Pay restructure for Search and Rescue Technicians and Pilots

Treasury Board has recently approved a restructure of the pay system for select military occupations, in what will be a multi-year effort. This is an important step forward, and one that focuses on remuneration of Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) occupations requiring maintenance of high skills.

For the RCAF, Search and Rescue Technicians (SAR Techs) and Pilots of the Regular and Reserve Force will be the first two specialized occupations to see changes in how they are compensated, in a transition of the remuneration package to a skills and competencies oriented pay system.

The RCAF is facing unique personnel challenges in restoring and retaining our experienced personnel, particularly in the pilot occupation. Through Op EXPERIENCE, the CAF and RCAF will implement actions as expediently as possible to stabilize and rapidly grow levels of pilot experience. The pay restructure for pilots and SAR Techs is one of numerous activities.

The overall intent of the changes to the pay structure for SAR Techs is to foster retention of hard learned SAR skills, which are paramount to a healthy and fully staffed SAR Technician occupation.

The overall intent of the changes to the pay structure for pilots is to provide closer compatibility with industry, thereby promoting the RCAF’s desire to retain highly trained and skilled pilots.

These changes demonstrate the RCAF has listened to its members and value their loyalty while ensuring we will be able to deliver operational output and train the next generation.

  1. Which occupations were selected for pay updates?
  2. What is considered compensation in the CAF?
  3. What are the main changes being made for SAR Tech occupation’s pay?
  4. What are the main changes being made for the Pilot occupation’s pay?
  5. Why is this change happening now for CAF pilots, and why such an increase?
  6. Once again, we are seeing a huge focus on pilots. Why are they first to receive a pay scale adjustment?
  7. Why is the CAF readjusting the pay structure for its SAR Techs?
  8. How will pilot pay now be structured?
  9. What is the difference between pay transition and pay conversion?
  10. Will the new pay scale factor time in service, or will pay incentive levels be based on time in rank?
  11. When will this new pay structure be effective and will it be retroactive?
  12. Why are we only using the top 17 of the Captain and top 8 of the Major pilot incentive levels?
  13. Will student pilots currently in the training system (2Lts and Lts) be grandfathered with the new rates?
  14. What will be the effect on these members’ pension plan?
  15. How can I find out what my own conversion will look like?
  16. A year is a long time to wait for payment. What happens if I choose to release six months from now? Will I receive a retroactive adjustment for those six months?
  17. How does the new pay system address my situation if I wish to stay in a flying position as a Captain for my career?

Pay structure changes are presently being implemented for two RCAF occupations ─ Pilot and Search and Rescue Technician ─ and Special Operations Force occupations. For the RCAF, its SAR Techs and pilots of the Regular and Reserve components will be the first two specialized occupations to see changes in how they are compensated, in a transition of the remuneration package to a skills and competencies based pay system.

While these changes are presently being implemented for the two RCAF occupations, in the years to come the CAF will look at additional occupations to address compensation concerns, thus we will ensure our compensation system accurately reflects the unique and highly specialized nature of our work.

Compensation is the sum of benefits that CAF members receive, that includes elements such as monthly pay or salary, allowances, medical and dental coverage for members and dependants, compensation for moves, death benefits and pension, medical coverage after release, to state a few. The total basket of benefits supports a member during their employment; this set of changes will affect monthly pay, allowances and the amount of pension.

SAR Techs will see an increase in maximum earnings at each rank level, which is designed to reflect the time required to develop the requisite skills to perform their job. The pay adjustment reflects the extremely hazardous conditions and hardship endured while performing their function, for both our SAR Techs and their families. In addition, the Rescue Specialist Allowance will be replaced with increases to base salary. This will increase pensionable benefits by better recognizing earnings over the course of a career.

Pilots will see an increase in maximum earnings at each rank level, and a remuneration package that reflects the value of skills obtained throughout the captain through lieutenant-colonel ranks. Significant increases to remuneration will be applied in the later part of a career, which identifies the increasing commitment to retain highly skilled individuals and encourage each to continue to attain additional qualifications. Aircrew Allowance will be replaced with increases to base salary. This will increase the amount of remuneration which is pensionable, thus increasing pension benefits by better recognizing earnings over the course of a career, and reflecting pilot skill regardless of whether they are occupying a flying or non-flying position.

