COVID-19 Communication Centre

Please Note (updated June 2020): the Commission has been granted their request for exemption from the Commuted Value (CV) transfer freeze. A condition of the approval was to give all CV transfers a holdback rate of 22% instead of the quoted 10.2%. If you have submitted transfer forms, MEPP will contact you within the next two weeks to confirm if you want to proceed with the transfer.

Effective April 16, 2020 all commuted value payments from MEPP will be temporarily suspended under direction from the Financial and Consumer Affairs Authority (FCAA). If you have applied for a commuted value from MEPP prior to this date, and would like to know if this impacts you, please call MEPP for more information.

What happens if I have requested a commuted value but not yet received payment?

Any money still in MEPP on April 16, 2020 must remain in the Plan.

Will this affect my payment that I am receiving from my MEPP Pension?

No, this will not affect your MEPP Pension payment. You will receive your regular payments as scheduled.

What types of transfers or payments are included in the freeze?

The freeze affects the following transfers or payments from defined benefit plans based on The Pension Benefits (Restrictions on Transfers and Payments) Regulations, 2020:

  • The transfer of moneys pursuant to a transfer agreement.
  • Payment of the value of a member’s contributions plus interest that exceeds one-half of the commuted value of a pension when a member. terminates, a plan terminates, or on commencement of a member’s pension.
  • The transfer of the commuted value of a pension when a member terminates membership in a plan or when a plan is fully or partially terminated.
  • Payment of excess contributions plus interest that exceeds one-half of the commuted value of a pension when a member terminates, a plan terminates, or on commencement of a member’s pension.
  • The transfer of the commuted value of a pension when a member terminates membership in a plan or when a plan is fully or partially terminated.
  • Payment or transfer of the commuted value to a surviving spouse, designated beneficiary or estate upon death of a member or former member.
  • The transfer of a portion of the commuted value due to a division on spousal relationship breakdown.

What types of transfers or payments are not included in the freeze?

The freeze does not affect the following transfers or payments:

  • Payment of voluntary contributions, where those contributions have not been used to provide benefits.
  • Payment of contributions plus interest for non-vested member terminations.
  • Commuted value payments or transfers in respect of small benefit or terminal illness payments.
  • Ongoing pension payments from a pension plan.
  • Commencement of new periodic pension payments from a pension plan to retirees, surviving spouses, or spouses or former spouses with respect to a division on spousal relationship breakdown.
  • Post-retirement death benefit payment of the value of remaining guarantee payments to a surviving spouse or beneficiary.

How long will the freeze be in place?

This is a temporary measure. The security of all Plan members is the Regulator’s and the Commission’s top priority. The superintendent will need a better understanding of the solvency position of pension plans and have evidence of some level of financial market stability before considering adjustments to the freeze.

Please note that the Commission is considering a request for an exemption from the suspension. If granted, payment of commuted values as a normal part of business would return.

For more information, please read the Q&As on the FCAA website.

You can also contact MEPP at:

mepp@peba.gov.sk.ca
Toll Free: 1-877-506-6377
Phone: 1-306-787-2684
Fax: 1-306-787-0244

 

 

 

August 27, 2020

To MEPP’s valued members, thank you for your patience during these past months. As the COVID-19 public health emergency changes, we wanted to share with you how MEPP is beginning the process of slowly returning to normal business operations in accordance with the guidelines outlined in the Province’s Re-open Saskatchewan Plan.

MEPP represents over 25,000 members and over 700 employers across Saskatchewan. In order to continue to support MEPP we are taking a similar approach to the Province’s Plan. We are methodically phasing-in a plan to slowly lift restrictions on our business and services that have been directly impacted by the pandemic. I want to assure you that although the Agency is moving back to more traditional ways of doing business, we are following the guidelines and recommendations as set out in the Plan. The health and well-being of our members and staff continues to be of utmost importance to us. I would like to highlight for you some of the business operations already in place and some that will be starting shortly:

  • We have re-located our main reception area and meeting rooms to the main floor of 1801 Hamilton Street in Regina, to eliminate the need to use the building elevators. For your convenience, reception is currently open for drop off and pick up only at this time.
  • In-person meetings with our Pension Information Officers and Retirement Information Consultants will be offered starting September 1. We look forward to seeing you soon!
  • We are now offering our popular Your Path to Retirement Workshops virtually, and will soon be offering our in-person workshops once again. All currently scheduled workshops can be found on our website under the Plan’s home page.
  • Lastly, we will continue to offer members the option to have appointments over the phone or through video.

The Public Employees Benefits Agency (PEBA), which MEPP contracts to administer your pension plan, has implemented the best practices of business continuity processes and will remain prepared to serve our members at all times; our methods of support may need to change depending on the direction we receive from the Government of Saskatchewan and Public Health Officials, but we will continue to provide exceptional service to our plan members and stakeholders.

