# 2015-272 - Pension Benefits
F&R Date: 2016–04–13
The grievor alleged that there was an injustice with respect to the Reserve Force (Res F) Pension Plan compared with the Regular Force (Reg F) Pension Plan.
He explained that Res F members rarely reach maximum pension, because they have to stop contributing to the pension plan 35 years after they enlist and, since Res F members usually work part time, this prevents them from accumulating the required 35 years of pensionable service to receive a full pension. In the grievor's view, reservists who have accumulated 35 years in the Res F should, regardless of their service class, be entitled to a full pension, just like their Reg F counterparts.
The grievor also alleged that reservists who become eligible for an immediate annuity cannot touch their pension if they continue to work in the Reg F. On the other hand, Reg F members are allowed to work as reservists when they collect their pension.
As a remedy, the grievor asked that the Res F pension policy be revised so that reservists be treated fairly compared with Reg F members.
The initial authority did not render a decision because, even though certain clerical functions related to military pension are carried out by the CAF, it found that the pension's operation and administration are the responsibility of the Department of National Defence.
The Committee concluded that subsection 5(2) of the Canadian Forces Superannuation Act (CFSA) does not prevent members from continuing to accumulate additional years of pensionable service, even 35 years after enlistment. According to the Committee, if Parliament wanted to prohibit CAF members from continuing to contribute to the pension plan, it would be logical to expect this prohibition to be clearly stipulated in the Act, which is not the case.
That said, the Committee found that, according to the policy in effect, when they have not yet reached mandatory retirement age, reservists may legally continue to make pension contributions, until they are entitled to receive the maximum pension benefit of 70% of average annual salary.
Furthermore, the Committee pointed out that the CFSA does not allow a pensioner under the Reserve Force Pension Plan to work in the Res F in the same way that it does not allow a pensioner under the Regular Force Pension Plan to work in the Reg F.
The Committee therefore recommended that the grievance be denied.
CDS Decision Summary
CDS Decision Pending
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