By Me Marianne Dessureault
A reform of the Québec Pension Plan that began in 2017 will finally take effect starting in January 2019. One may ask: what is the purpose of this reform? Essentially, it is to increase the retirement pension currently paid so that it gradually reaches 33.33% of average career earnings instead of 25%. In other words, the goal is to create a regime that will be similar to the Canada Pension Plan with regards to the amounts that will be received. Although there is a good side to this reform, unfortunately, it will not benefit all workers equally.
In fact, this increase will not be applicable immediately, but only in 40 years! It will therefore affect workers who have directly contributed to this additional pension plan for at least 40 years, that is to say workers who are now 24 years old or under. To be more specific, the retirement pension currently paid is, for example, $ 7,500 per year or $ 625 per month for workers between 25 and 65 years old with an average annual income of $ 30,000. With this reform, the amount will increase gradually and will therefore, in 2059, for the same worker, go up to $ 833.25 per month. Nevertheless, in the short term, this reform means, for all workers, an increase in contributions that will be made between 2019 and 2025 as well as an increase in eligible earnings.
However, for those who suffered a work-related accident, these changes will not be applied equally. Indeed, it will not be possible to deduct from the supplementary pension plan the 24 consecutive months period during which a worker receives a full income replacement indemnity from the CNESST. Concretely, the reform creates a sort of parallel pension plan, which is the additional pension of 8.33%. It will therefore still be possible to apply the exemption measure to the basic pension plan, but not to this additional pension plan, although no contribution is made to the Québec Pension Plan on the amount of the income replacement indemnity.
A reform of the regime has been required for several years now and, although it is a step forward, many would argue, with reason, that it isn’t enough. For example, a proposition was made to eliminate the 0.6% reduction applicable on the retirement pension for every month during which a person received a disability pension before 65 years old; this measure affecting only disabled people was found to be discriminatory within the meaning of the Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms, according to the Commission on Human Rights and Youth. However, it seems that we have to wait for another (or more) elections (s) for these changes to take place!
Do not hesitate to contact us for any questions regarding your eligibility for the disability or retirement pension plan.
Please note that the information contained in this newsletter may be of legal nature, but does not constitute a legal advice.