This work to improve pilot compensation had been initiated under Op EXPERIENCE (2019) and is an important step forward in remuneration of RCAF occupations with extremely long training duration and requiring high maintenance of skills. The pay change will better align the pay structure of CAF pilots with that of their civilian counterparts.

The years leading to Op EXPERIENCE, pre-COVID, saw a significant drain of highly experienced pilots who were leaving the CAF at the very point in their career when it was critical to provide leadership, mentorship and essential upgrades in skills on line units. It was critical to address the global aviation industry demand for these very skilled pilots. The world airline industry is currently experiencing a severe recession amid the COVID-19 pandemic, with massive layoffs. Research indicates that, while commercial aviation careers have been less of a draw during the pandemic, military pilots will again constitute a desirable pool for commercial airlines once post-pandemic travel rebounds. Significant industry improvements are anticipated to begin in the near term that could contribute to another shortage of CAF pilots in the coming years. The CAF seeks to strengthen its ability to retain experienced pilots and this pay amendment measure is an opportunity to mitigate this trend and inspire our specialized and skilled pilots to extend their RCAF career for the long term.

While the RCAF has experienced shortages across several occupations, the health and sustainability of the pilot occupation is currently the most challenging and is a top priority for the RCAF, as well as for the CAF. The declining numbers of experienced pilots creates a cascading effect that cannot be mitigated solely by increasing intake and training throughput. Thus, it is necessary to take action to mitigate the risk to operational readiness and effectiveness. The overall intent of the changes to the pay structure for pilots is to provide closer compatibility with the highly competitive global aviation industry, thereby promoting the RCAF’s desire to retain its highly trained and skilled pilots.

In the years to come the CAF will look at additional occupations to ensure our compensation system accurately reflects the highly specialized nature of our work, as well as the value Canadians place on the contributions and sacrifices our people make year-round.

The unique and highly specialized duties of SAR Techs merit a greater degree of compensation that reflects the hazards and hardships inherent in their employment. SAR Techs are exposed to extreme situations and excessive demands. The Rescue Specialist Allowance was intended to compensate for the hardships as well as the high demand in the maintenance of significantly challenging skills. The allowance is not included in pensionable earnings and the level/application of the allowance has become a dissatisfier for many; this includes when a SAR Tech moves to a ground position or is undergoing medical treatment. The new pay scale integrates allowances into salary, not only increasing take-home pay, but making the entire remuneration pensionable and reassures them of a long-term financial stability.

The new pay structure for pilots provides a much higher level of maximum earnings over a longer period of time at each rank. Greater incentive periods coincide with changes in terms of service, and the increase to 20 pay incentives at the captain rank supports a transition to maximum earnings over a longer period. Recognizing the requirements for upgrades in skills in order to provide the necessary mentoring and unit leadership, a captain’s progression will be tied to skills achieved. Once conversion to the updated pay structure occurs in early 2022, captains will be required to demonstrate a continuum of improvement with progressive upgrades from first officer to aircraft captain through senior responsibilities within the pilot cadre. This will allow pilots to be compensated based on evolutionary steps in their capability and skill sets. It will reward motivation in RCAF pilots who seek promotion, continuing development, and a long-term career within the institution, thus bringing stability of skills through retention. A strong cadre of experienced and skilled pilots is essential for RCAF operations.

The CAF is conducting a transition from one pay structure to another. An individual member will receive a conversion from the existing pay structure to the new structure with a likely change to their incentive level. Everyone will see a wage increase through this conversion.

As with the previous pay scales, pay incentive (PI) levels for pilots will be attributed to time in rank. At conversion, an individual’s time in rank will be applied to determine the appropriate PI level. The 365-day clock will start at that point to attain the successive next PI level.

