Information about COVID-19 related leaves or layoffs

What happens if I can’t work because of a COVID-19 related leave or layoff?

The scenarios below apply to you if your employment changed as a result of the measures taken to address COVID-19.

This page provides information on the following types of leaves for members earning a pension under DBplus or under DBprime:

  • Non-statutory and statutory leaves of absence
  • Periods of reduced pay and layoffs
  • Paid sick leave and short term disability

Note: standard purchasing timelines will apply, unless another timeline is set out by the Plan.


Non-statutory and statutory leaves of absence

Non-statutory leave

If you are a member, and are on an approved unpaid leave (that is not a statutory leave under employment standards legislation), you have the opportunity to purchase all or a portion of a non-statutory leave when you return to work based on your deemed earnings (in other words, your earnings if you had not been on a leave) during the period of the leave. Employers do not make contributions for non-statutory leave purchases.

If you are earning a pension in DBprime

If you make the purchase within six months from the date you return to work: You pay 100% of the cost of the purchase based on the contributions that would have been made by both you and your employer in respect of the period being purchased.

If you make the purchase more than six months after you return to work: You pay 100% of the purchase amount which is equal to the greater of two times the contributions and actuarial value of the cost of the leave.

How to pay: You can make this purchase using cash or funds from a registered retirement savings vehicle.

If you are earning a pension in DBplus

If you make the purchase within six months from the date you return to work: You pay 100% of the cost of the purchase based on the contributions that would have been made by both you and your employer in respect of the period being purchased.

If you make the purchase more than six months after you return to work: You pay 100% of the cost of the purchase based on the contributions that would have been made by both you and your employer in respect of the period being purchased. The amount of benefit credited in respect of the leave will be calculated using the purchase adjustment factor, based on how close you are to your normal retirement date.

How to pay: You can only make this purchase using funds from a registered retirement savings vehicle.

Statutory leaves

If you are a member and on statutory leave as defined under the employment standards legislation in your jurisdiction of employment, you and your employer must continue to contribute to the Plan for the duration of the leave unless you choose to exclude this leave from your pensionable earnings and service. If you choose not to contribute during the period of the leave, you still have the opportunity to purchase the leave when you return to work based on your deemed earnings during the period of the leave, as further explained below.

Please note that the treatment of periods of statutory leaves under the CAAT Plan has not changed as a result of COVID-19 – what constitutes a statutory leave depends on the applicable employment standards legislation in effect at the time of the leave. Employers are responsible for reporting whether an employee is on a statutory leave based on applicable employment standards legislation. We note that in response to COVID-19, various jurisdictions have expanded the categories of statutory leaves under their employment standards legislation – these may or may not apply to you.

If you are earning a pension in DBprime

If you make the purchase within six months from the date you return to work: You and your employer will share the cost of the purchase by contributing at the applicable contribution rate.

If you make the purchase more than six months after you return to work: You pay 100% of the purchase amount which is equal to the greater of two times the contributions and the actuarial value of the cost of the leave.

How to pay: You can make this purchase using cash or funds from a registered retirement savings vehicle.

If you are earning a pension in DBplus

If you make the purchase within six months from the date you return to work: You and your employer will share the cost of the purchase based on the contributions that would have been made by both in respect of the period being purchased.

If you make the purchase more than six months after you return to work: You pay 100% of the purchase amount, calculated using the purchase adjustment factor based on how close you are to your normal retirement date.

How to pay: If you purchase this period within six months after you return to work, you can make the purchase using cash funds or funds from a registered retirement savings vehicle. If you make the purchase more than six months after you returning to work, the purchase must be made using funds from a registered retirement savings vehicle.


Layoffs and periods of reduced hours or pay

Periods of reduced pay in DBprime

Under DBprime, you qualify for the Period of Reduced Pay provision if

  • you continue to provide services to an employer,
  • your remuneration has been reduced with no change in employment class, and
  • you have worked no less than 36 months with one or more participating employers.

If you qualify, and you and your employer agree, both you and your employer will make contributions based on your deemed earnings for the period of reduced pay.

If you qualify, but you and your employer do not agree to make contributions on your deemed earnings, you and your employer will make contributions on your actual earnings for the period. When you return to your normal hours or pay, you can purchase the difference between the actual and deemed earnings for the period. It would be treated as a non-statutory leave purchase. You will be responsible for the entire cost of the purchase.

If you make contributions on the difference between actual and deemed earnings for the period, then full service is reported. If you choose not to contribute on the difference between actual and deemed earnings, service for this period will be reduced to correspond with actual hours worked and actual earnings will be reported.

Periods of layoff:

As a member you are considered to be on a period of layoff in the Plan when you meet the definition of layoff in your jurisdiction of employment. So long as recall rights exist, and you have not chosen to retire or transfer your benefit out of the Plan, you will be eligible to purchase the period of layoff when you return to work.

If you are earning a pension in DBprime

If you are fully laid off, you can purchase the entire period of layoff when you return to work.

If you are partially laid off and receiving a reduced amount of earnings from your employer (if applicable in your jurisdiction of employment) and do not qualify for the Periods of Reduced Pay provision under DBprime, both you and your employer will continue to make required contributions on your actual earnings during the period. When you return to normal hours or pay, you have the option to purchase the difference between your actual earnings and deemed earnings for the period.

Purchases in respect of periods of layoff fall under the Non-Statutory Leave purchasing process.

If you are earning a pension in DBplus

If you are fully laid off, you can purchase the entire period of layoff when you return to work.

If you are partially laid off and receiving a reduced amount of earnings from your employer (if applicable in your jurisdiction of employment), both you and your employer will continue to make required contributions on your actual earnings during the period. When you return to normal hours or pay, you have the option to purchase the difference between your actual earning and deemed earnings for the period.

Purchases in respect of periods of layoff fall under the Non-Statutory Leave purchasing process.


Paid sick leave and short term disability

When you continue to receive earnings (or a percentage of earnings) from your employer in respect of a period of leave due to illness.

If you are earning a pension in DBprime

Both you and your employer will continue to make contributions based on your actual earnings during the leave.

You have the option to contribute based on your deemed earnings during the period. If you choose to do so, your employer must also contribute in respect of your deemed earnings.

In that case, full service is reported. If you do not contribute on the difference between actual and deemed earnings, service for this period is reduced to correspond with actual hours worked and actual earnings should be reported.

If you are earning a pension in DBplus

Both you and your employer will continue to make contributions to the Plan based on your actual earnings received  during the leave.

Note: Purchases are subject to Income Tax Act maximums