November 2023 update: Disability Insurance Plan benefits and new collective agreements

Purpose

The purpose of this notice is to provide information regarding disability benefit adjustments that will be made as a result of the new collective agreements for plan members who are, or were in receipt of disability benefits from Sun Life Financial (Sun Life) under the Disability Insurance (DI) Plan.

Background

Starting in July 2023, Sun Life as the Plan insurer, retroactively adjusted disability benefits for eligible members on disability, based on new salaries from the 2022 round of collective bargaining.

Sun Life has begun implementing adjustments for eligible members covered by the most recent collective agreements. Claims will be adjusted as new collective agreements are signed.

Who is eligible?

The retroactive annual salary increase in the new collective bargaining agreements applies to:

  1. Plan members who were approved for disability benefits and who received their first payment on or after the effective date of their new collective agreement.
  2. Plan members who participated in an approved return to work program on or after the effective date of their new collective agreement.

Disability benefit adjustments are only applicable to the benefits received from the date the previous collective agreement expired.

Calculation of Adjustments

For those plan members approved for benefits who received their first payment on or after the effective date of their revised rate of pay, Sun Life will compare their job classification information with the salary information found in their new collective agreement, subject to validation by Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) or the departmental compensation services. Sun Life will apply the new salary retroactively to determine the plan member’s revised disability benefit.

For those plan members who participated in an approved return to work program on or after the effective date of their new collective agreement, they will have their rehabilitation earnings recalculated by Sun Life.

To process the benefit adjustments accurately and in a timely fashion, Sun Life will calculate the rehabilitation earnings using the new annual salary percentage increase provided by the Employer to apply the applicable increase. This may produce a slightly higher benefit of between 1 and 3% for affected plan members.

Implementation Status

The adjustment of disability benefits will be processed in the order the collective agreements are signed.

Although this work is ongoing and a much greater number of claims will be adjusted in a shorter period of time than in the past, Sun Life is not required to make disability benefit adjustments within the same timeframe required of the employer to implement salary adjustments.

For employees whose Long-Term Disability coverage provided under the Public Service Management Insurance Plan (PSMIP) will receive similar benefit adjustments through Industrial Alliance (IA), the insurer for PSMIP. Contact IA for more information.

For employees who have questions regarding their pay or the status of the collective agreement under which they are covered, they can contact their manager or consult the Government of Canada Pay for the Public Service or Collective Agreements pages.

For any questions regarding this notice, contact the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat, Employee Relations and Total Compensation Sector.

Employee Relations and Total Compensation Sector
Office of the Chief Human Resources Officer
Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat

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