PSSP Plan Review Underway

Dear members,

This will pertain to you if you are a member of the Public Service Superannuation Plan (PSSP). If you do not believe you are a member of this pension plan, please disregard.

The PSSP is a pension plan. You are a member of this pension plan and are paying into it. If you continue to work with your employer until you retire, you will be eligible to receive a pension from the plan. The purpose of this email is to solicit your feedback on a number of changes to the PSSP, as it is being reviewed in 2017.

The PSSP is a governed by an Act & Regulations, which set out the terms and conditions of your pension plan. In 2017, the trustees of your plan will be undertaking a comprehensive review of the PSSP. This will be an independent review which would identify possible enhancements to the Public Service Superannuation Act and its Regulations.

As part of this review process, the NSGEU has been approached for our recommendations for suggested enhancements to the Plan.

The following is a list of proposed suggestions NSGEU will be submitting:

Public Service Superannuation Act

Section Item for Review Suggested Review
2(l) Interpretation of Consumer Price Index Should the Plan use the Consumer Price Index for Nova Scotia instead of Canada, which is published by Statistics Canada on an all-items basis?
2(zq) Interpretation of Salary Should the Plan broaden the definition of Salary to include, as an example, overtime pay and acting pay?
24(2)(a) Management and Investment of Superannuation Fund Should the administrator of your plan include a reference on environmental, social and governance factors within its investment policy?
25 Administrator Should your plan administrator increase and ensure adequate staffing to manage existing and new plan members, on a go-forward basis?
47(3) Five-year reviews Should the 120-day limit for the production and delivery of a written report for the plan review be extended to, as an example, 240 days to allow for comprehensive member and stakeholder input?
57(2) Employee with maximum number of years of pensionable service Should there be any change to the maximum number of years of pensionable service, which is currently 35 years?
66 to 74 Cost of living adjustments and adjustments to contribution rates and plan eligibility and benefits Should there be changes made to the funded level threshold limits and more options available to the Trustees within those limits?
81 Integration of allowance with Canada Pension Plan Given the recent announcement by Canada’s finance ministers to increase both the contribution rate (which will be implemented starting in 2019) and the Year’s Maximum Pensionable Earnings (which will be implemented starting in 2024), the plan should undertake a thorough review of the potential impact these change would have on the PSSP. Further, de-integrating the PSSP from the Canada Pension Plan should be considered.
  Plan Growth Introduce language which enables new employers to join the PSSP; this would be similar to language introduced for Universities under the Act to Facilitate the Transfer of University Pension Plans to the Public Service Superannuation Plan.

Public Service Superannuation Plan Regulations

2 Definition of Part-Time Employee Should the definition of part-time employee be modified to working more than 40% but less than 100% of the full-time hours for the same or comparable position?
31(1)(a) Calculation of Superannuation Allowance The formula used to determine the superannuation allowance should be reviewed in light of the proposed changes to the Canada Pension Plan.
Alignment with the Nova Scotia Pension Benefits Act and Regulations: The Plan should consider changes to align with the Nova Scotia Pension Benefits Act and Regulations
4(c) When interest in Pension Plan becomes vested Should the PSSP consider immediate vesting?
34 Lump sum payment of Commuted Value if benefit Small Should the PSSP consider commuting the allowance payable when it is less than 20% of the year’s maximum pensionable earnings in the last year of employment?
44 Refund payable to designated beneficiary or estate Should the Plan consider paying 100% of the commuted value to the beneficiary or estate of a deceased member when the deceased member has no surviving spouse, qualifying children or dependants?
Eliminate changes in benefits based on a members date of hire:
27(2) Retirement based on ‘rule of 80’ or ‘rule of 85’ The PSSP should reinstate the provisions of the ‘rule of 80’ as they existed prior to April 6, 2010, for all employees regardless of their date of hire.
41 Survivor Allowances for employee who first commences employment on or after April 6, 2010 The PSSP should reinstate the provisions of the survivor allowance as it existed prior to April 6, 2010, for all employees regardless of their date of hire.

Should you have any additional questions or suggestions about our proposed suggestions, please submit them by email to before August 17th, 2016

For more information on the PSSP, its legislation and governance structure, please see

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