For SAR Techs, their conversion will be straight PI to PI to a maximum of PI 4 at which point they will convert financially based on their current rescue allowance. When a SAR Tech has time in rank of five years or more (i.e. paid at PI 4 +), they will convert to the new PI 4 level, ensuring that no members will lose money in the transition to the new pay scale.

For SAR Techs, their conversion will be straight PI to PI to a maximum of PI 4 which is the existing top level, after this point they will convert financially to pay level which is higher than current PI 4 + their current rescue specialist allowance value. This will ensure that all members will gain money in the transition to the new pay scale.

The pay adjustments will come into effect on 31 March 2021; however, those affected will not see a change in their monthly pay deposits until after nine to 12 months. This is due to the complexity of programming this structural change into the pay systems. Once the new pay is established the first payment will reflect a retroactive adjustment.

The new pay scale was developed prior to the recent 6.1% CAF wage increase. With the previous wages in the first few pay incentive (PI) levels, an adjustment was required to ensure those wages were increased, namely the Captain Basic, 1 and 2 levels, as they were deemed as no longer appropriate. In converting to the new pay scale, captains currently at the Basic PI level will now be paid at the Captain PI 5 level. PI levels Basic through 4 will be used once the pay changes are fully implemented and as pilots are promoted from lieutenant to captain. Similarly, incentive levels Major Basic and Major 1 will not be initially used; rather, pilots currently paid at the current Major Basic PI level will see their pay converted to the new Major PI level 2.

The pay program was built with an ability to make any required corrections about two years after the effective date. In about 2023, the CAF will formally address those corrections with Treasury Board.

Since the initial salaries in new pilot pay scale are lower than the existing/old program, this will be applied to new student pilots who are yet to enter the CAF and the pilot training pipe. Existing student pilots will administratively start at Pay Incentive (PI) 5 on the new scale, upon promotion to captain. This will have the effect of grandfathering the pay system for this cadre.

Pension plans play an important and significant role in helping CAF members achieve financial security in retirement and represent a key component of this new pay restructure. The creation of new pay scales will result in a more generous contribution to the member’s pension plan, making a positive impact on their individual pension entitlements, appropriately reflecting the remuneration over the career. For instance, in the older pay system, Aircrew Allowances for pilots and Rescue Specialist Allowances for SAR Techs were not added to the pension plan.

There will be a fair move from the current pay scale to the new. CAF policy is such that a member’s pay can't decrease, other than when allowances that are not part of base pay are lost. In this case, conversion will be based upon time in rank, and then a factor of base pay plus applicable allowance will be compared with the pay amount. If the pay plus allowance is lower than the pay based solely upon time in rank, the individual will move to the next higher pay level exceeding existing pay plus allowance.

If you release, transfer into another occupation, or have some other career change, upon conversion your pay will be adjusted retroactively to the 31 March 2021 effective date.

Should you wish to stay in a pure flying role, you will now have access to a greater maximum level for the captain rank with pay incentives that span 20 years, allowing for annual increases without the need for promotion to the next rank. Within this period you will be encouraged to upgrade your flying skills along the way in order to maximize your earnings. This said, individuals will be encouraged to seek promotion early in their career, as this will have the most immediate financial impact for the individual.

  1. What are the main changes being made for SAR Tech occupation’s pay?
  2. Why is the CAF readjusting the pay structure for its SAR Techs?
  3. Will the new pay scale factor time in service, or will pay incentive levels be based on time in rank?
  4. Will present and future SAR Tech CWOs be included in the new SAR Tech pay scale, given that they belong to the CWO Corp?
  5. Please confirm that if a SAR Tech becomes injured, they will not lose pay after six month as in the past (i.e. loss of rescue pay). If the injury continues past six months, is the member permitted to move to the next Pl?
  6. A year is a long time to wait for payment. What happens if I choose to release six months from now? Will I receive a retroactive adjustment for those six months?

SAR Techs will see an increase in maximum earnings at each rank level, which is designed to reflect the time required to develop the requisite skills to perform their job. The pay adjustment reflects the extremely hazardous conditions and hardship endured while performing their function, for both our SAR Techs and their families. In addition, the Rescue Specialist Allowance will be replaced with increases to base salary. This will increase pensionable benefits by better recognizing earnings over the course of a career.

