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This Month From LifeSpeak

The last two years brought a lot of changes to our lives. Work has been one of them and we had to adapt to remote and flexible work. This month, our LifeSpeak expert will give practical tips on how to make flexible and remote work a success!

On Aug 24 at 12:00 p.m. ET the Ask the Expert web chat by Sharon Selby addresses how to Prepare for Back to School and Return to Office.

Check out your LifeSpeak platform now! Log in using the Group Account option. The password is "wellness".

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June 30, 2022

How to read your 2021 Annual Pension Statement

Annual member statements for the 2021 plan year will be issued to active, deferred and retired members of the Pension Plan at the end of June 2022.

Remember that, if you have a spouse, they would 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. For security purposes, once you enter your name and email address, a verification code will be emailed to you. In order to proceed to the form, you will have to enter that code when prompted. If you have not received your statement and are paid through ADP, please contact them directly 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
FOR EVERY YEAR YOU PARTICIPATE IN THE PENSION PLAN YOU INCREASE YOUR RETIREMENT INCOME $XX,XXX

THE AMOUNT YOU HAVE EARNED ALREADY

IN 2021, YOU EARNED

$X,XXX

THIS IS ADDED TO THE ANNUAL PENSION YOU’VE ALREADY EARNED

+ XX,XXX

YOUR PROJECTED ANNUAL PENSION TO AGE 65

+ 15,043

MAXIMUM C/QPP BENEFITS

+ 7,784

MAXIMUM OAS BENEFITS

___________________________________ _______________________________________
= $XX,XXX

YOUR TOTAL ANNUAL PENSION EARNED TO DECEMBER 31, 2021

= $XX,XXX

YOUR ESTIMATED ANNUAL RETIREMENT INCOME

(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 BENEFITS – Old 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.

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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June 24, 2022

Pensioner payroll change to LifeWorks - June Communication

The first letter from the Benefits Centre informing pensioners about the change to the processing of pension payments - from RBC Investor and Treasury Services to LifeWorks.

The second mailing in June was divided into three letters depending on where you are currently residing:

The second communication from the Benefits Centre was mailed the week of June 15, with more information on T4As for the 2022 year, and about the Web portal - which will be available to all in October 2023 but will be optional. Just a reminder, there is nothing for you, as a pensioner, to do on your end.

Three versions of the letter were mailed - depending on your current location - and they are all posted on the Retirement page, under Communications. If you have not received this communication by the end of the month, please e-mail pension@united-church.ca or phone the Benefits Centre at 1-855-647-8222 to ensure they have the correct address on file.

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June 2, 2022

Building positive self-esteem in children

LifeSpeak

Developing a child’s self-esteem begins with the parents, or guardians, at a very young age. We have to remember that every child is different, but to try and build positive self-esteem, children require lots of moments to explore, learn, and feel accepted and loved. This month, LifeSpeak’s expert will give you tips to support self-esteem in kids and parents.

On June 22 at 12:00 p.m. ET the Ask the Expert web chat by Marni Amsellem addresses how to find the balance between work and life.

Check out your LifeSpeak platform now! Log in using the Group Account option. The password is "wellness".

WorkHealthLife

Raising a family is a full-time job – and most of us work a full-time position on top of that! WorkHealthLife have great sections on parenting, child care, and child development and learning. Check out some of their articles on:

Family Support is also available through the Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP). Consultants will work with you to address your specific concern or question by conducting research on locations, availability, fees and more for a wide range of services for your family including:

  • Daycare centres and after-school programs
  • Schools, educational services and special needs programs
  • Parenting classes
  • Emergency home care services
  • Adoption and multiple birth services
  • Expectant and new parenting

You can get started online or call 1-844-671-3327.

UCRD

Learn about raising a family with Susan Lukey’s Adventures in Faith and Family that offers practical, intelligent, loving, spirit-filled wisdom rooted in the joy and deep love of faith as well as developmental psychology. This book is for anyone looking for a friend who will guide them with faith as they pursue their own adventure of being a family.

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LifeSpeak Tip sheet - Self-Esteem in Kids and Parents

LifeSpeak Tip sheet - Bullying 101

Video - Teens, pre-teens, and loneliness

May 25, 2022

Pensioner payroll change to LifeWorks

An initial communication from the Benefits Centre was mailed the week of May 23, informing pensioners of the upcoming change to how pension payments are processed. One important thing to note is that there is nothing for you, as a pensioner, to do on your end. More information about the change will be mailed in June providing contact details.

A copy of the letter is posted on the Retirement page, under Communications. If you have not received this communication by the end of the month, please e-mail pension@united-church.ca or phone the Benefits Centre at 1-855-647-8222 to ensure they have the correct address on file.

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May is Mental Health Month: Care for yourself and others with expert support

LifeSpeak

The past couple years have been like nothing we’ve ever experienced, and new challenges are constantly emerging. Many of us are running on empty and only beginning to regain emotional balance. We need to take care of ourselves, and also remember to be empathetic to the struggles of those around us.

The month of May marks the start of Mental Health Month. To help you support yourself and your loved ones, LifeSpeak’s resources on empathy, supporting coworkers and diverse communities, developing resilience and more are available. Their experts will highlight the topics of depression, stress and sleep and stress at work.

