Pension Surplus Update – Consent Forms – November 8, 2023

In the next couple of weeks CBC Pensioners will receive details for the planned distribution of pension surplus.  The package contains several pages of details including a consent form that you will be asked to return by December 8, 2023.

We strongly urge you to read the document and return the consent form as quickly as possible. The pension regulator is requiring consent from at least two-thirds of all contributors.  Two-thirds represents more than 8-thousand retirees and deferred pensioners. Failure to get that level of consent may prevent any distribution of surplus. 

Unfortunately, there is no short or simple path to follow. The steps required are admittedly somewhat complicated and will mean payment will not happen before Spring of next year.  There is little we can do about that other than cooperate fully with the process.

In the meantime, work is continuing on the calculation of individual entitlements.

The process has several steps.

Payouts like the kind agreed to in the MOA are permitted but they are considered an improvement in retirement benefits and require OSFI’s (Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions) approval.  The payout of surplus is treated as though the employer is taking money from the plan even when that money will be shared with contributors. In those situations, approval needs to be sought from all contributors (pensioners and employees).

In our situation, there are two groups that need to be consulted: those currently contributing to the plan (employees) and those who have contributed in the past but no longer contribute (pensioners, survivors and deferred pensioners).

CBC will have to demonstrate to OSFI that the “quorum” has been reached when it applies to OSFI for the surplus withdrawal.

In addition to the material you will receive in the mail, a public notice will also be posted in newspapers to inform those for whom there are no known addresses. The notices will be posted across the country, in both official languages.

The consent forms will be sent to all pension plan members the week of November 17th.  It will be up to each individual to reply. We urge all pensioners to keep an eye out for them and to respond as soon as possible.

With your cooperation in returning the consent forms we fully expect the payout will be supported. Once the federal regulator is satisfied that enough plan members agree to a payout, the CBC will formally seek OSFI’s consent to withdraw the surplus and begin its distribution.

Approval of the Superintendent is mandatory. Assuming OSFI consents to the withdrawal and the surplus payout, it will give notice in writing. It will then take another 40 days before payouts can begin.

We are continuing to meet with the CBC and the Unions to ensure that we are all doing what needs to be done and as quickly as possible. We will keep you informed of any significant developments.