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Change to the Québec construction industry pension plan starting December 31, 2017

On December 31, 2017, a change to the pension plan will come into effect concerning benefits payable upon termination of membership for participants who are not eligible to retire. It provides that benefits accumulated in the General Account (hours worked before 2005) will be paid out according to the plan solvency  ratio* without exceeding 100%. However, the change will have no impact on contributions accumulated in the Complementary  Account. Before it comes into effect, participants who cease participating and choose to have their money transferred out of the plan will receive 100% of the value of the benefits accumulated in the General Account. Starting on December 31, 2017, this value will be paid out according to the plan solvency ratio. For example, the plan solvency  ratio on December 31, 2016 was 72.09%.

Are you affected?

You are not affected by this change if you are in one of the following situations:

  • You are a retiree (full or partial retirement) or a surviving spouse
  • You have no hours worked before 2005
  • You will be at least 55 years of age as of February 1, 2018
  • You want to leave your benefits in the plan until your retirement

In all other cases, it is possible that you will be affected by the change. To find out more, view our explanatory video capsule (in French only). 

Explanatory video capsule 

Why was this change made?

The Assemblée nationale du Québec adopted the Act to Amend the Supplemental Pension Plans Act mainly with respect to the funding of defined benefit pension plans (Bill 29). As its name indicates, Bill 29 changes how defined benefit pension plans in the private sector are funded. This statute, which came into effect on January 1, 2016, modifies certain rules concerning the payment of money accumulated by participants in certain specific situations. Following adoption of the statute, the Construction Industry  Social Benefits Committee adopted a change to the plan that will come into effect on December 31, 2017.

* The solvency ratio is the measure of the financial capacity of the plan to honour its commitments to participants if the plan had to end on the date of evaluation. In short, this percentage reflects the health of a pension plan at a specific moment. Depending on the returns on investments and the interest rates, this percentage fluctuates from year to year. The degree of solvency used for the purposes of transfer or payment may not exceed 100%.