaranteed Five Years
Old Age Security (OAS)
Payment Due Date
Portable Document Format (PDF)
Pre-retirement Death Waiver
Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP)
Social Insurance Number (SIN)
Statement of Investment Policies and Goals
Year’s Maximum Pensionable Earnings (YMPE)
A member who is making contributions or, if not making contributions, is on non-contributory leave for up to eight years (including three years of parental leave), on approved disability leave or at the point of maximum pensionable service (35 years).
The estimated cost to the Pension Plan of providing the increased benefits gained by a member who buys or transfers optional service. An actuarial reserve calculation takes into account a number of factors including salary scaling.
A mathematical analysis of the financial condition of a pension plan. An actuary prepares a plan valuation at least once every three years. The valuation shows the Board if the contribution rates are higher or lower than what is needed to ensure the long-term funding of the Plan.
A person authorized by their designation as a Fellow of the Canadian Institute of Actuaries to prepare and sign actuarial valuations.
A weighted average of the cost of a basket of goods and services that are normally purchased by Alberta households. It includes such things as clothing, food, housing, gasoline, health, personal care services, recreation and education.
The designation of your pension benefits to one or more beneficiaries.
If your primary beneficiary or beneficiaries are deceased, your alternate beneficiary or beneficiaries are entitled to your benefits. See also "Beneficiary" and "Primary Beneficiary".
A specific type of disability income replacement plan that is offered by an employer for its employees and is approved by APS. Where the LTDI plan is approved by APS, the period of LTDI coverage is considered mandatory service for pension purposes.
The criteria used by APS to approve LTDI plans are:
- all members employed by the employer in the group to whom the LTDI plan applies, except for those who are not eligible for coverage by reason of medical requirements, must be covered by the LTDI plan;
- a member must not be required to apply for a pension as long as the member qualifies for benefits under the LTDI plan; and
- the LTDI plan must be filed with APS.
Alberta Pensions Services Corporation (APS) is responsible for administering seven statutory pension plans under the direction of four pension boards and the Government of Alberta, as well as two supplementary retirement plans.
Your pension partner is automatically your beneficiary if you die before retirement. If you don't have a pension partner, then your beneficiary in respect of your pension for pre-1992 service is your dependent minor child(ren). For your pension in respect of post-1991 service and if you have no dependent minor child(ren), your beneficiary is the person you name to receive a benefit in the event of your death. You can also name a beneficiary to receive the remainder of a guaranteed term pension if you die after retirement. A beneficiary can be a charitable organization. If you do not name a beneficiary and you do not have a pension partner, your estate is your beneficiary.
If you retire before age 65, your pension will include a Bridge Benefit. A small portion of what is paid before age 65 is actually a bridge paid only until age 65. The Bridge Benefit is 0.6 per cent of the five-year average of the Year's Maximum Pensionable Earnings set by the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) for each year of service after 1965. At 65, the Bridge is no longer paid. The lower pension will then be paid for as long as the pension is paid.
The federal pension plan administered by Human Resources Development Canada. It applies in all provinces and territories of Canada except Quebec where the equivalent Quebec Pension Plan applies.
The amount of money paid in a one time payment that is equal in value to your future pension payments. If you are vested and you leave the SFPP, you are entitled to the commuted value of your pension payable on all post-1991 service.
Measures the relative prices at various times of a selected group of goods and services which typify those bought by urban families and common currencies.
Money paid into a pension plan by you and your employer. Your contributions are tax deductible and are made through payroll deduction. All contributions go directly to the SFPP fund.
Coordination is a feature of the Special Forces Pension Plan (SFPP) offered to members who retire before age 65 that allows for retirement income planning. It lets you increase your monthly payment temporarily from the time you retire until you turn 65. At age 65, the increase to your monthly payment stops and a reduction to your monthly payment begins. The reduction will continue as long as you live.
Cost-of-living adjustments may be paid after retirement. On service before 1992, COLA equal to 60 per cent of the increase in Alberta's Consumer Price Index is applied annually.
For service after 1991, the Special Forces Pension Board is responsible for setting COLA according to the funds available in the Indexing Fund. The Indexing Fund was established to finance cost-of-living adjustments.
Your current status of employment with your employer, for example, full time, part time or terminated (no longer contributing to the Plan).
A member who is no longer employed by a Plan employer, has left contributions in the Plan and has yet to choose a pension option.
A pension which starts at some future date.
A plan which pays a monthly pension based on your pensionable salary and length of pensionable service. The formula driven nature of such pension plans allows you to estimate your pension at any time in your career. Unlike other types of pension plans, the investment performance of the pension fund will not affect the calculation of your pension.