The unique and highly specialized duties of SAR Techs merit a greater degree of compensation that reflects the hazards and hardships inherent in their employment. SAR Techs are exposed to extreme situations and excessive demands. The Rescue Specialist Allowance was intended to compensate for the hardships as well as the high demand in the maintenance of significantly challenging skills. The allowance is not included in pensionable earnings and the level/application of the allowance has become a dissatisfier for many; this includes when a SAR Tech moves to a ground position or is undergoing medical treatment. The new pay scale integrates allowances into salary, not only increasing take-home pay, but making the entire remuneration pensionable and reassures them of a long-term financial stability.

As with the previous pay scales, pay incentive (PI) levels will be attributed to time in rank. At conversion, an individual’s time in rank will be applied to determine the appropriate PI level. The 365-day clock will start at that point to attain the successive next PI level.

For SAR Techs, their conversion will be straight PI to PI to a maximum of PI 4 at which point they will convert financially based on their current rescue allowance. When a SAR Tech has time in rank of five years or more (i.e. paid at PI 4 +), they will convert to the new PI 4 level, ensuring that no members will lose money in the transition to the new pay scale.

Yes, SAR CWOs conducting SAR specific tasks within their job will be considered specialists and are included in the new pay scale. A SAR CWO not in a SAR specific role will not be placed on the SAR pay scale.

The new SAR pay scale is baseline salary, there is no allowance provision. PI levels are based on time in rank, regardless of a member’s medical category or employment limitations. The aim of removing the Rescue Specialist Allowance assures against this very situation.

If you release, transfer into another occupation, or have some other career change, upon conversion your pay will be adjusted retroactively to the 31 March 2021 effective date.

  1. What is the difference between pay transition and pay conversion?
  2. How will pilot pay now be structured?
  3. Will the new pay scale factor time in service, or will pay incentive levels be based on time in rank?
  4. Why are we only using the top 17 of the Captain and top 8 of the Major pilot incentive levels?
  5. Will student pilots currently in the training system (2Lts and Lts) be grandfathered with the new rates?
  6. How can I find out what my own conversion will look like?
  7. How does the new pay system address my situation if I wish to stay in a flying position as a Captain for my career?
  8. Will the Col and BGen "pilot" pay be reviewed? Will this give a flat rate for those two ranks from LCol PI4?
  9. Under the new pay scale, when a LCol is promoted to Col, will they carry the LCol pay to the new rank or would they take a pay cut?
  10. Do captains who are past 10 years’ time in rank (TIR) go into the PI11-20 scales immediately?
  11. For those who "skip" PI levels during the transition (e.g. a Capt PI2 becomes a PI7, or a Maj PI1 becomes a PI2) will they stagnate at that level until their time in rank catches up to match their PI level? Or will their Pay Incentive always increase with time in rank, such that the delta between the two is maintained until promotion?
  12. Will our pay incentive anniversary remain the same as we have now? For example, will a Captain PI 9 moving to PI 13 continue to progress to PI 14, even though the pay system will not be updated until next year?
  13. What would happen if a member served previously, got out, then got back in? If their current PI was calculated based on past service, would the new scale be re-applied to the previous calculations done on re-enrolment?
  14. When will members receive their next Pay Incentive increase if they are due within next nine months? At promotion date or from 1 Apr 2021 or is it just retroactive to whenever the new pay scale is implemented (i.e. no increases until new pay scale is implemented)?
  15. Is there any compensation for foreign enrollees that entered at current PI 10 (due previous service and rank in other forces) with previous qualifications (i.e. German, Singaporean and British QFIs) but only have 3-5 years actual time in the RCAF?
  16. Is there any compensation for Capt Voluntary Occn Transfers (VOT) who will have TIR already but not within pilot occupation? For example, if an Army captain who has undertaken VOT has 8 years as a captain when he receives his wings, what PI will he convert to?
  17. Why is there a PI + 3 for captains with more than 10 years of TIR but nothing for majors? When does the Maj PI3 level get compensated for the 6% increase?
  18. Is it true that a newly promoted Major, who had 18 years TIR as a captain, may make less than they could have if they stayed a captain.
  19. Due to the smaller yearly PI increase for majors (about 2%) compared to captains (about 4%), what is the incentive for a senior captain to seek promotion to major? Anyone past the Captain PI 11 or 12 will be unlikely to want to get promoted due to not only a reduction in total earnings but also a reduced five-year average for their pension.
  20. Do you expect this may affect FG for senior ranks, given additional responsibilities may not be commensurate with the difference in pay from a lower rank? How do we generate colonels in this new paradigm?

