Report on the Administration of the Supplementary Retirement Benefits Act for the Fiscal Year Ended March 31, 2015  

© Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada,
represented by the President of the Treasury Board, 2016

Catalogue No. BT1-12E-PDF
ISSN: 1489-4866

His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, C.C., C.M.M., C.O.M., C.D.
Governor General of Canada

Excellency:

I have the honour to submit to Your Excellency, the Report on the Administration of the "Supplementary Retirement Benefits Act" for the Fiscal Year Ended .

Respectfully submitted,

Original signed by

The Honourable Scott Brison, P.C., M.P.
President of the Treasury Board

Table of Contents

Introduction

The Supplementary Retirement Benefits Act (SRBA) applies primarily to pension benefits payable to federal judges under the Judges Act as well as to other statutes listed in Schedule I of the SRBA, such as the Diplomatic Service (Special) Superannuation Act, the Lieutenant Governors Superannuation Act, the Defence Services Pension Continuation Act of the Canadian Armed Forces and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Pension Continuation Act. The SRBA does not apply to pension benefits payable under the major federal public service pension plans governed by the Public Service Superannuation Act (PSSA), the Canadian Forces Superannuation Act (CFSA), the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Superannuation Act (RCMPSA) and the Members of Parliament Retiring Allowances Act (MPRAA).

Year at a Glance, 2014–15

  • Active contributors increased by 2.6 per cent to 1,171 members (1,141 members in 2014).
  • Retired members and survivors decreased by 8 per cent to 1,410 members (1,534 members in 2014).
  • The pension benefits were increased (i.e., indexed) by 1.7 per cent in January 2015 (0.9 per cent in ).

Historical Context

The SRBA makes it possible to provide supplementary benefits for recipients of pensions or allowances payable under the acts or regulations listed in Schedule I of the SRBA, as at .

The original SRBA of 1970 provided for increases in pensions up to a maximum of 2 per cent per year. The indexing of benefits was extended to employees who retired after 1952. The increases were payable at age 60, or earlier under specific conditions. The original SRBA also applied to pensions payable under the PSSA, the CFSA, the RCMPSA and the MPRAA.

Effective , the 2-per-cent ceiling on increases was removed, and an annual increase in pensions reflecting the full increase in the cost of living was permitted, payable commencing in January of each year. This increase is based on the percentage increase in the average of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for the 12 months ended on the preceding September 30, over the CPI average for the 12 months ended a year earlier.

The SRBA was amended in 1975 to permit interest to be paid on returns of contributions at a rate of 4 per cent, compounded annually.

Since 1982, the legislation has required that the increase payable in the first year after a person retires be pro-rated according to the number of complete months of retirement in the previous year.

In 1983 and 1984, the increases were limited to 6.5 and 5.5 per cent, respectively, under amendments to the SRBA passed in 1983.

In 1992, the SRBA was amended to reflect changes being made to the PSSA, the CFSA, the RCMPSA and the MPRAA. These statutes were amended to incorporate the authority to provide increases in their respective pensions as if they were determined under the SRBA. Consequently, the SRBA no longer applied to pension benefits payable under those statutes. Amendments to the SRBA regarding benefits payable under the PSSA, the CFSA and the RCMPSA were made retroactive to April 1, 1991. Amendments regarding the MPRAA became effective on January 1, 1992. For more information on these amendments, refer to the "Supplementary Retirement Benefits Account" section.

Supplementary Retirement Benefits Account

The SRBA establishes an account known as the Supplementary Retirement Benefits Account (the Account) in the Public Accounts of Canada. Plan members who have not yet retired, except the Governor General, contribute to the Account. The government matches these contributions.

Before , all supplementary benefits were charged to the Account. Since that date, however, the benefits paid to former contributors have been charged to the Account only until they equal the total amount credited to the Account. Supplementary benefits paid in excess of that total are charged to the Consolidated Revenue Fund.

Under the 1992 amendments mentioned in the preceding section, the appropriate portions of the Account were transferred to the superannuation accounts established under the PSSA, the CFSA, the RCMPSA and the MPRAA. These transfers greatly reduced the size of the Account.

Membership Statistics

At , there were 1,171 members (1,141 members in 2014) contributing to the Account and 1,410 retired members and survivors (1,534 members in 2014).

