Member Handbook

An investment in your future

The CAAT Pension Plan provides members with a secure lifetime pension that includes valuable features such as early retirement, survivor benefits and inflation protection.

This Handbook explains the provisions of the CAAT Pension Plan as of January 2016.

A detailed legal description of the provisions of the Plan can be found in the Plan Text, which can be accessed at your employer’s Human Resources department or downloaded from our website. Should the information in this Handbook, our website or any other source differ from the Plan Text, the Plan Text will govern.

Do you work part-time or on contract?

The CAAT Pension Plan is introducing DBplus, a new defined benefit design for Other than regular full-time (OTRFT) members who work part-time or on contract. All OTRFT members will make the switch to DBplus on January 1, 2019.

Visit the DBplus page to discover how DBplus will maximize the lifetime pensions of OTRFT members. While you're there, watch the videos, and register for upcoming webinars to learn more.

Getting to know your Plan

The CAAT Pension Plan is a jointly-sponsored, multi-employer pension plan providing retirement security to the full-time and participating part-time, active and retired employees of Ontario’s college system.

Our main purpose is to pay a predictable stream of pension payments to retired members and their surviving spouses. To that end, the Plan manages a pool of assets which is funded by contributions from members, matching contributions from employers and the investment earnings on those contributions.

Members and employers jointly govern the Plan
The CAAT Pension Plan is governed with equal representation from members and employers. As sponsors, OPSEU (the Ontario Public Service Employees Union), CEC (College Employer Council) and OCASA (the Ontario College Administrative Staff Association) appoint representatives to the Sponsors’ Committee and Board of Trustees.

A defined benefit lifetime pension
As a CAAT Pension Plan member, you can rely on a pension based on your earnings and service. This defined benefit formula means you don’t have to worry about complex investments, market volatility, or outliving your pension.

Your pension is based on your best five years of earnings
The pension formula uses your best five consecutive years of pensionable earnings, regardless of when they occur in your Ontario college career. You’ll receive a pension based on your best possible consecutive earnings, whether you scale back or take on more responsibility in later years.

Flexible retirement options
Choose from a variety of retirement dates to meet your individual needs. All members can retire as early as age 55, while members with over 20 years of pensionable service can retire starting at age 50. And, although 65 is the “normal retirement age”, members can work and earn benefits in the Plan up to the end of November of the year in which they turn 71, which is, by law, the age when they must start collecting a pension, even if they continue to work.

Survivor benefits upon your death
If you die before you retire, the value of the pension you accumulated will go to your spouse or beneficiaries. If you die in retirement, your eligible spouse will receive a pension for his or her life. Under some circumstances, your children and beneficiaries may also receive survivor benefits.

Inflation protection increases the value of your pension
The impact of inflation is partially offset through the Plan’s inflation protection, helping pensions retain purchasing power over time.

A tax-effective way to save for retirement
Your contributions to the Plan are tax-deductible, and the matching contributions from your employer are not a taxable benefit.

Funding for your future
The CAAT Pension Plan’s Funding Policy highlights the long-term focus of protecting promised pension benefits. The Plan undergoes regular actuarial valuations to measure its financial health and the Funding Policy lays out possible means of dealing with funding deficits and surpluses. The Funding Policy can be viewed on the CAAT Pension Plan website.

If you were an active member of the ROM Pension Plan on December 31, 2015, and are still an active member, the provisions that apply to your pension may be different than those outlined on this page. Visit Active members – formerly ROM Pension Plan members for details.

Next: Joining the Plan