Questions & Answers
- When do I become a Participant?
- What happens if I stop working for a Union Employer?
- How do I become Vested and what does that mean?
- Can my Spouse or I take a refund instead of a pension?
- When will my pension benefit begin?
- How do I apply for Retirement Benefits?
- Who do I contact if I move?
- If I am a Member of another Local who do I contact if I want to transfer my hours back to my Home Local?
- Can I return to work while I am receiving pension?
- How do I become eligible under the Plan?
- How long does coverage continue?
- What happens if I move from one Employer in the Industry to another?
- What is the Individual's Hour-Bank Reserve Account?
- Can I continue coverage if I run out of hours?
- Will I be covered if I am attending Trade School?
- How do I register for benefits?
- How do I make a name/address change?
- We had a baby 3 months ago, how do I add him/her to my benefit plan?
- My son/daughter is now 21 years old. is he/she still covered? For how long?
- When do my dependents get coverage under this Plan? What benefits do the qualify for?
- My spouse and I are each covered through group benefit plans. Which plan should I submit my claim to first?
- How do I apply for Weekly Disability Benefits?
- What happens to my benefits if I am receiving Weekly Disability?
- What is a pre-determination?
- Do I need pre-determination for orthodontics?
- How often can I get glasses?
- How much dental coverage do I have?
- Are there any special instructions for submitting orthodontic claims or paramedical practitioner claims?
- Where should I send completed claim forms?
- Is there a deadline for submitting my claims?
- How does my dental office submit an electronic claim?
- What do I do if I have problems at my pharmacy with my prescription drug card?
- When do my contributions start?
- How are my contributions calculated?
- How does the plan work?
- How do I know what was contributed for me?
- Will I get a tax receipt for my contributions?
- Can I take contributions out of the Plan while I am still working?
- When can I retire from the plan?
- What happens to my money if I stop working for a Union Employer?
- What happens if I become Disabled?
- What happens to my GRSP if I die before Retirement?
A: You are a Participant in the Pension Plan if you work for an Employer who contributes to the Plan on your behalf and you have met the minimum rules to participate in the Pension Plan. Your Participation starts once an Employer contributes to the Plan on your behalf and ends if you retire, if you die prior to retirement or if you have a Break in Service.
A: When you stop working for an Employer. no further contributions would be made to the Plan for you. Unless you resume working for an Employer within the time periods specified below, you will the incur a Break in Service. Here's how it works:
Legislated Protability Option
The Saskatechewan Pension Benefits Act states that a tthe end of a two-calendar-year period in which you fail to work a total of 350 hours, you are deemed to have stopped actively participating in the Plan. If you are Vested and are under age 55 at that time, you may elect the portability option as explained in Secion 6 of the Plan Booklet.
Break in Service
You will have a Break in Service if within a four-calendar-year period you fail to work a total of 300 hours in at least one of the four years. You will also have a Break in Service if you elect to transfer your benefit from the Plan using the Legislated Portability Option described above. When you have a Break in Service, you will cease to be a Participant as of the last day of the calendar year in which the break occurs.
If you have a Break in Service after you attain Vested Status, you will be entitled to a deferred pension as explained in Section 6 of the Plan Booklet, which is payable as early as age 55. If you are Vested and under age 55 at the time you have a Break in Service, instead of a deferred pension, you may be eligible to the elect potability option as explained in Section 6 of the Plan Booklet. In March of each year FAS will provide Members, who have incurred a Break in Service and have attained Vested Status, with a Termination Statement that outlines the benefits available to them.
If you return to Covered Employment after incurring a Break in Service, you start a new period of participation in the Plan. The hours of Covered Employment you work during a new period of participation do not change or affect the benefits you previously earned.
A: You will have attained Vested Status when you have completed the earliest of the following:
- your age plus your years of Future Service Credit and Past Service Credit (with a minimum of 1 year of Future Service Credit) equal at least 45; or
- you have at least 2 years of Vesting Service (as explained in Section 3 of the Plan Booklet); or
- you have reached normal retirement age while you are a Participant (age 65).
Once you have earned the right to a Vested benefit, you cannot lose your entitlement - even if you stop working for a contributing Employer.
A: No. If you are age 55 or older, your benefit must be used to provide you with a monthly pension upon retirement. However, if your benefits are Vested and you have not yet reached 55, you may be eligible to choose the portability option and transfer the commuted value of your pension to another registered pension plan; a locked-in RRSP to provide a pension no earlier than age 55; or you may purchase a life annuity contract. Please refer to Section 6 of the Plan Booklet for full details regarding the portability option.
In the event of your death prior to retirement your spouse may also elect the portability option instead of recieving a monthly payment.
