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April 18, 2024

RESOLVED: GreenShield Strike

GreenShield has advised that their union represented employees have voted in favour of a new, 3-year collective agreement with Green Shield Canada.

The GreenShield contact centre will reopen on Monday, April 22, however, it is anticipated that call volumes may be higher than usual at this time.

GreenShield continues to encourage members to use the fully operational online services, including Web, mobile, providerConnect and all real-time submissions from pharmacies and dental offices. For support checking your coverage online, please visit their self-service page.

GreenShield’s self-serve phone system is available via the call centre number, 1-888-711-1119, to:

  • Check eligibility for all the following benefits:
    • Chiropractic treatment
    • Custom foot orthotics
    • Dental recall exam
    • Eye exam
    • Massage therapy
    • Physiotherapy treatment
    • Prescription contacts/glasses
  • Get information on:
    • Eligible amount per visit/claim
    • Copay/deductible amounts (if applicable)
    • Maximums for specified benefit
    • Benefit start date
    • Used to date amount

If you have any questions, please email the Benefits Centre at

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March 8, 2024

GreenShield: Unifor Strike

GreenShield's collective agreement with Unifor expired on Friday, March 1, leading to a strike. GreenShield has activated its contingency plan to ensure essential services continue during the strike.

GreenShield remains optimistic that a settlement can be reached through constructive and focused discussions.

Online services, including claim submissions, continue to be available and are not impacted by the Unifor strike, and there will be no interruption to the health and administrative services that GreenShield provides.

 The GreenShield contact centre is closed during the strike, but you will still be able to use GreenShield’s online services or their self-serve phone system depending on your needs. Since 94% of claims are submitted online, online service claims continue to be processed; other online services that most members rely on also remain available with minimal disruption.

GreenShield’s self-serve phone system is available via the call centre number, 1-888-711-1119, to:

  • Check eligibility for all the following benefits:
    • Chiropractic treatment
    • Custom foot orthotics
    • Dental recall exam
    • Eye exam
    • Massage therapy
    • Physiotherapy treatment
    • Prescription contacts/glasses
  • Get information on:
    • Eligible amount per visit/claim
    • Copay/deductible amounts (if applicable)
    • Maximums for specified benefit
    • Benefit start date
    • Used to date amount

GreenShield encourages members to use the fully operational online services, including Web, mobile, providerConnect and all real-time submissions from pharmacies and dental offices.

If you have any questions, please email the Benefits Centre at

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March 6, 2024

Canadian Dental Care Plan

These are early days for the federal plan, so stay tuned for any changes. We’ve just recently been advised that people who opted out of an employer’s retiree health and dental benefit plan before December 11, 2023, and cannot opt back in under the plan rules, are eligible for the Canadian Dental Care Plan (CDCP). Anyone who chooses to opt out after this date will not be eligible.

The following is the eligibility criteria of the Canadian Dental Care Plan that was updated on March 4, 2024 on the Government of Canada website.

Eligibility criteria

To qualify for the CDCP, you must:

    • not have access to dental insurance
      What does not having access to dental insurance mean?
      This means you do not have access to any type of dental insurance or coverage through:
      • your employment benefits or a family member’s employment benefits, including health and wellness accounts
      • a professional or student organization
        Note: If you’re eligible for dental coverage through your employment benefits or through a professional or student organization, you’re not eligible for CDCP. This is true even if:
        • you decide not to take it
        • you have to pay a premium for it
        • you don’t use it
      • your pension benefits or a family member’s pension benefits
        • this includes federal, provincial and territorial government employer pension plans
        • Exception: You may be eligible for the CDCP if you’re retired and:
          • you opted out of pension benefits before December 11, 2023, and
          • you can’t opt back in under the pension rules
      • coverage purchased by you or a family member or through a group plan from an insurance or benefits company
        • if you purchased your current dental insurance policy privately (and not as part of any of the coverage described above), you’re not eligible for the CDCP while that coverage is in effect.
    • have an adjusted family net income of less than $90,000
    • be a Canadian resident for tax purposes
    • have filed your tax return in the previous year

You need to meet all the eligibility criteria to qualify for the CDCP.

If you have any questions about eligibility for the Canadian Dental Care Plan, please email or call the Benefits Centre at 1-855-647-8222.

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February 1, 2024

GreenShield: Preferred Products for Adalimumab Biosimilars

With new biologics entering the market rapidly, the overall cost of biologic drugs continues to significantly impact the sustainability of drug plans, including ours. GreenShield’s evidence-based biosimilar strategy combines innovative programs and approaches to ensure the best value for treatment, while optimizing resources, supporting the uptake of biosimilars, and improving access to medications for all plan members.