This figure demonstrates the number of contributors relative to the number of pensioners from 2006 to 2015.

Figure 1. Membership profile from 2006 to 2015

image alt text

Figure 1 - Text version
Years Contributors Pensioners
2006 1,065 1,970
2007 1,097 1,880
2008 1,088 1,809
2009 1,089 1,750
2010 1,113 1,739
2011 1,141 1,642
2012 1,136 1,625
2013 1,096 1,582
2014 1,141 1,534
2015 1,171 1,410

Funding

Between , and , members contributed 0.5 per cent of their salary. Effective , this rate was increased to 1 per cent.

Interest on the Account is payable at the end of each quarter. It is calculated monthly on the minimum balance in the Account at an interest rate that represents the yield on outstanding Government of Canada bonds having a term to maturity of five years, less 0.125 of 1 per cent.

Account Transactions

During fiscal year 2014–15, total receipts from contributors and the government, including interest, amounted to $9.81 million ($9.84 million in 2014). The total amount paid under the SRBA was $31.18 million ($32.02 million in 2014), of which $35,533 ($31,275 in 2014) was charged to the Account; the remaining $31.14 million ($31.99 million in 2014) was charged to the Consolidated Revenue Fund in accordance with subsection 8(2) of the SRBA. The balance in the Account at the end of the year was $207.07 million ($197.29 million in 2014).

Details of the transactions in the Account during the fiscal year appear in the "Account Transaction Statements" section.

Account Transaction Statements

Supplementary Retirement Benefits Account statement
Year Ended ($ thousands)table 1 note 1
  2015 2014

Table 1 Notes

Table 1 Note 1

Due to rounding, figures differ slightly from the Public Accounts of Canada.

Return to table 1 note 1 referrer

Table 1 Note 2

The above information does not reflect exactly the information presented in the Public Accounts of Canada. Annuities and charges to the Consolidated Revenue Fund are supplementary information included to reflect all payments made under the authority of the SRBA. The amounts charged to the Consolidated Revenue Fund are not charged to the Supplementary Retirement Benefits Account due to an exclusion under subsection 8(2) of the SRBA. The amount of charges to the Consolidated Revenue Fund reported in this statement is calculated based on financial information provided directly from several organizations responsible for processing SRBA benefit payments, such as the Registrar of the Supreme Court of Canada, the Office of the Commissioner for Federal Judicial Affairs Canada, Canadian Heritage, National Defence and the Senate of Canada.

Return to table 1 note 2 referrer

Supplementary Retirement Benefits Account,
Opening Balance (A)
197,294 187,481
Receipts 
Contributions
Members
3,425 3,300
Government
3,425 3,300
Interest
2,964 3,244
Total Receipts (B) 9,814 9,844
Payments 
Annuities table 1 note 2
31,180 32,024
Less charges to Consolidated Revenue Fund
 in accordance with subsection 8(2) of the Act table 1 note 2
31,144 31,993
Net Payments (C) 36 31
Increase (B – C = D) 9,778 9,813
Supplementary Retirement Benefits Account,
Closing Balance (A + D)
207,072 197,294
Supplementary Retirement Benefits Account statement
Details of Receipts and Payments for 2014–15
Year Ended ($ thousands)table 2 note 1
  Judges Others Total

Table 2 Notes

Table 2 Note 1

Due to rounding, figures differ slightly from the Public Accounts of Canada.

Return to table 2 note 1 referrer

Table 2 Note 2

In addition to these charges to the Account, $31.14 million was charged to the Consolidated Revenue Fund under subsection 8(2) of the SRBA, as reported in the previous statement. The information in this statement is similar to that reported in the Public Accounts of Canada.

Return to table 2 note 2referrer

Supplementary Retirement Benefits Account,
Opening Balance (A)
196,642 652 197,294
Receipts
Contributions
Members
3,394 31 3,425
Government
3,394 31 3,425
Interest
2,953 11 2,964
Total Receipts (B) 9,741 73 9,814
Payments
Annuities table 2 note 2
0 36 36
Return of Contributions
0 0 0
Total Payments (C) 0 36 36
Increase (B – C = D) 9,741 37 9,778
Supplementary Retirement Benefits Account,
Closing Balance (A + D)
206,383 689 207,072
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