Frequently Asked Questions
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Here are some of the commonly asked questions we receive. If you have any additional questions that you cannot find here, please contact us.
The CBC PNA is federally incorporated under the Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act.
Structurally, the Association comprises eight geographically defined Regions which, in turn, currently support some 17 smaller divisions called Chapters.
The regions are Newfoundland & Labrador, the Maritimes, Quebec, the National Capital Region & Nunavut, Ontario, Manitoba, Alberta, Saskatchewan & the Northwest Territories, British Columbia & Yukon. The Chapters are Western Newfoundland; Moncton, Prince Edward Island and Cape Breton; Quebec City; Matane; Rimouski; Saguenay/Lac-Saint-Jean; South-Western Ontario, Golden Horseshoe, Durham, Trent and North-Central Ontario; Calgary; Saskatchewan; Vancouver Island and Southern Interior BC.
The PNA is governed by a national Board of Directors comprising the Presidents of each Region (plus one additional member for each of Ontario and Quebec, the most populous Regions) and four Officers who form the National Executive – the President, two Vice-presidents (Francophone and Anglophone) and a Treasurer. The Association’s representatives on the EAP, CCSB and the Pension Board of Trustees sit as advisory members of the board but do not vote.
The regional presidents are elected by and serve terms defined by the members of their respective Regions, who also elect their own directors and other officers. Chapters are typically represented on Regional boards by their President.
The national Officers are elected to three-year terms at a national convention of members held every three years.
The Triennial Convention is the PNA’s strategic planning body. Members participating are the national directors, plus additional representatives determined by population and chosen by their regions. The Convention, in keeping with the Articles of Incorporation (see the preamble to the By-Laws), reviews the Mission and Vision of the PNA and sets the broad planning objectives for the national board to execute over the ensuing period.
The national Board of Directors is charged with overseeing the day-to-day operations of the CBC PNA, assisted by a small, part time staff in the Association’s head office, located in Ottawa.
All national, regional and chapter-level officers and directors are volunteers, serving without remuneration.
There are over 5100 members from among the roughly 9835 CBC pensioners and survivors.
The PNA is funded by the dues paid by its members. When you complete your membership application, you authorize the CBC to deduct Association dues from your pension cheque. The current rate of dues is 0.32% of gross pension – less than 1/3 of one percent. On an average pension of $21,000 per annum this works out to about $5.60 per month; on a smaller pension, say $1,000.00 per month, the dues would be $3.20 per month.
The Canada Revenue Agency imposes a maximum annual pension payable from a Defined Benefit pension plan. So employees retiring from senior positions and who may be receiving supplementary pensions from the CBC are charged dues based only on the CRA-determined maximum, not the total of their basic and supplementary amounts.
The dues are received from the CBC by the National office. Each region then receives 25% of the dues for the members in that region to allow it to conduct activities. A similar formula determines funding for chapters, guaranteeing a minimum operating amount.
Briefly – communication with members through newsletters and special communiqués, legal and actuarial consulting fees to deal with the pension plan surplus and consulting fees.
Aside from the costs of maintaining an office – salaries, rent, equipment and supplies, all of which are quite modest, our biggest expenses are on communication, followed by legal fees and actuarial and benefit consulting fees and expenses.
We believe that providing useful and up to date information to members and giving them access to information is a critical function of the association. To that end we produce usually three national newsletters a year – the newsletter is called “Contact” – in both French and English as well as sending out special communiqués from time to time. This generates a fair cost in printing, stationery, translation and postage. Additionally, to facilitate communication, we maintain a 1-800 number and a web site.
Pension Fund Surplus
Our efforts succeeded in convincing the Corporation to double the amount of the 1999 surplus to be allocated to pensioners and employees.
After obtaining legal and actuarial advice, the PNA intervened in the deliberations of the CBC Pension Board of Trustees regarding the allocation and distribution of the 1999 surplus. In a nutshell, our efforts resulted in the CBC’s decision to double the amount to be distributed to employees and pensioners from about 74 million dollars to 148 million dollars.
This improvement applied to all pensioners and employees so in effect, the amount you received, assuming you were a pensioner or survivor at December 31, 1999, was twice what it would have been had we not been involved. As you may know, that issue is not considered closed – the Association and all CBC Unions believe that more of the 1999 surplus should have been distributed. The Unions have filed a joint grievance and the Association is supporting that process behind the scenes.
Yes – but not to the same degree our members do. The CBC PNA is the only organized voice of CBC pensioners and, as such, is regularly consulted by the CBC/Radio-Canada on matters of importance to all pensioners, such as the Supplementary Health Care Plan and the Employee Assistance Plan. Through our representation on the Consultative Committee on Staff Benefits, we play a key role in managing the Special Assistance Fund. And, because we nominate a pensioners’ representative to the CBC Pension Plan Board of Trustees, we have direct input to the governance of the Plan. As an Association, we receive an annual, formal briefing on the Pension Plan’s performance, allowing us to provide insights unique to the members of the PNA. All of these connections give CBC PNA members a degree of influence on their plans and services that non-members do not enjoy.
In addition, the CBC PNA continues to negotiate affinity agreements available only to our members, including access to hotel and car rental programs, consumer purchasing discounts and privileged rates for travel medical, trip cancellation, automobile and home insurance. (Click the Programs tab for more details.)
1. As noted above, while you may benefit from our efforts in the areas of the pension plan and supplementary health care, you will not be able to participate in any other programs we develop for our members.
2. Non-members do not receive our national newsletter – Contact – that keeps members informed about many activities and events of interest to CBC Pensioners, nor will they be receiving communication from the various regions about their activities. They cannot participate in our ‘affinity programs’.
3. Many regions and chapters now hold regular meetings and social gatherings through which former colleagues get together, keep up to date and generally enjoy the camaraderie of their former colleagues.
4. But most importantly, to provide us with the strongest possible voice in our dealings with the Corporation. The more members we have, the more attention the Corporation has to pay us when we argue for better and fairer treatment of our members. According to the Memorandum of Understanding, our membership must remain at least 50% of all CBC pensioners and survivors. If we fall below 50%, the CBC can cease to recognize us and you will have no one arguing on your behalf or looking out for your interests.
Yes. If you become dissatisfied with the Association you can write to the National Office in Ottawa, copying the Pension Administration Centre, requesting that your membership be terminated.
Your resignation will be processed effective the end of the month following the month in which we receive your notification. This delay is due to the fact that CBC pensions are paid in advance – i.e. you get your pension for May on the first of May, not the thirty-first.