Possible errors in your pension contributions

Dear colleagues,

It has come to YUFA’s attention that, for many years, Pension & Benefits has been employing procedures for handling certain types of one-time retroactive and merit award payments that produce erroneous reductions in credited pensionable income and erroneous under-contributions to the pension accounts of many of our members.

These errors reduce the pensions of affected members retiring on money purchase pensions and reduce an affected member’s minimum guaranteed pension entitlement, if the error occurs during one of the member’s five highest pensionable income years at York. They also negatively affect the overall Plan Trust balance. The minimum guaranteed pensions of some current retirees are likely to be $1,000 a year or more lower than they should be. In other cases, the impact will be smaller, and not everyone is affected.

The errors took place due to systematic (yet very avoidable) problems related to the methods the Employer chose for making manual adjustments and calculations overseen by the Finance Division and/or Pension & Benefits Office. These procedures explicitly violated the terms of the York Pension Plan document (YPPD).

We believe that some of these procedural errors are being corrected on a go-forward basis. Some, however, continued to be made in handling the April 2016 retroactive payments (accompanying the late implementation of the 2015-18 Collective Agreement). Past errors are also not being corrected adequately and the Employer’s efforts to investigate and rectify these since the general problem was first raised in 2011 have been, to date, insufficient. YUFA has requested complete remedial action and will continue to do so.

Several worksheets, covering all situations in which errors are known to have been made in the past, have been prepared to help members in determining whether their pension accounts and/or pension entitlements may have been affected. Filling in and returning to YUFA all worksheets relevant to your case will help us ensure that any errors in your pension account balance and pension records are identified, and appropriately corrected.

To access the worksheets, please click here.

To see an expanded discussion of the errors in question, together with a number of explicit examples illustrating in more detail how large the impact of these errors on members’ pensions can be, please click here.

Since the impact of these errors can be especially large for those former members currently retired on minimum guaranteed pensions, and we lack access to the contact information for current retirees, feel free to forward this message to any retired colleagues you know of who may also have been affected by these problems.

For more information, please email yufa@yorku.ca.