The CAF is conducting a transition from one pay structure to another. An individual member will receive a conversion from the existing pay structure to the new structure with a likely change to their incentive level. Everyone will see a wage increase through this conversion.

The new pay structure for pilots provides a much higher level of maximum earnings over a longer period of time at each rank. Greater incentive periods coincide with changes in terms of service, and the increase to 20 pay incentives at the captain rank supports a transition to maximum earnings over a longer period. Recognizing the requirements for upgrades in skills in order to provide the necessary mentoring and unit leadership, a captain’s progression will be tied to skills achieved. Once conversion to the updated pay structure occurs in early 2022, captains will be required to demonstrate a continuum of improvement with progressive upgrades from first officer to aircraft captain through senior responsibilities within the pilot cadre. This will allow pilots to be compensated based on evolutionary steps in their capability and skill sets. It will reward motivation in RCAF pilots who seek promotion, continuing development, and a long-term career within the institution, thus bringing stability of skills through retention. A strong cadre of experienced and skilled pilots is essential for RCAF operations.

As with the previous pay scales, pay incentive (PI) levels for pilots will be attributed to time in rank. At conversion, an individual’s time in rank will be applied to determine the appropriate PI level. The 365-day clock will start at that point to attain the successive next PI level.

The new pay scale was developed prior to the recent 6.1% CAF wage increase. With the previous wages in the first few pay incentive (PI) levels, an adjustment was required to ensure those wages were increased, namely the Captain Basic, 1 and 2 levels, as they were deemed as no longer appropriate. In converting to the new pay scale, captains currently at the Basic PI level will now be paid at the Captain PI 5 level. PI levels Basic through 4 will be used once the pay changes are fully implemented and as pilots are promoted from lieutenant to captain. Similarly, incentive levels Major Basic and Major 1 will not be initially used; rather, pilots currently paid at the current Major Basic PI level will see their pay converted to the new Major PI level 2.

The pay program was built with an ability to make any required corrections about two years after the effective date. In about 2023, the CAF will formally address those corrections with Treasury Board.

Since the initial salaries in new pilot pay scale are lower than the existing/old program, this will be applied to new student pilots who are yet to enter the CAF and the pilot training pipe. Existing student pilots will administratively start at Pay Incentive (PI) 5 on the new scale, upon promotion to captain. This will have the effect of grandfathering the pay system for this cadre.

There will be a fair move from the current pay scale to the new. CAF policy is such that a member’s pay can't decrease, other than when allowances that are not part of base pay are lost. In this case, conversion will be based upon time in rank, and then a factor of base pay plus applicable allowance will be compared with the pay amount. If the pay plus allowance is lower than the pay based solely upon time in rank, the individual will move to the next higher pay level exceeding existing pay plus allowance.

Should you wish to stay in a pure flying role, you will now have access to a greater maximum level for the captain rank with pay incentives that span 20 years, allowing for annual increases without the need for promotion to the next rank. Within this period you will be encouraged to upgrade your flying skills along the way in order to maximize your earnings. This said, individuals will be encouraged to seek promotion early in their career, as this will have the most immediate financial impact for the individual.