To qualify as a dependent minor, your child(ren) must be:
- Dependent - financially supported by you and not married
- Minor - under 18 years of age
A member's contributions and interest cannot fund more than 50 per cent of the value of a pension. Excess contributions is the amount of member contributions and interest that exceeds 50 per cent of the value of the benefit being paid for service after 1991. Contributions paid and service credited for optional service are not included when calculating excess contributions.
A fund was established under the legislation governing the Plan to hold all employee and employer contributions and investment income. All benefits are paid from the fund with the exception of cost-of-living adjustments to pensions on service after 1991 (which are paid from a separate indexing fund). All assets in the fund can only be used to pay the promised benefits and cover administrative costs.
You can choose a pension guaranteed for either 5, 10 or 15 years. Guaranteed-term pensions are paid for your lifetime, but if you die before your guaranteed term has expired, your pension is paid to your beneficiary or estate for the remainder of the term. For example, if you choose a 10-year guaranteed-term pension and die 4 years later, the pension will be paid to your beneficiary for the remaining 6 years.
The average of your five highest consecutive years of salary used to calculate your pension benefits.
Since August 1992, employers and members of SFPP have had a portion of their contributions invested in a separate indexing fund. The fund was set up to finance cost-of-living adjustments (COLA) for service after January 1992. COLA has been granted at 60 per cent of the Alberta Consumer Price Index (CPI) on all service from January 1, 1992 to December 31, 2000. COLA for service prior to January 1, 1992 is guaranteed to be a minimum of 60 per cent of the Alberta CPI and is funded by regular contributions and investment returns.
A pension option paid as long as either you or your nominee continues to live. If you choose a joint-life not-reduced pension, on your death your nominee will be paid the same amount you were paid for as long as your nominee lives. If you choose a joint-life reduced-by-one-third pension, the pension to the survivor will be reduced by one-third after your death or the death of your nominee.
A period of service during which a member is, with the approval of the employer, on leave from all or a portion of their regular duties of employment and is receiving pensionable salary that is less than regular pensionable salary from the employer. During periods of leave with partial salary, member and employer contributions to the pension plan are required.
The SFPP liability is the total value of all benefits earned by SFPP members and other costs for which the SFPP Fund is responsible.
A type of RRSP that is locked-in and must be used to provide you with a lifetime income after you are at least age 50. Most financial institutions offer LIRAs.
If a member and his/her pension partner are still married by law, but the pension partner and the member have been separated for a period of three years or longer prior to the pension commencement, an exclusion of long separated spouse declaration can be signed. This declaration is made by the Plan member and would allow him/her to select a pension option that does not include pension partner protection.
This declaration can only be signed by the Plan member where no notice of an MPO or a proceeding to obtain an MPO has been filed with APS.
A type of disability insurance offered by an employer for employees who become unable to perform their normal work because of a physical or mental disability. If the LTDI plan is approved by Alberta Pensions Services Corporation, the period of LTDI coverage is included as service for pension purposes.
Your marital status can be single, married, common-law, separated, widowed or divorced. See "pension partner" for further information.
If a marriage ends, the Court will treat the pension asset as one of the items to be considered when property is divided. A Matrimonial Property Order is a court order under Alberta's Matrimonial Property Act or similar legislation outside Alberta. A pension can only be divided when a Matrimonial Property Order is filed with APS.
The unique number assigned to you by APS' pension administration system. The Member ID is printed on publications sent after January 2004, including your annual statement, enrolment package or benefit estimate package.
Your status under the Plan. See "Active Member" and "Deferred Member."
mypensionplan is a secure website that provides active members and deferred members of the Special Forces Pension Plan with access to personalized pension information.
The person you name to receive your joint life pension if you die first. Your nominee must be a person eligible under the federal income tax rules. If you have a pension partner on the effective date of your pension, the nominee must be your pension partner unless they sign a waiver before pension commencement or a long separated spousal exclusion form is signed.
The Normal Pension is a joint life option. It will ensure the pension partner is paid a life-time pension benefit if the pensioner dies. By law, members must choose one of the joint life options unless the pension partner signs a waiver. This option is guaranteed for a five-year term.
The basic federal income security program for seniors who are age 65 and older.
Previous employment during which you did or didn't belong to a pension plan. You may be able to buy back this period of service if you're not receiving a current or future pension from your former employer. (Only some types of public service are eligible.)
By buying back optional service you can increase your length of pensionable service thereby increasing your future benefits.