The originator biologic, Humira (adalimumab), continues to be one of the world’s top-selling drugs for more than two decades, treating a range of inflammatory conditions. Currently, eight approved adalimumab biosimilars in the Canadian market have all demonstrated similar safety and efficacy profiles to the originator, Humira.

Effective January 15, 2024, the following biosimilar products will be split into two categories: preferred and non-preferred products, as outlined in the table below. This means, anyone starting adalimumab therapy, effective January 15, 2024, must use a Category 1 (preferred product) below.

The choice of preferred products was evaluated based on several criteria including the formulation and format of the product, the robustness of the manufacturer’s patient co-pay assistance program, the quality of the patient support program, and the manufacturer’s track record of drug shortages. All three preferred products demonstrated excellence in these areas and maintain the opportunity for plan member choice.

Category 1 (preferred products)               Abrilada, Hyrimoz, and Hadlima

Category 2 (non-preferred products)*    Amgevita, Hulio, Idacio, Simlandi, and Yuflyma

The preferential listing applies to all Health Canada approved indications including:**

  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Juvenile Arthritis
  • Psoriatic Arthritis
  • Ankylosing Spondylitis
  • Plaque Psoriasis
  • Uveitis (adult and pediatric)
  • Crohn's Disease (adult and pediatric)
  • Ulcerative Colitis
  • Hidradenitis Suppurativa

If a member under this program chooses to transition to an adalimumab biosimilar, they must select a Category 1 (preferred product) unless an exception applies.* 

* Products listed as Category 2 agents will be non-preferred products and will only be available to patients in exceptional circumstances (e.g., documented intolerance or adverse events to 2 preferred products).

** Preferential listing does not apply in Quebec and will only apply where GreenShield is the primary payor.

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January 16, 2024

Pension Information Seminar - Feb. 6, 2024

Tuesday, February 6, 2024  1:00 – 2:30 pm ET / 10:00 – 11:30pm PT 

Click here for the start times in each of Canada’s Time Zones

The United Church of Canada provides a Defined Benefit Pension Plan for all employees who work more than 14 hours a week. Register here for this 90 minute program to learn about how the plan works, what it costs, what it provides, and how to apply for your pension when you're are ready. In this program we'll describe:

  • what a "defined benefit plan" is
  • how costs and benefits are determined
  • other ways that you might plan for retirement, including personal savings, government benefits, and coordination with other pension or benefits plans you may have access to
  • options to consider as you prepare to retire.

If you have any questions, please contact Shenagh Rosa, Manager, Pension Compliance and Communications, at 

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December 12, 2023

Pension Increase Effective January 1, 2024

Good news! As announced in a recent letter from Pension Board Chair, Anne Soh, pension plan members will receive a pension increase effective January 1, 2024.

Pensioners and Deferred Members
Current pensioners and deferred members will receive a 4 percent* increase to their pension amount effective January 1, 2024.

* The Income Tax Act and regulations limit pension increases to the cumulative growth in Consumer Price Index since the pension commenced. For this reason, recently retired pensioners and deferred members who terminated membership recently will see a lesser increase.

Active Members
For active members, the accrual rate will stay at 1.85 percent in 2024 from the base rate of 1.4 percent. In 2025 the accrual rate is scheduled to return to 1.4 percent.

What Does “Accrual Rate” Mean?
The accrual rate is the rate at which you earn your pension. In 2024, you earn your pension at the rate of 1.85 percent of your pensionable earnings.

How Does This Work?
You earn a piece of pension every year that you work and contribute to the plan—like building blocks.

For example, let’s assume that a member’s pensionable earnings stayed constant at $60,000 every year, (for easy figuring). From 2019, that member would earn


Accrual Rate Formula

Pension Credit Earned


1.4% 1.4% of $60,000 $   840


1.85% 1.85% of $60,000 $  1,110


1.625% 1.625% of $60,000

$    975

2022 1.85% 1.85% of $60,000

$  1,110

2023 1.85% 1.85% of $60,000

$   1,110

2024 1.85% 1.85% of $60,000

$   1,110

2025 1.4% 1.4% of $60,000

$   840

At the end of your career, the annual pension amounts earned each year will add up to the total annual pension you will receive every year for the rest of your life. So, the higher amount earned in 2024 will continue to benefit you for the rest of your retired life.

What about Future Increases?
There is no automatic indexing of our plan. The Pension Board and Pension Plan Advisory Committee annually assess the resources available and determine whether there are surplus funds that can be used to increase benefits.

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December 1, 2023

The United Church of Canada Employer Newsletter

This publication will be provided electronically on a monthly basis to keep treasurers informed on important changes, key dates to support how we work together, and what we need your help with to deliver effective service. Please ensure the treasurer email of your community of faith / organization is up to date in ChurchHub. Reminder: If you change any contact information on ChurchHub, you must also provide this information directly to ADP/payroll and to The United Church of Canada Benefits Centre.