I would also like to remind you of the excellent resources on the pandemic that are available to you at www.saskatchewan.ca/coronavirus, the Government of Saskatchewan’s dedicated webpage on COVID-19. It includes the most up-to-date information and guidance for all Saskatchewan residents.

Please do not hesitate to contact PEBA if you have any questions about your pension plan. We recognize that this may be a prolonged effort, and wanted you to be fully aware of MEPP’s commitment to continue serving you during this time.

Sincerely,

Randy Hurd, Commission Chair Municipal Employees' Pension Plan

August 20

To PEBA’s valued members and stakeholders,

To PEBA’s valued members and stakeholders, thank you for your patience during these past months. PEBA proudly serves 100,000 members and over 900 employers across numerous pension and benefit plans in Saskatchewan. I want to share with you how PEBA is beginning the process of returning to more normal business operations in accordance with the guidelines outlined in the Province’s Re-open Saskatchewan Plan.

I want to ensure you that although the Agency is moving back to more traditional ways of doing business, we are following the guidelines and recommendations as set out in the Plan. The health and well-being of our members and our staff continues to be of utmost importance to us.

I would like to highlight for you some of the business operations already in place and some that will be starting shortly:

  • We have re-located our main reception area and meeting rooms to the main floor for your convenience and to eliminate the need to use the building elevators. Reception is currently open for drop off and pick up only at this time.
  • In-person meetings with our Pension Information Officers and Retirement Information Consultants will be offered starting September 1. We look forward to seeing you soon!
  • We are now offering our popular Your Path to Retirement Workshops virtually, and will soon be offering our in-person workshops once again. All currently scheduled workshops can be found on our website under the Plan’s home page.

PEBA has implemented the best practices of business continuity processes and we remain prepared to serve our members at all times; our methods of support may need to change depending on the circumstances but we will continue to provide exceptional service to our plan members and stakeholders.

I would also like to remind you of the excellent resources on the pandemic that are available you to seek out information on www.saskatchewan.ca/coronavirus, the Government of Saskatchewan’s dedicated webpage on COVID-19. It includes the most up-to-date information and guidance for all Saskatchewan residents.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions about your pension or benefit plans. We look forward to serving you.

Sincerely,

Dave Wild Associate Deputy Minister Public Employees Benefits Agency

Member Meetings
We are happy to announce our office will be open for in-person meetings with our Pension Information Officers and Retirement Information Consultants starting September 1st. We look forward to seeing you soon! When coming into our office for an in-person meeting, masks are strongly encouraged for the health and safety of our members and our staff. Whenever possible, over the phone meetings are still available by calling 306-787-2992.

Workshops for Members
We are now offering our popular Your Path to Retirement Workshops virtually, and will soon be offering our in-person workshops once again. All currently scheduled workshops can be found at Workshops for MEPP Members.

This report provides a summary of activities undertaken related by the Municipal Employees' Pension Plan with respect to the COVID-19 pandemic. You can read the report here.

We understand your concern about your pension and about markets. We are monitoring global equity markets and the historic nature of current world events. While past history does not always repeat itself, over the long term markets typically perform well following downturns.

The current market and economic volatility is due to the greatest pandemic challenge in a century. Global economies and financial markets will see significant headwinds until the spread of the pandemic itself has been slowed and stabilized.

1. Does this drop in investment markets impact my MEPP pension?

The recent drop in the investment markets due to the Covid-19 virus, elections, and uncertain economic conditions has no impact on your pension amount at retirement. Your MEPP pension is a defined benefit pension plan, which means your pension is based on a formula – NOT how investments are performing. In depressed investment market situations like we are in at the moment there is no impact on your future pension benefit.

Your pension is calculated using this formula:

HIGHEST AVERAGE SALARY X YEARS OF PENSIONABLE SERVICE X ACCRUAL RATE.

For more information on calculating your pension please see MEPP In-Depth on Pension Calculations and the MEPP Member Booklet. Both are posted on the MEPP website.

2. What is MEPP doing to protect the assets of the Plan during this market downturn?

The Municipal Employees’ Pension Commission has an excellent and diverse portfolio of investment firms from around the globe to manage the Plan’s investments. The Public Employees Benefits Agency (PEBA) as Plan administrator has a team that is regularly talking to the MEPP fund managers discussing the investments, opportunities, strategies and investment mandates.

 

You can contact us at:

mepp@peba.gov.sk.ca
Toll Free: 1-877-506-6377 
Phone: 1-306-787-2684
Certified Financial Planners, Retirement Information Consultants: 306-787-3170

COVID-19 Resources

Government of Saskatchewan