Amendment to subsection 16.1 of the Canadian Forces Superannuation Regulation


Amendment to subsection 16.1 of the Canadian Forces Superannuation Regulation

Case number


The Committee reviewed a grievance with regard to the impact of a previous Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) internal policy on the conversion of terms of service for re-enrollees. Changes enacted to CAF pension legislation in 2007 provided for transitional clauses whereby CAF members of the Regular Force (Reg F) could remain eligible for benefits under the previous version of the Canadian Forces Superannuation Act (CFSA), the so-called “grandfathering” clauses. Under the previous CFSA version, pension entitlements were linked to the terms of service; this included the access to an immediate unreduced annuity after completing an Intermediate Engagement of 20 years (IE20). In the modernized CFSA, rather than completing terms of service a CAF member must have completed 9,131 days of paid service, the equivalent of 25 years, referred to as an Intermediate Engagement of 25 years (IE25).

During the transition period, CAF members serving on an IE20 and those who would become eligible for an Intermediate Engagement (IE) offer before 1 March 2007 were asked to select whether they wished to be or remain subject to an IE20 under the previous CFSA version or to accept an IE25 under the modernized CFSA version. An internal policy regarding re-enrollees prevented certain CAF members from being offered an IE. They were instead offered either successive Short Engagements for Officers or Fixed Periods of Service for Non-Commissioned Members, to bring them to a combined 20 years of service, so as to entitle them to the same benefits as would have an IE20. The concerned CAF members had been assured that they would remain eligible for an immediate unreduced annuity after 20 years of service, as if they had completed an IE20 under the terms of the previous CFSA version.

However, with regard to re-enrollees, the grandfathering clauses of the modernized CFSA legislation only provided this option to those who had accrued ten years or more of pensionable service as of 1 March 2007. The Committee’s research determined that those who, like the grievor, re-enrolled in the Reg F between 2 March 1997 and 30 April 2005 and did not reach ten years of combined service by 1 March 2007, but had accepted other terms of service than an IE on the incorrect assumption and representations of CAF authorities that they would be entitled to an immediate unreduced annuity following completion of 20 years of combined service, must now complete 9,131 days of paid service (25 years) in order to be eligible to an immediate unreduced annuity. 

CAF members who find themselves in this situation may be unaware that they are in fact required to serve another five years to receive an immediate unreduced annuity. The first of any CAF members affected by this could potentially complete 20 years of combined service and request release as early as 1 March 2017.


The Committee recommended that the Chief of the Defence Staff further investigate the issue and consider recommending an amendment to subsection 16.1 of the CFSA. The intent would be to provide the entitlement to an immediate unreduced annuity upon completion of 20 years of combined service under the former CFSA for re-enrollees who were offered, prior to 1 May 2005, successive non-IE terms of service totaling 20 years of combined service, and who had accrued less than ten years of pensionable service as at 1 March 2007.

Final Authority decision

The Final Authority (FA) disagreed with the Committee's systemic recommendation, since there was no evidence on file indicating that the circumstances of this file are systemic. Furthermore, the FA found that Canadian Forces General Message (CANFORGEN) 203/16 ensure that the original DND 2315 is amended and initialed by members to signify the members' understanding of their new entitlements. The FA was confident that this directive has been carried out and members have been duly informed.

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