Members of the Youth Services Bureau of Ottawa pension plan have voted in favour of joining the Colleges of Applied Arts and Technology pension plan as of Jan. 1, 2018.

With the merger, which was first announced in September 2017, the non-profit organization’s 300 active, retired and deferred plan members will receive a pension based on the CAAT plan’s provisions for service accrued after Dec. 31, 2017. 

The vast majority (99.6 per cent) of active Youth Services Bureau plan members voted for the merger during the 90-day, provincially regulated consent process. No retired or deferred members objected to the merger.

Read: Youth Services Bureau looks to merge with CAAT to mitigate solvency deficit

“We’re proud to welcome the Youth Services Bureau of Ottawa as our newest employer and I’m delighted that members of the YSB pension plan overwhelmingly approved the merger,” said Derek Dobson, chief executive officer and plan manager at the CAAT pension plan. “It is a strong vote of confidence in the CAAT plan as a modern, well-funded, sustainable pension plan.”

In September, the plan began considering the merger to ease the expense of its pension plan on its overall operating budget, Benefits Canada reported. YSB made several attempts to mitigate the situation, including increasing member contributions, raising the retirement age from 60 to 65, taking advantage of relief measures offered by the provincial regulator and moving to a career-average framework from a final-salary approach when calculating pension benefits.

Read: 2017 Top 100 Pension Funds Report: The evolution of DB

“We settled in on CAAT because their philosophy fit very closely with how we manage our plan or at least try to,” Wes Richardson, finance director at the Youth Services Bureau, told Benefits Canada in September“The other big one for our membership is that CAAT was willing to take over and administer our plan with no loss of past service for our members . . . whereas, all the other ones wanted us to buy in . . . as if we were in their plan. For anybody with service, we estimated we would lose about 40 per cent of our service. You can’t sell that to the membership.”

The next step in the process is applying to the Financial Services Commission of Ontario for consent of the transfer of the Youth Services Bureau’s pensions assets to the CAAT plan.

The Ottawa organization is the second sponsor of a single-employer, defined benefit plan to join CAAT. The first was the Royal Ontario Museum, which joined in 2016.

Read: Strong equity markets help to boost DB solvency rates in 2017

Copyright © 2018 Transcontinental Media G.P. Originally published on benefitscanada.com

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