A: The date your monthly pension will begin depends on the type of pension and some other factors, which are outlined below.
A normal pension is payable monthly from the first of the month after your 65th birthday. If you continue working past your 65th birthday, you can start receiving 50% of your normal pension as a temporary phased-in pension while you continue to earn additional pension credits. You must however begin receiving you permanent pension benefit before the end of the calendar year in which you reach age 71. You must still submit an application form in order to start receiving temporary or permanent benefits - payments do not automatically commence at age 65.
An early retirement pension begins, on or after you have reached age 55, and is payable monthly from the later of:
- the first of the month following receipt of you completed pension application, or
- the first of the month following the date you last work in Covered Employment; or
- the first of the month that you have chosen to begin receiving your benefits.
A deferred pension follows the same rules as the normal and early retirement pensions outlined above.
A disability pension is payable to monthly from the of the month following the 6th month of disability.
For more details on each of the retirement types identified over consult the Plan Booklet or you can contact FAS directly by using the toll free number 1-800-770-2998 (ext. 711)
A: You must complete a Retirement Application. Once you complete the application and have attached the required proof of age documents for both yourself and your spouse (if needed) amd any additional information, you should sign the application and return it to FAS. Only original signatures will be accepted. Proof of age documents can be photocopies but must meet the requirements, as set out on the "Acceptable Proof of Age Documents". If you do not have a spouse, you must include a Statutory Declaration of Marital Status form with your application. A spousal waiver form must be signed and included with you application if you have a spouse and he or she has waived their right to receive the joint and survivor benefit.
FAS will acknowledge their receipt of your application, provide you with the retirement options that are available to you and will notify you if the require any additional information.
A: You can contact FAS directly or fill out a "Notice of Change" form which you can find uner "Forms & Documents" on their website.
The Notice of Change form may be used to change your address, marital status, spouse or beneficiary. Once you have completed the form you can return the signed form to FAS for processing.
Please note, the form can only be used for the Pension Plan. If you are also a Participant in the Health and Welfare plan you may be required to complete additional forms.
A: Contact your Local Union to obtain a Reciprocal Contribution Transfer Authorization Form. Once you have reviewed the form and identified if you want Pension and/orHealth and Welfare transferred to you Home Local, you must take the completed form to the Local Union for their approval. The Local Union will then forward the form on to FAS to processing. FAS will start trasferring hours back to your home Local in accordance with the rules specific to the applicable Reciprocal Agreement.
A: If you return to work in Covered Employment after you have started to receive your monthly pension payments and you are younger than age 71, you must notify FAS in writing within 15 days of returning to work in Covered Employment. You may choose one of the following three options:
1. Suspension of your monthly payments for each calendar month you are working in Covered Employent. Once you stop working, your monthly pension payments will start again but will be adjusted as follows:
- The monthly pension payment you were receiving prior to your return to work will be adjusted to take into account the amount of pension payment "forfeited" and the change in your retirement age; plus
- The additional pension earned during your period of re-employment.
2. Suspension of you monthly payments and commencement of a temporary phased-in pension equal to 50% of the normal pension you had earned prior to you retirement. Once you stop working, your monthly pension payments will start again, but will be increased to reflect the additional pension earned during you period of re-employment.
Note that you can switch back and forth between temporary phased-in pension and full retirement at any time. For example, if you are reitred and between the ages of 65 and 71, and you decide to return to work, you suspend payment of your pension and commence receipt of the temporary phased-in pension. This will allow you to earn additional pension credit while you are back on the job. The only restriction is that you may only choose to receive temporary phased-in pension once per year.
3. You may continue to receive your montly pension payments during your period of re-employment, in which case you will not earn any additional Benefit Credit.
If you continue to work past your 71st birthday, you will not earn any additional Benefit Credits.
Q. How do I become eligible under the Plan?
A. Once house that you have worked for a contributing employer have been reported to FAS, an hour-bank reserve account is established for you. New employees will become eligible for benefits after working a minimum of 300 hours for contributing employers in not less than two or more than three consecutive months. The following month is a waiting period and eligibility will commence on the first day of the month following the waiting period.
Q. How long does coverage continue?
A. Hours worked for contributing employers by each employee will be credited to the individual's "reserve account". One undred hours of work will be deducted from each eligible employee's "reserve account" for each month of insurance coverage, and employees will continue to remain eligible as long as their reserve accounts contain at least 100 hours of work credit. Employees will be allowed to accumulate excess hours in their reserve accounts up to a maximum of 600 hours.
