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Low Rise Retirement Benefits

When May I Retire?

Your normal retirement date is the first day of the month coincident with or next following your 65th birthday. However, you may elect to retire at any time after you have reached age 55 providing you have ceased to work for participating employers. You may receive the amount accumulated in your pension account balance at retirement or, if you retire before age 65, at any time from age 55 up to age 65.

If you become totally and permanently disabled, you may retire any time but prior to attainment of age 71.

How Will My Normal Retirement Pension Be Determined?

Your monthly pension will be the life annuity that can be purchased from an insurance company with the balance in your account at that time. It will depend on the amount contributed over the years, on how much the pension fund has earned in that time, and on the annuity purchase rates in effect at the time the annuity is purchased. It will also depend on the form of annuity you choose.

What is the Normal Form of Annuity Under The Low Rise Plan?

The normal form of annuity under the Low Rise Pension Plan depends on whether you have a spouse when your pension starts.

If you do not have a spouse, the normal form is an annuity payable for your life, with the guarantee that at least 10 years of annuity payments will be made.

If you have a spouse on your pension commencement date, the normal form of annuity will be a 60% joint and survivor annuity. Under this form, a reduced monthly amount is payable to you and on your death, 60% of that amount continues monthly to your spouse for as long as she lives.

What Optional Forms of Annuity are Available?

You may elect any other form of life annuity allowed by law:

  • an annuity payable for your life only, or with a 5, 10 or 15 year guarantee; or
  • a joint and survivor annuity where some percentage other than 60% continues to your survivor, with or without a 5, 10 or 15 year guarantee.

However, if you have a spouse at your pension commencement date and you wish to elect a form of annuity that is not a joint and survivor annuity under which at least 60% will continue to your spouse on your death, then you and your spouse must first waive your entitlement to such a 60% joint and survivor annuity by signing a prescribed waiver form which will be provided by the Benefits Office.

How is Spouse Defined?

A "spouse" means either a man or a woman who, is married to you and is not living separate and apart from you; or is not married to you and is living with you in a conjugal relationship,

  • continually for a period of not less than three (3) years, or
  • in a relationship of some permanence, if you are the natural or adoptive parents of a child.

The determination of an eligible spouse is done at the date of your retirement or the date of your death. You can have only one eligible spouse. If more than one person seems to satisfy the definition, then the person who last satisfied it would be your spouse on the date of determination.