On May 25 at 12:00 p.m. ET the Ask the Expert web chat by Jennifer Mervyn addresses how to Include Mental Health in the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion* Conversation

Check out your LifeSpeak platform now! Log in using the Group Account option. The password is "wellness".

*The United Church of Canada uses the language "Disability, Accessibility and Inclusion". 

LifeWorks:

Canada’s Mental Health Week took place from May 2-8. To mark the occasion, LifeWorks launched a new microsite The Ambiguous Side of Mental Health. Filled with free resources, the microsite explores the subtle signs that mental health is declining, leading to adverse effects at home and work, and ways to improve your mental wellbeing.

Coming soon: Join LifeWorks as they connect with people sharing their stories of resilience, interview experts and delve into topics that matter most — like Finding Self-Worth, LGBTQ+ Wellbeing and Allyship and Combatting Depression. Click here for a sneak peek.

Building Resilience in Uncertain Times: this pre-recorded session reviews how feeling like having little or no control during difficult events is normal, and how coping mechanisms can help manage these stressful situations.

UCRD

Learn how to use your faith as a guide through uncertain times in Barbara Brown Taylor’s Learning to Walk in the Dark at the United Church Bookstore. Through this book Taylor is your guide through a spirituality of the nighttime, teaching you how to find your footing in times of uncertainty and giving you strength and hope to face all of life’s challenging moments.

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May 10, 2022

Benefits Canada: A look at the Pension Plan of The United Church of Canada's efforts to be a good shepherd of capital

Derek Hurst, Pension Fund Manager, was interviewed by Benefits Canada about The United Church of Canada Pension Plan.

“Our governance structure is quite robust. I report to an 11-person investment committee which reports to a 11-person pension board,” says Hurst, who’s been overseeing the decisions of the $1.6 billion defined benefit plan since 2015. “Additionally, there’s an advisory committee with eight volunteers. The calibre of these volunteers is very high — it’s incredible to me that we get people so interested in helping the plan.”

Read the full article by Gideon Scanlon here.

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May 9, 2022

New Pension Board Chair

At its meeting on April 30, 2022, the Executive of the General Council approved the appointment of Anne Soh, FSA, FCIA as the next chair of the Pension Board. Anne served on the Pension Plan Advisory Committee since 2011, assuming the chair from November 2013 to December 2020. Anne was then appointed to the Pension Board.

Anne Soh is Vice President and Plan Actuary at the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System (OMERS). An executive with over 30 years of experience in the pension and benefits industry, Anne advises the OMERS boards of directors on plan funding and sustainability matters, and oversees the in-house actuarial department. Anne also serves on the Board of Directors and the Finance and Audit Committee of Canada’s National Ballet School. Anne is a Fellow of the Canadian Institute of Actuaries and has an Hons. Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Western Ontario. She is also a graduate of the ICD – Rotman Director Education Program.

Anne’s term as Pension Board chair will begin after the June 2022 meeting of the Board where Marcus Robertson, FSA, FCIA will complete his third and final term as chair. The General Council Executive wishes to thank Marcus for his nine years of diligent leadership.

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May 5, 2022

Diversity and Inclusion Shareholder Win!

Constellation Software Shareholder Proposal Approved

(Toronto) The Pension Plan of The United Church of Canada filed a shareholder proposal with Constellation Software urging the company to improve their DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion) practices.  The proposal requested the preparation of a report on the company’s plans to identify, address, mitigate, and dismantle racial disparities within its workforce.  Despite the Board of Constellation Software recommending that shareholders vote against the resolution, shareholders approved it!

The United Church of Canada Pension Plan is very proud of this outcome.  In concert with SHARE, we will follow up with the company in the coming months to ensure it issues a report and to review its content and goals.  Marcus Robertson, Chair of the Pension Board commented, “This is great news, and demonstrates the effectiveness of ongoing engagement on diversity and inclusion issues with invested companies.”

SHARE commented, “We are pleased that a majority of Constellation Software Inc. shareholders have voted to adopt our shareholder proposal, filed on behalf of The United Church of Canada Pension Plan to undertake a thorough review of racial equity at the company and report publicly to investors on findings. This is a crucial step for the company, which has previously taken very limited measures to address diversity, equity and inclusion. The majority vote from shareholders sends a strong signal to Canadian issuers about the growing expectations of institutional investors on racial equity. The company announced that the proposal had passed during the AGM.”

For information, Constellation Software is a leading provider of software and services to a select group of public and private sector markets. They acquire, manage and build industry specific software businesses which provide specialized, mission-critical software solution.  The Pension Plan’s current investment in the company is $2 million, and market value of the company is approximately $42 billion.

SHARE's full press release can be found here.

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May 3, 2022

May 5 - LifeWorks Free Webinar for Mental Health Month

Canada’s Mental Health Week is happening from May 2-8. To mark the occasion, LifeWorks Learning is offering a free webinarNo One Left Behind – Exploring the looming mental health crisis by bridging the care and inclusion gap. On May 5 at 11:00 am ET, their panel of experts will discuss how the barriers to mental health care leave people feeling isolated. Given the current state of the world, the number of people struggling with various mental health challenges is staggering. The system of public services, employer services and health benefits can often feel confusing and fragmented contributing to the lurking mental health crisis. As a result, people are left behind and feeling alone, and LifeWorks are committed to solving this problem. It’s time to reframe and transform discussions around mental health and the spectrum of care!

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