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Pension Funds

CAUT Policy Statement

Retirement provisions for all academic staff should include, but not be limited to:

  • Pensions that provide adequate pension income, indexed to cost of living.
  • Eligibility for all academic staff including contract academic staff.
  • Equity among plan members, including but not limited to inter-generational equity.

Pension funds are deferred compensation and as such belong to the members of the plan. The existence of a surplus is not a sufficient reason for the employer to diminish their contributions either through a contribution holiday or reduction, or through the use of the surplus for any non-pension-related purpose. In all situations, decisions about the use of any surplus in the pension plan should be made with the agreement of the members, or their duly authorized representatives. Since the determination of a surplus or deficit is the result of an actuarial evaluation of the plan, academic staff associations and plan members, or their duly authorized representatives, must be informed about the assumptions used in the evaluation. These assumptions should be adopted with the agreement of plan members, or their duly authorized representatives, and the actuaries keeping in mind that actuaries are bound by a code of ethics and provincial regulations. In the event of a sustained plan surplus, consideration should be given to improvements in plan benefits, or reductions in employer and employee contribution rates rather than contribution holidays.

Moreover, the type of pension plan, the employer and employee contributions, the plan benefits and the investment policy of the pension plan, should be established by negotiations between the employer and the employees.

Where possible, the association should liaise with other employee groups who are members of the same pension plan.
Approved by CAUT Council, November 2013.