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Across the country, public pension plans are releasing statements to assure members that their defined benefit pensions are secure and that they’re taking measures to protect the health and safety of their own staff.

The Colleges of Applied Arts and Technology pension plan said it regularly tests operations and will continue to make pension payments. “We are well prepared and feel confident your pensions will be paid on time,” it wrote in a statement. “Although our response times to calls and emails may be slower, we will continue to work diligently on providing our high standard of service to our members and employers.”

The CAAT plan is also assuring members that their pension incomes are safe. “The stable, predictable lifetime pension income that CAAT delivers is a key benefit of a defined benefit pension plan. The plan has been steadily building reserves over the past decade consistent with our primary focus on benefit security.”

Read: Canadian public pension heads call on employers to focus on coronavirus

Further, the OPSEU Pension Trust has announced measures to protect its members and employees. Particularly, it’s postponing its March and April pension information sessions and closing its office to visitors until further notice.

To help members, the plan is promoting digital alternatives, such as webinars. “Although you cannot attend a live presentation currently, we regularly run interactive webinars which you can watch from the comfort of your home or a previously recorded webinar,” the plan said in a statement.

The OPTrust is also encouraging members to switch to direct deposit. “Paying pensions is one of our core priorities and therefore we continuously plan, prepare and test to ensure that we are prepared to pay pensions under situations outside of normal business operations,” it said. “If you receive your pension payment by cheque, we advise that you switch to direct deposit as a convenient and safe way to receive your pension.”

The plan is also letting members know that, should it be required to close its office, the team is equipped to work remotely. “OPTrust conducts regular tests to ensure we have sound plans in place to ensure that we can continue to serve our members in the event of an office shut down for a prolonged period.”

Read: Air Canada maintains ‘significant pension solvency surplus’ amid coronavirus crisis

The Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan is also asking plan members not to attend the office in person and will process payments online and through its call centre. As well, the plan is changing its annual meeting from an in-person meeting to a digital format.

The Caisse de dépôt et placement du Quebec is also introducing measures to protect its employees. Namely, all of its employees are working from home with the exception of a few critical business functions, it has banned its employees from participating in public events and banned all business travel regardless of destination.

The Ontario Teachers’ has announced similar measures for its employees. Most employees, with the exception of a small group will be working at home, international travel must be rescheduled and domestic business travel must be pre-cleared and approved.

Similarly, the Public Sector Pension Investment Board has implemented a restricted travel list and is pre-clearing all business travel. It’s also implementing protocols to pre-clear visitors prior to visiting any of the PSP’s offices.

Read: Employers moving to remote work to help ‘flatten the coronavirus curve’

 

And the plan is encouraging employees to work remotely, but offices will remain open to those who can’t do their jobs remotely.

“These measures will allow us to maintain the social distancing necessary to protect each other and our local communities while continuing to conduct business,” it said in a statement.

Copyright © 2020 Transcontinental Media G.P. Originally published on benefitscanada.com

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See all comments Recent Comments

Olivia Andrew:

Hello, I am a pensioner. Are there any disruptions to receiving my monthly Canadian old-age pension and GIS during Covid-19?

Monday, March 23 at 3:15 pm | Reply

marilyn mckay:

Just wondering if the pensions are coming out as usual? Thank you.

Wednesday, March 25 at 1:00 pm | Reply

Genovieve:

During this coronavirus, are all pensioners receiving their direct deposit CPP and old age for the month of March 2020?

Please update us. Thank you.

Saturday, March 28 at 12:35 pm | Reply

aukea walters:

Following the COVID-19 market crash, are our CPP pensions safe?

Wednesday, April 29 at 4:28 pm

Gerald Hughson:

With CPP and OAS, will there be changes because of the virus?

Thursday, April 02 at 12:09 pm | Reply

mr wright:

I hear there will be a top-up for regular pension for the four month while the virus is with us — Is this correct? I am sure many, many people would like to have this clarified.

Saturday, April 04 at 3:12 pm

fred beemer:

Is it true that there will be an increase in the CPP and OAS for four months? Please clarify.

Friday, April 10 at 12:52 pm

Ms Oliver:

Is it possible that pensioners will receive extra funding to cover extra costs for medical, food, out-of-the-ordinary supplies and purchase of gear we wouldn’t usually need or wear, during this corona season. I feel there should be some extra funding provided to the seniors who also have no way to ‘produce’ extra income, through work, help from relatives and help from businesses.

Monday, April 13 at 2:41 am

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