Note: Each eligiable employee is responsible for knowing what his/her reserve account balance is at any time. Please contact the Call Centre to verify eligibility before incurring any expenses.
Q. What happens if I move from one Employer in the industry to another?
A. If your new employer is required to make contributions, your reserve account will continue to be credited with hours reported.
Q. What is the Individual's Hour-Bank Reserve Account?
A. This is an account kept by FAS for each employee who works for a contributing employer. Employers report the number of hours worked by the employee to FAS. The hours are placed in the employee's reserve account. This is similar to a bank account, with hours being deposited instead of dollars. In order to pay for his/her coverage, an employee has hours deducted or withdrawn from his/her account.
For example: Let us look at the way an eligible employee's account would operate if he/she has 180 hours in his/her hour-bank or reserve account at the beginning of the month.
|Month||Account Balance at Beginning of Month||Hours * Reported in Month||Hours Charged for Coverage||Reserve Account Balance|
*** These are the hours worked two months before the current month. Hours are reported to FAS in the month following the month they were worked. The hours are then credited to the next month. For example, hours worked in January are reported in February and provide March eligibility.
Q. Can I continue coverage if I run out of hours?
A. An employee who is in good standing with the Union and whose eligibility terminates may continue coverage for himself and his family from month to month (up to a maximum of nine consecutive self-payments) by making self-payments. The first payment must be made prior to the termination of eligibility; payments must be continuous so long as the employee is eligible to make them, and must be made in advance of the month for which coverage is desired. Employees who are eligible due to self-payments are NOT eligible for Weekly Disability Benefits.
For further information concerning the amount of self-payment, grace periods that may be allowed by the Trustees for such payments, and other requirements which must be met, please contact FAS.
Q. Will I be covered if I am attending Trade School?
A. Whenever an apprentice employee attends a recognized trade school related to his/her employment for at least two consecutive weeks in any calendar month, no deduction will be made from his/her reserve account for that month. This will continue until the month following the month in which his/her said classes end, provided, however, that an employee may not obtain a deduction deferment under this clause for any period of school longer than three consecutive months for any one series of apprenticeship classes. The member must complete a Freezing of Hours form and have it signed by the Local Union Office or from FAS.
Q. How do I register for benefits?
A. A "Registration Form" must be completed immediately and sent to FAS. If you delay returning the Registration Form it may impact the reimbursement of claims. Blank Registration Forms are available from your Local Union Office or FAS.
Q. How do I make a name/address change?
A. Whenever you have an address change or name change you are required to complete the Registration Form in full and return the original document to FAS. Changes may include:
- Change of name or addresss
- Change of marital/dependant status
- Change of beneficiary
- Change of benefit coverage of dependants
Q. We had a baby 3 months ago, how do I add him/her to my benefit plan?
A. A new Registration Form will be required to have your new dependant(s) added to your benefit plan. The Registration Form must be completed in full again including existing and new dependant information.
Q. My son/daughter is now 21 years old, is he/she still covered? For how long?
A. Coverage for unmarried dependants may be extended beyond the age of 21 but under 25 years of age if the child is attending an accredited educational insitute, college or university on a full-time basis provided they meet the criteria for an Over Age Dependant. Proof of school must be submitted to FAS.
Q. When do my dependants get coverage under this Plan? What benefits do they qualify for?
A. Your eligible dependants become covered for benefits at the same time you become eligible. A Registration Form must be on file for at least one year before your common-law spouse and any children of that common-law spouse (as indicated on the form) are eligible for coverage (unless the Statutory Declaration on the Registraiton Form as been completed). Refer to your Plan Booklet for a description of the benefits your dependants qualify for.
Q. My spouse and I are each covered through group benefit plans. Which plan should I submit my claim to first?
A. Coordination of Benefits refers to a process wherein reimbursements for claims is coordinated or shared between two or more plans. With Coordination of Benefits, claims could be covered up to 100% depending on the specific provisions for each plan.
- If the claim is for you (the member), your benefit plan is the first-pater and the spouse's plan is second-player.
- If the claim is for your spouse, your spouse's plan is the first-player and the member's plan is the second-player.
- If the claim is for your dependant children, you must first determine which parent's birthday occurs earliest in the calendar year. For example, if the father's birthday is October 19, and the mother's is October 8, claims for the dependant children would go to the mother's plan first and the father's second.
- If you are separated or divorced, the claim is submitted first to the plan of the parent with custody.
Q. How do I apply for Weekly Disability Benefits?
A. To apply for Weekly Disability benefits you will need to complete a Weekly Disability form and have a medical physician complete the Attending Physician's Statement. In order to receive benefits from the Trust Fund you must be treated by a licensed doctor (M.D.) within the first three days of your disability. If you are not treated by a licensed doctor within the first 3 days of your disability, benefits will not start until the date you can visit the doctor. You must remain under the ongoing care of a licensed doctor (M.D.) to be eligible for benefits.