For pilots at the rank of LCol and Col, their pay will be converted starting with the last level they had as a LCol. Each officer’s pay file will be looked at to see how much time they have as a LCol, convert to Col and hold that level. Most Cols pers will be paid as a LCol pilot at PI3 or 4, assuming most did serve a minimum of four years as a LCol. They will, however, stay at that pay level until the PIs for the rank they are at catch up. There has not yet been an economic adjustment for the Col and up pay scales similar to the 6.1% we saw for LCol and below. The challenge is we are now paying specialists more for the return on investment we are making – similar to what has been done for doctors, etc.

In this situation, the individual will not see a pay reduction. The member would assume the new rank (Col) at the max PI level for LCol that they had earned and stay at that level. Note that Exec level pay is addressed via separate avenues.

Yes, conversion will be based upon years in rank thus captains who have more than 10 years in that rank will see a TIR conversion based on a calculation of TIR + 3 PIs. E.g. a captain with 13 years in rank will be converted to PI 16.

Regardless of which PI a member is assigned in the conversion, their PI will continue to increase each year on the anniversary of their conversion, until such time that they are promoted to the next rank or max out at the highest PI level.

No, a member’s PI anniversary will become the day of conversion to the new pay structure, with progression to the next PI each year, until such time that they are promoted to the next rank or max out at the highest PI level.

The new pay scales are effective as of 31 Mar 21, and applied to the PI at that date. Anything before that date won’t apply. Regardless, there will always be specific circumstances that will need to be considered individually.

A member’s promotion date/PI anniversary will become the new conversion date. You will continue to receive PI increases until the new pay structure is implemented in 2022.

Every foreign enrollee case is unique and as such will receive individual consideration as part of the enrollment process. In your specific case, you will be converted at the pay incentive level you were at when the scale came into effect. Specific or unique individual circumstances will be addressed at conversion with a specific review of the pay file to ensure there will be no loss of money due to the years of service or actual time in rank.

Individuals with very unique circumstances should discuss their situation with the pay staff in order to ensure all circumstances are correctly applied to their particular individual scenario.

All individuals already have the economic adjustment and their conversion will reflect this pay level. The new pay scale was developed prior to the recent 6.1% CAF wage increase. With the previous wages in the first few pay incentive (PI) levels, an adjustment was required to ensure those wages were increased, namely the Captain Basic, 1 and 2 levels, as they were deemed as no longer appropriate. In converting to the new pay scale, captains currently at the Basic PI level will now be paid at the Captain PI 5 level. PI levels Basic through 4 will be used once the pay changes are fully implemented and as pilots are promoted from lieutenant to captain. Similarly, incentive levels Major Basic and Major 1 will not be initially used; rather, all pilots at the Major rank will convert based on the premise that PI B and 1 are not used.

The pay program was built with an ability to make required corrections about two years after the effective date. In about 2023, the CAF will formally address those corrections with Treasury Board.

This is a possible scenario and the RCAF is working with Director Pay Policy and Development to identify an administrative conversion method to mitigate a negative impact to newly promoted majors who have high Capt time in rank.

The decision to progress to the next rank is a personal choice that a member has to make about their career progression (assuming the potential is there). Individuals are encouraged to seek promotion early where there is significant wage increases. In the end, the pay scales to continue to increase and place an advantage on increasing in rank. At some point, a member has to decide if they are going to stay at a particular rank or continue progressing in leadership roles. Individuals will should also consider the ‘gating’ of the Captain ranks and their capacity and interest to continually upgrade their skill and responsibility while in the Captain rank.

The decision to progress to the next rank is a personal choice that a member has to make about their career progression (assuming the potential is there). In the end, the pay scales to continue to increase and place an advantage on increasing in rank. At some point, a member has to decide if they are going to remain at a rank or continue progressing in leadership roles.

  1. On a grand scale for all trades, is the intent to eliminate allowances in order to incorporate those allowances into base pay?
  2. Can you confirm that once pilots start receiving aircrew allowance it is effectively never lost until promotion to Colonel?
  3. Are other allowances also going to be rolled into other communities (like Land Duty Allowance for Tactical Aviation, or Sea Duty Allowance for Maritime Helicopter)?
  4. What will be the effect on these members’ pension plan?
  5. Please explain the pension implications for best five years used to calculate an annuity. Does that five years have to be consecutive years? Will it be based on the new tables or our previous pay scale?
  6. Will there be a mandate to buy back into the pension fund to make up for the new pay scale, to qualify for an immediate annuity at that new pay scale? For example, if you spent 24 of your 25 years of service paying into the pension fund based on the old pay scale, and then one year based on the new pay scale, would you now qualify for an immediate annuity at the new pay scale?