If you have any questions, please send them to

Check back every month to read the newest edition!

If ADP could send you reminders of payroll tasks before every payroll cycle, would you prefer:

February 2024

October 2023

Here are some links to other helpful resources:

Webinars for Church Treasurers

Budgeting Tools for Treasurers

ChurchHub Resources


Read Full Article

If ADP could send you reminders of payroll tasks before every payroll cycle, would you prefer:

February 2024

October 2023

September 1, 2023

Investors Vote on Scrutiny Proposal at Alphabet

Amid widespread reporting about the risks of artificial general intelligence, Alphabet (formerly Google) shareholders voted on June 2 on a proposal, filed by SHARE on behalf of the Pension Plan of The United Church of Canada, requesting third-party scrutiny of the company’s targeted advertising system.

The proposal calls for the company to undertake a human rights impact assessment and states the growing concerns surrounding Alphabet’s advertising infrastructure’s heavy reliance on technology, including artificial intelligence, which has not been subject to a robust human rights due diligence process. This kind of assessment would identify, address, and prevent the potential adverse human rights impact of targeted advertising technologies.

“Alphabet’s targeted advertising business represents about 80% of the company’s revenue, which means that until a rigorous assessment is done, its shareholders are exposed to a litany of regulatory, legal and reputational risks,” said Sarah Couturier-Tanoh, Associate Director Corporate Engagement and Advocacy at SHARE. “Ultimately, the lack of clear oversight puts investors’ long-term value at risk.”

Proxy advisory firms Glass Lewis and Institutional Shareholder Services, and large U.S.-based pension funds CalPERS, CalSTRS, New York City pension funds, and Norges Bank all agreed with SHARE’s perspective on the matter.

The proposal received 47% support from independent shareholders and 18% overall. The sharp difference between these two figures is explained by the multi-class stock structure conferring 10 votes for 1 share held by Alphabet’s management. SHARE opposes multi-class stock structures as a general principle of good corporate governance.

While our shareholder proposal ultimately did not pass, the nearly 50% support of independent shareholders is a strong signal to Alphabet management that there is great concern about, and now scrutiny of, their targeted advertising system. Often corporate engagement is a process of incremental gains requiring persistence. Persistence is something that the Pension Fund of The United Church of Canada has in abundance when it comes to investing responsibly!

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July 10, 2023

How to Read Your 2022 Annual Pension Statement

Annual member statements for the 2022 plan year will be issued to active, deferred, and retired members of the pension plan at the end of June 2023.

Remember that if you have a spouse they will automatically receive any pre-retirement death benefit as per pension legislation. However, you should also designate a beneficiary in case your spouse pre-deceases you.

If you need to declare a spouse or designate a beneficiary, please scan the QR code to fill out the secure form that will be submitted directly to the Benefits Centre. If you have not received your statement, please contact to ensure the address on file is correct.

If you have not begun receiving your pension, the statement will contain a box that looks something like this:

Your Pension Your Future







+ 15,679

MAXIMUM C/QPP BENEFITS (in January 2023)


+ 8,292

MAXIMUM OAS BENEFITS (April to June 2023)





(excluding other employer pensions or personal savings)

THE AMOUNT YOU HAVE EARNED ALREADY - is calculated based on your pensionable earnings and years of credited service.

YOUR PROJECTED ANNUAL PENSION TO AGE 65 – is an estimate based on the assumption that you continue to work in the same job category until you reach age 65. If you stop working before that, or if your pensionable earnings change, this amount will also change.

MAXIMUM C/QPP BENEFITS – The amount shown as an example on your pension statement is the maximum amount payable under the Canada Pension Plan. Not all Canadians receive the maximum possible payout from the Canada Pension Plan. Please note that the average annual amount of CPP paid to new recipients in 2022 was $8,433.

In order to determine your personal benefit under the Canada Pension Plan, you can request a Personal Access Code (PAC). You can use this code to register for My Service Canada Account, which will provide access to your personal record of contributions and benefits earned under the Canada Pension Plan.

MAXIMUM OAS BENEFITSOld Age Security is a pension you can receive if you are 65 years of age or older and have lived in Canada for at least 10 years. The amount you receive depends on your income and how long you lived in Canada or specific countries after the age of 18. If your net income (line 23600 of your income tax return) exceeds an income threshold ($79,845, for 2023) you have to repay some or all of your OAS pension.

When planning for retirement, all of these sources of income, as well as your personal savings and any pension from previous employers should be considered. We recommend that you consult with a financial planner to help with the financial aspects of your retirement planning.

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