A "pension partner" means:
(i) a person who, at the relevant time, was married to a participant or former participant and had not been living separate and apart from him or her for 3 or more consecutive years, or
(ii) if there is no person to whom subclause (i) applies, a person who, as at and up to the relevant time, had lived with the participant or former participant in a conjugal relationship
(A) for a continuous period of at least 3 years, or
(B) of some permanence, if there is a child of the relationship by birth or adoption.
For the purposes of this definition, persons are living separate and apart
(a) if they are living apart and either of them has the intention to live separate and apart from the other, or
(b) if, before the relevant time,
(i) they had been living separate and apart for any period, and
(ii) that period was interrupted or terminated by reason only that either of them became incapable of continuing to live separate and apart or of forming or having the intention to continue to live separate and apart of that person's own volition, and the separation would probably have continued if that person had not become so incapable.
Your basic pay for the performance of your regular duties. This includes acting pay if the employer treats it as salary under the employer's salary policy. Pensionable salary does not include earnings such as expense allowances or overtime payments.
Your years of service during which you contribute to the Pension Plan, plus service recognized from a transfer or purchase of optional service. The maximum length of pensionable service you can accumulate in the Plan is 35 years.
A member, surviving pension partner, or beneficiary who is receiving a pension from the Plan.
A actuarial analysis of the financial condition of a pension plan by looking at the current assets and assumed future liabilities. An actuary prepares a plan valuation at least once every three years. Following a valuation, the Board may adjust contribution rates so the rates meet the funding requirements of the Plan.
Portable Document Format (PDF) is a format used to deliver documents over the Internet. Adobe® Reader® (TM) is the standard software used to access PDF documents and can be downloaded, for free, from the Adobe® website.
The pension partner may waive their right to a lifetime pension by completing the Pension Partner Waiver of Pre-Pension Commencement of Death Benefit. This allows the pension to be paid to the beneficiary or beneficiaries on file with APS instead of the pension partner. This waiver can be completed by the pension partner any time before pension commencement but it may only be rescinded by the pension partner prior to the member's death.
If you do not have a pension partner, your primary beneficiary is entitled to your benefits if you die before retirement or before the expiry of a guaranteed term. See also "Beneficiary" and "Alternate Beneficiary".
An agreement negotiated with another pension plan that allows members to transfer their pension entitlements when they move between plans. By transferring pension entitlements, you may increase your pension income. SFPP currently has a Reciprocal Agreement with the Local Authorities Pension Plan, the Manitoba Municipal Employees Pension Plan and the Board of the Police Commissioners of the City of Regina.
The transfer of benefits to another plan pursuant to a reciprocal agreement.
A type of tax-deferred investment that is set up to hold and invest your savings until you retire. Most can be withdrawn at any time, but you will be taxed on the amount withdrawn.
See "Pensionable Salary".
The salary cap is the maximum salary upon which a defined benefit can be based as set by the federal Income Tax Act. The salary cap applies to pensionable service after 1996.
See "Pensionable Service".
The year specified by the employer as the employer's annual payroll pay period cycle. This is the year for which members' pensionable service is reported by the employer and which will have specific From and To dates. The service year may not coincide exactly with the calendar year.
A single life pension is paid for a pensioner's lifetime only. The pension stops when the pensioner dies, regardless of the number of payments made.
A nine-digit number used in the administration of various Canadian government programs. You require a SIN to work in Canada or to receive government benefits.
See Pension Partner.
A policy document set by the Board to establish the asset mix of the Fund, the manner by which Alberta Investment Management Corporation may invest assets and the specific holding limits for each type of security.
A surplus exists when the actuarial valuation determines the Plan's accrued benefit payments (liabilities) are less than the net assets available for the payment of those benefits.
The point at which a member ceases to participate in the Plan, e.g. retires or moves into a non-participating position.
An unfunded liability exists when the actuarial valuation determines the Fund's accrued liabilities exceed the net assets available for the payment of benefits.
You are eligible to receive an unreduced pension at any age if you have more than 25 years of pensionable service, or at age 55 if you have more than 5 years of pensionable service.
Being vested means you are eligible to receive a pension at retirement. If, as a vested member, you leave SFPP before becoming eligible to receive a pension, you are entitled to the value of the pension you have earned, half of which must come from the employer's share of contributions for service after 1991. For service before 1992, you will receive your contributions plus interest. You become vested when you have five years of pensionable service or if you turn 65 while a member of the Plan.
The date on which the employer issues a member's pay for a particular pay period. Pension contributions for a particular pay period must be remitted to APS within 15 days of the withholding date.
The year in which the employer withheld contributions that were remitted to the pension plan.
The Canada Pension Plan (CPP) sets a maximum amount of earnings on which you can contribute to the CPP. The YMPE is used by your pension plan in determining contribution rates, benefits and the cost of service.