I have questions about my pension benefits and entitlements. What can I do?
Canadian Armed Forces pensions are administered by the Government of Canada Pension Centre at the Public Services and Procurement Canada (Pension Centre). Current and former members should call the Government of Canada pension centre – Canadian Armed Forces pensions toll-free at 1-800-267-0325 for answers about their pension. It is important to contact the Pension Centre well in advance of your release date, so that you understand your entitlements and the process you must follow.
I have concerns about matters that fall under the Pension Benefits Division Act and benefits that are payable under the Canadian Forces Superannuation Act, such as pension indexing and Survivor Benefits. Can your office intervene to change these Acts?
The Ombudsman’s Office does not have authority to make legislative changes to the Pension Benefits Division Act or the Canadian Forces Superannuation Act. As these are federal laws, the jurisdiction to make amendments lies with Parliament.
If you wish to see changes incorporated into federal legislation, you can submit your concerns to your Member of Parliament.
A Canadian Forces Superannuation Act pension is reduced when someone starts getting a Canada/Quebec Pension Plan disability benefit or when they reach age 65. Why?
The Canadian Forces Superannuation Act provides a temporary pension benefit and a lifetime pension benefit for eligible members. The temporary benefit is called the bridge benefit. It “bridges” retirement income until members turn 65 and become eligible for a Canada/Quebec Pension Plan retirement benefit, or when they start receiving a Canada/Quebec Pension Plan disability benefit.
For more information on the bridge benefit see Bridge Benefit - Canadian Armed Forces pensions.
If you have questions about your pension, visit Government of Canada pension centre – Canadian Armed Forces pensions for more information.
How can I determine what the monthly value of my pension will be once I retire?
A pension estimate calculator is available online for serving Canadian Armed Forces members to use when calculating approximate pension amounts upon retirement. This interactive tool allows serving members to make various adjustments to their information to determine an estimated take-home pay for their pension. Some adjustment options include:
- selecting alternative retirement dates;
- adjusting monthly salary at retirement (i.e. planning for a future raise or promotion);
- indicating intended province of residence at retirement (so as to incorporate current provincial and federal tax deductions in determining net pay); and
- including post-release medical and/or dental coverage fees, based on desired level of care.
Once you have accessed the above link, click the Your Pension Portal to login. Once the Pension Applications page has loaded, select the Personalize Pension Tools link, followed by the Pension Benefits Calculator link. The pension estimate calculator can only be accessed via the Defence Wide Area Network (DWAN) using a Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) Smart Card.
Note: When a Reserve Force member uses the calculator, the resulting pension estimate will not include future earnings and service, as the calculator cannot project future Reserve service.
I applied for a disability pension from the Department of Veterans Affairs for an injury that was a result of my military service. The Department denied my claim. Can the Office of the Ombudsman for National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces intervene?
If a complaint falls within the jurisdiction of Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) or the Veterans Review and Appeal Board, the Office of the Ombudsman for National Defence and Canadian Armed Forces cannot intervene. The Office can refer the matter to Veterans Affairs Canada as outlined in section 16 of the Ombudsman’s mandate.
If you have a concern about VAC pensions or other benefits and services, contact your local VAC office by calling 1-800-563-3470.
If VAC denies your claim and you do not agree with the decision, you can request the Veteran Review and Appeal Board conduct a review hearing or an appeal hearing.
The Bureau of Pension Advocates provides free legal assistance to any person who wants to appeal a decision before a review or appeal panel. You can also request the assistance of the Royal Canadian Legion.
If you believe that VAC has treated you unfairly, you can contact the Office of the Veterans Ombudsman for information and assistance.
Note: Members having difficulties accessing their Canadian Armed Forces medical records to support a VAC claim can contact the Canadian Armed Forces Transition Centres for assistance.
If exceptional circumstances prevent you from addressing your concerns through regular channels such as time sensitivity, health, security, or financial problems for you or your family, you can contact our office by phone or in writing. In cases where compelling reasons exist, our office can ensure that all relevant parties know about your circumstances.
I have a question about the New Veterans Charter, the Pension Act or the Pension for Life. Who can assist me?
For questions about the New Veterans Charter, the Pension Act or the Pension for Life, visit the Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) website. In particular, the website page VAC services, before and after the New Veterans Charter may be helpful.
You can also contact VAC directly by calling toll-free 1-866-522-2122 or by visiting by appointment one of its Area Offices.
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On Friday 7 August from 12:30 to 1:30 pm EDT the following on-line services will not be available due to hardware maintenance: the complaint form, chat, the booking tool, and the military benefits browser.
- Limited service availability
This service is affected by the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19). Consult the Ombudsman’s message for more information.
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