At this time, only the Aircrew Allowance for pilots and the Rescue Specialist Allowance for SAR Techs are being incorporated into salary and will cease for those occupations. Compensation continues to evolve and it is possible that additional changes may happen in future.

Aircrew allowance will not be applicable to qualified regular or reserve force pilots effective 31 March 2021. Instead the base salary has been adjusted upwards in lieu. Once you are a qualified pilot, the new pay scale is applicable to you. Aircrew allowance will continue for non-pilot occupations.

For the time being, only the Aircrew Allowance and the Rescue Specialist Allowance (for SAR Techs) will cease and be incorporated into salary. All other allowances, as applicable, will continue to be administered separately.

Pension plans play an important and significant role in helping CAF members achieve financial security in retirement and represent a key component of this new pay restructure. The creation of new pay scales will result in a more generous contribution to the member’s pension plan, making a positive impact on their individual pension entitlements, appropriately reflecting the remuneration over the career. For instance, in the older pay system, Aircrew Allowances for pilots and Rescue Specialist Allowances for SAR Techs were not added to the pension plan.

The pension formula used to calculate an annuity will remain the same, being: the number of years of pensionable service (to a maximum of 35 years) multiplied by the average salary for your five consecutive years of highest paid service (again, to a maximum of 35 years).

Members will only be paid according to the new pay scale as of 31 March, 2021 and it is this date which will begin to affect the individuals “best five years”. A pilot or SAR Tech who stays in the CAF five years past 31 March 2021, and who is eligible for an annuity, will receive the maximum effect of the new pay scale.

No, there are no changes to pension policy, nor are there any plans to change the Canadian Forces Superannuation Act. The new pay scale applies only to service on/after 31 March, 2021. The pension formula used to calculate an annuity will remain the same, being: the number of years of pensionable service (to a maximum of 35 years) multiplied by the average salary for your five consecutive years of highest paid service (again, to a maximum of 35 years). Pension contributions will be applicable to the salary you are currently receiving and the new pay will affect the average highest five years of service as of 31 Mar 21.

It is acknowledged that members coming to the end of their service within the next couple of years will not see the same level of benefits under the new pay structure as those who would be retiring five years or more from now. The aim of Op EXPERIENCE is to implement actions ─one of which is this pay restructure─ to stabilize and rapidly grow levels of pilot experience. In others words, the aim is to incentivize pilots (and SAR Techs) to continue to remain in the RCAF, build on their skills, gain experience and to mentor the next generation of pilots.

More information on how CAF pensions are calculated

  1. Class A reservists are paid on a daily rate, so I assume that the new monthly rates are translated to a daily pay. Is this right?
  2. For members with mixed Reserve and Regular Force time, will Reserve Class A time in rank convert over to Regular Force on a year-for-year basis?
  3. Will L1, L2, and subordinate units receive the necessary in-year SWE commensurate with this pay upgrade to continue Reserve employment for SAR Techs & Pilots? Or will there be a thinning of Reserve employment, particularly for surge to Class B?

Yes. SAR Techs and pilots of the Reserve component also will see their daily rate change through this remuneration package.

Reservists are paid a daily rate based on their rank and time in that rank. The Reserve pay scales have also transitioned to the new pay structure, and reservists will see the same pay ratio that they did under the old structure. Upon component transfer, an individual will be ‘credited’ with an amount of time in rank which will set the condition for this conversion.

Annually the SWE envelope is adjusted through the Business Plan to reflect changes in the pay costs. The cost of reserve salaries is a continual planning factor which staff will address through the BP process.

Report a problem or mistake on this page
Please select all that apply:

Thank you for your help!

You will not receive a reply. For enquiries, contact us.

Date modified: