2017 Faculty strike – data reporting and service purchases

Posted for Employers, November 9, 2017

We anticipate significant member interest in purchasing the service lost during the 2017 faculty strike, as well as additional reporting for the DCT.
 
We are offering three reporting options for providing in-year reporting on the strike, and a streamlined service purchase process, which will minimize the amount of work for employers and ensure ongoing service to members and employers remains consistent. This process will only apply to 2017 faculty strike purchases and does not affect the processing for other types of purchases.
 
There will be a special process for members who retire or terminate on or before June 30, 2018.

In-year reporting

The strike must be reported in the DCT for all affected members. There are three options for reporting:
 
Option 1 - Let CAAT load pre-strike information and status records for you

Submit an in-year data spreadsheet with data up to the strike start date. The data will populate the DCT, simplifying your DCT reporting.

Data file submission:
  • Provide us with a file with the required data for any faculty members affected by the strike (full-time and OTRFT) who were active as of the strike date (October 16, 2017). Data file requirements.
DCT Process:
  • You will not need to import the “status update” file or the “earnings and contributions” file as part of the DCT process to report the strike period for these members.
  • You will import the total earnings, service, and contributions via the “member information and year-end update” file, and the DCT will do the “splits” of data for you.
  • The data will not be validated when it is loaded into DCT. This validation will happen when you upload your 2017 file and validate the 2017 information as part of the DCT process. 
Timing:
  • Submit your data file to your Employer PA by November 24, 2017.
  • Complete the DCT as part of the regular process. The deadline to submit the DCT is March 13, 2018.
Option 2 - Let CAAT load status records for you
Provide a list of faculty members (full-time and OTRFT) affected by the strike. The effective date of the strike and return date will be populated for these members in the DCT. No other data would be populated.

Data file submission:
DCT Process:
  • You will not need to import a “status update” file as part of the DCT process to record the strike period for these members.
  • You will have to import the “earnings and contributions” file for affected members.
  • You will also import the total earnings, service and contributions via the “member information and year-end update” file.
Timing:
  • Submit the data file to your employer PA by November 24, 2017.
  • Complete the DCT as part of the regular process. The deadline to submit the DCT is March 13, 2018.
Option 3 - Upload the 2017 data into the DCT
Report the strike period as part of your DCT process in February 2018. No strike data will be populated into the DCT.

DCT Process:
  • You will have to import the “status update” file.
  • You will also have to import the “earnings and contributions” and “member information and year-end update” files, splitting each member’s service and earnings for the periods before, during, and after the work stoppage as part of your DCT process in 2018.
Timing:
  • Complete as part of the DCT Process. The deadline to submit the DCT is March 13

Strike purchase process

There are two options for the strike purchase process: 

Option 1 - Let CAAT handle the service purchase process for you
No matter which option you choose for in-year reporting, you can still take advantage of this service purchase process.

Report striking member data, which will be used to create strike purchase quotes. The CAAT Plan will mail the quotes to each member in 2018. Members who want to make the purchase will deal directly with the Plan.

Data file submission:
  • Submit a spreadsheet with a list of the affected members, deemed earnings, and service lost due to the strike. Data file requirements.
Timing
  • Send the data after the DCT is completed.
  • The strike purchase mail-outs to members will start in June 2018.

This process has several advantages for all stakeholders:

  • Less work for employers: Once your data is submitted, no further steps are required. There are no individual forms to be completed, and the employer is not responsible for meeting with each member to get a signature.  
  • One source of information for members: The Plan will coordinate the purchase directly with the affected members. They will receive a cost estimate in the mail, with instructions for completing the purchase. Members will be instructed to contact Member Services with their questions.
  • Simpler tax treatment: All purchases made through the batch process will take place after April 30 of next year. As a result, employers will not have to track whether a PA has to be issued, or a PSPA will be required: all purchases made via the batch process will require a PSPA.
  • No change to the purchase cost: The purchase cost will be based on the earnings, YMPE and contribution rates at the time the strike started, and therefore, the cost will never change.
  • Quicker processing time: Due to the high volume of expected service purchases, this process will cut the purchase time in half when compared to the regular form-based process. In addition, it will allow the Plan to maintain service standards on other processes while remaining efficient and cost effective. 
Option 2 - Employer-assisted service purchase
This process will be the same as the process for 2011 support strike purchases, requiring individual calculations and forms for each member making a purchase.

Process:
  • The employer calculates the purchase cost using the new form on our website
  • The member signs the form
  • The employer submits the form and the member’s cheque for the whole purchase amount to the CAAT Plan
  • The CAAT Plan requests a PSPA from CRA
  • If the PSPA is approved, completes the purchase process including issuing tax receipts. (If the PSPA is denied, CRA notifies the member directly.)
Timing:
  • These purchases will be processed starting June 2018. This means that in all cases, a PSPA will be required.

Exceptions - Members who are retiring or terminating on or before June 30, 2018

All service purchases must be completed before a member retires or terminates. We will process the purchases for members who are retiring or who terminate before June 30, 2018, using the strike purchase form. 
 
Process - Retirements
  • Notify any member who is retiring on or before June 30, 2018 that if they want to make the purchase it must be completed before they retire.
  • Include a completed 2017 strike purchase form and the member’s cheque for the purchase amount with the member’s pension application form.
Process - Terminations
  • Notify any member who terminates before June 30, 2018 that the purchase process must be started immediately.
  • Include a completed 2017 strike purchase form with the member’s termination application form. They will have 30 days after termination to make the purchase. 

Communicating with members

Member communications will begin when the strike is over. The Plan will communicate with members and CAAT-A OPSEU Locals to explain the process and the timing, to ensure they know when to expect information about the purchase process. In addition, our Member Services team will be available to answer questions. The website will be updated with information to assist members in deciding if the work stoppage purchase is right for them.
 

Members who were on layoff as a result of the strike

Let your Pension Analyst know if you have any members who were on layoff as a result of the strike so we can determine if the scope is sufficient for a separate process.