If you qualify for Accident and Sickness benefits under the Employment Insurance (E.I.) plan, this Fund's benefits will be suspended with E.I. benefits begin (not later than 14 days from the date of disability). If you continue to be disabled after exhaustion of your E.I. benefits (maximum 15 weeks), then this Fund will resume its payments to you for a maximum period of protection of 52 weeks of disability including the period covered by E.I. benefits. Updated medical documentation will be required.
If you do not qualify for E.I. benefits, this Fund's benefit will be payable as long as you remain disabled up to a maximum of 52 weeks.
In order to be eligible for payment, Weekly Disability claims must be submitted within 90 days of the commencement of disability.
To apply for benefits complete the Weekly Disability Benefits Form and return to FAS.
Q. What happens to my benefits if I am receiving Weekly Disability?
A. Whenever an eligible employee is disabled and is receiving Workers' Compensation benefits or Weekly Disability benefits from this Fund, or Employment Insurance Accident and Sickness benefits, for at least two consecutive weeks in any calendar month, no deductions will be made from his/her reserve account for that month. In other words, his/her reserve account will be "frozen". The maximum period for which an employee's hours will be frozen under this rule for any one continuous period of disability is six months.
If your receive Workers' Compensation benefits or Employment Insurance Accident and Sickness benefits, you must notify FAS of the duration of your disability so your reserve account may be frozen for the period described above. "Freezing of Hours" forms may be obtained at your Local Union Office or from FAS.
Q. What is a pre-determination?
A. A pre-determination is a proposed course of treatment submitted to FAS by your dentist or orthodontist to determine allowable procedures, the eligible amount payable, and the maximum allowance for the calendar year (January to December).
We strongly recommend you submit a pre-determination well in advance of any proposed treatment if the estimated cost is $300.00 or more. If necessary, your dentist may be required to submit dental x-rays to support the planned treatment. If so, the x-rays will be promply returned to your dentist after the review is complete.
Q. Do I need a pre-determination for orthodontics?
A. Yes, your dentist or orthodontist must submit a pre-determination to FAS prior to the start of the treatment for your expenses to be eligible for reimbursement. Failure to do so will cause unnecessary delays.
Q. How often can I get glasses?
A. Prescription glasses or contact lenses are reimbursed up to a maximum of $500.00 every 24 months for adults and $500.00 every 12 months for dependant children under the age of 18.
Coverage includes 50% reimbursement of laser eye surgery expenses to a lifetime maximum of $1,500.00.
One eye exam every 24 months to a maximum of $80.00 is allowed.
Safety glasses (for members only) are reimbursed to a maximum of $300.00 every 12 months.
Q. How much dental coverage do I have?
A. Dental services are reimbursed at 100% of eligible Routine and 80% of eligible Major Restorative expenses based on the 2010 Saskatchewan Dental Association Fee Schedules to a $3,000.00 maximum per calendar yera for Routine and Major Restorative expenses combined.
Orthodontic expenses are reimbursed at 50% for dependant children under age 18 to a lifetime maximum of $2,000.00.
Q. Are there any special instructions for submitting orthodontic claims or paramedical practitioner claims?
A. Orthodontic Claim
When you submit an orthodontic claim without a dentist's or orthodontist's signature, you must attach all necessary original receipts. Monthly adjustments will only be reimbursed once the service has been provided.
For paramedical practitioner services such as massage therapy and physiotherapy, please ensure that the practitioner's name and license number are on the receipt. Having the practitioner include their registration or license number will allow for faster payment of your claim. Staple the receipts to the Supplementary Health Claim form along with a letter from your doctor if a doctor's referral is required - refer to your benefits booklet of contact the Call Centre to confirm if a referral is required.
Q. Where should I send completed claim forms?
A. Completed claim forms, original receipts and other supporting documentation should be sent to:
Funds Administrative Service Inc.
9707 - 110 Street, 9th Floor
Edmonton, Alberta T5K 3T4
Q. Is there a deadline for submitting my claims?
A. The deadlines for submitting the various types of claims are as follows:
- 6 months after the date of death under the Death Provision for Life Insurance Benefits;
- 12 months after the date the employee ceases active work because of total and permanent disability under the Permanent Total Disability Provision for Life Insurance Benefits;
- 6 months after the date of loss for Accidental Death and Dismemberment Benefits;
- 90 days after the start of Disability for the Weekly Disability Benefit; and
- Within 12 months of the date the expense was incurred, but not more than 6 months after the date coverage terminates, for Supplementary Health and Dental Benefits.
