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COVID-19 Communication Center

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

 

 

 

March 16, 2020

To MEPP’s valued members, As the global COVID-19 public health emergency continues to spread and create challenges for families and businesses worldwide, we wanted to share with you how MEPP is addressing many of the same challenges that our members may be facing.

MEPP represents over 25,000 members and over 700 employers across Saskatchewan and our principal concern is now on prioritizing the most critical operations such as pension payroll and actively monitoring and managing plan investments. We are also focusing our resources so that we continue to remain available to serve our members and other stakeholders during this challenging time despite travel restrictions, social distancing and other challenges that impact our traditional ways of doing business.

The Public Employees Benefits Agency (PEBA), which MEPP contracts to administer your pension plan, has implemented the best practices of business continuity processes and they remain prepared to serve our valued members and other stakeholders during this time, however it’s important you are aware that our methods of supporting members and employers are changing to reflect the new pandemic guidelines.

Effective immediately, we have postponed all scheduled member workshops and presentations to plan employers in order to follow the social distancing advice issued by the Province. We are also limiting engagement with our members, employers and other stakeholders and encouraging these activities to be conducted by phone or email where possible. As this pandemic evolves, there may be additional changes to how we connect with members and I encourage you to check the MEPP website frequently for any updates. We will absolutely reschedule any planned large group meetings, workshops or presentations once the threat has passed. Members who have already registered for one of our many educational workshops, will be contacted by email and advised of any changes.

I would also encourage 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 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

March 16

To PEBA’s valued members and stakeholders,

As the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continues to create challenges worldwide, I want to share with you how PEBA is addressing its operations and support to members and employers.

As a pension administrator, PEBA represents 100,000 members and over 900 employers across numerous pension and benefit plans in Saskatchewan and our principal concern is now on the safety of our employees, prioritizing the most critical operations such as pension payroll and actively monitoring and managing our plan investments. We are also focusing our resources so that we continue to remain available to serve our members and stakeholders during this challenging time despite travel restrictions, social distancing and other challenges that impact our traditional ways of doing business.

PEBA has implemented the best practices of business continuity processes and we remain prepared to serve our members during this time, however our methods of support are changing to reflect the new pandemic guidelines.

Effective immediately, we have postponed all scheduled member workshops and presentations to plan employers in order to follow the social distancing advice issued by the Province. We are also limiting engagement with our members, employers and other stakeholders and encouraging these activities to be conducted by phone or email where possible. As this pandemic evolves, there may be additional changes to how we connect with members and I encourage you to check our website frequently for any updates. We will absolutely reschedule any planned large group meetings, workshops or presentations once the threat has passed. Members who have already registered for one of our many educational workshops, will be contacted by email and advised of any changes.

I would also encourage 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 recognize that this may be a prolonged effort, and want you to be fully aware of PEBA’s commitment to continue serving you during this time.

Sincerely, Dave Wild Associate Deputy Minister Public Employees Benefits Agency

As we continue to monitor Coronavirus (COVID-19) developments closely, the health and well-being of our members and staff is of utmost importance to us. After careful consideration, we have decided to further limit our in-person interactions with members to phone calls only.

Member Meetings – Now by Phone Only
Our Certified Financial Planners, Pension Information Officers and Benefit Information Officers remain available to support members by phone. All in-person meetings will now be done over the phone. Members who have in-person meetings scheduled will be contacted by phone at the scheduled time. If you wish to connect with us and schedule a consultation about your pension plan, please contact the Municipal Employees' Pension Plan at 306-787-2684 or toll-free 1-877-506-6377.

Workshops for Members – Postponed
All Your Path to Retirement Workshops are postponed until further notice. Members who have already registered for workshops will receive an email to advise them of the cancellation. All postponed workshops will be rescheduled and members will be advised when these are available once again so please check your email and this website for updates. We thank you for your understanding as we continue to provide you with the best possible customer service in this troubling time. We are here to help!

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.

 

We currently have a significant number of staff working remotely. We constantly strive to provide you with exceptional service and apologize if you experience any delays.

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