Q. How does my dental office submit an electronic claim?
A. For dental offices to submit electronically the must include the following:
Policyholder - Carpenters' and Millwrights Insurance Benefit Trust Fund of Saskatchewan
Plan Policy Holde - 3942
Carrier Identification Number - 610614
Q. What do I do if I have problems at my pharmacy with my perscription drug card?
A. Please contact the Call Centre to confirm eligibility.
Q. When do my contributions start?
A. Your contributions start with the first hour you work for an Employer that is signatory to the Millwrights' Trust and Collective Bargaining Agreements, provided the Employer pays the contributions to the Trust Fund as required by the Collective Agreement.
Q. How are my contribution calculated?
A. The Collective Bargaining Agreement establishes the Employer contribution rate. Contributions and Administration fees vary as amended from time to time. The administration fee reduces to $0.18 per hour earned effective September 1, 2011.
Q. How does the plan work?
A. Upon receipt of the first contribution remitted to the Trust Fund, FAS will forward the contribution, less the administration fee, to Manulife Financial. A Member Account in your name will be set up with Manulife Financial. Your contribution will be invested in the Plan's default option untion such time as you complete Manulife's enrolment and investment selection forms.
The registration package will include a Member booklet, registration form and investment selection form. If you did not receive these forms you can contact FAS directly.
Q. How do I know what was contributed for me?
A. In February of each year, FAS will provide you with a statement detailing the name of any Employers that made contributions to the Fund on your behalf, the month in which contributions were earned and the value of those contributions. If you do not receive a statement please contact FAS to ensure the address they have one file is correct.
Manulife Financial will provide you with a Member Statement. This statement will include your investment information and report the contributions and any withdrawl made (where the Plan permits withdrawls). If you do not receive a statement please contact Manulife Financial to ensure the address they have one file is correct. A "Change" form can be obtained by going online at www.Manulife.com choose the Group Savings option Under Products and Services, then log in under Plan Member or you can call Manulife's toll free number 1-888-713-7788.
Q. Will I get a tax receipt for my contributions?
A. Manulife Financial will issue tax receipts twice a year. The first receipt will be issued in January. The second receipt will be issued in March. If you do not receive a tax receipt please contact Manulife Financial at their toll free number 1-888-713-7788 or go online at www.Manulife.com choose Group Savings option Under Products and Services, then log in under Plan Member and download your tax receipt.
Q. Can I take contributions out of the Plan while I am still working?
A. All Employer funded contributions must remain in the Fund which you are a member of the Union, with the exception of amounts withdrawn for the purpose of participating in the Home Buyer or Lifelong Learning Plan(s).
Q. When can I retire from the plan?
A. Normal Retirement is 60 years of age or greater. Upon reaching retirement age you may choose to transfer any or all funds currently held in the Plan. However, such withdrawls will be limited to one transaction per calendar year. Once you complete the notice of transfer form and have attached the required proof of age documents, you should sign the form and return it to FAS. Only original signatures will be accepted. Proof of age documents can be photocopies but must meet the requirements, as set out in your retirement package mailed to you. You must start receiving a retirement income no later than the last day of the year in which you turn 71 years of age.
Q. What happens to my money if I stop working for a Union Employer?
A. If you stop working for Union Employer, you are not considered to have "Terminated" from the plan unless you have not had contributions remitted to the plan on your behalf for 24 consecutive months. However, if the combined total of all funds (at the time of the request) is equal to or less than 10% of the "Yearly Maximum Pensionable Earnings" (i.e. YMPE) as determined by the Canada Pension Plan, you may be considered Terminated and you may be eligible to transfer any or all funds currently held with the Providers under the plan. Once you complete the notice of transfer form and have attached the required proof of age documents, if applicable, you should sign the form and return it to FAS. Only original signatures will be accepted.
Q. What happens if I become Disabled?
A. You will be considered to be totally and permanently disabled, within the meaning of this plan, if you are receiving any Canada Pension Plan Disability Pension. Once your permanent disability has been confirmed to FAS, FAS will contact Manulife Financial and provide them with written confirmation that you are permanently and totally disabled and that your funds can not be transferred to the Manulife Financial Personal Pension Plan RRSP. At this time, you should contact Manulife Financial to discuss your options.
Q. What happens to my GRSP if I die before Retirement?
A. In the event of your death, the combined total of all funds held in the Plan will be payable to your last named Beneficiary or Beneficiaries. If no person or persons have been identified as your beneficiary(ies), all funds will be payable to your Estate.