Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Foreign Service Earnings pension Impacts update

The question regarding foreign service earnings impact on pensions came about when a number of people living in the US applied for their Canadian pensions in the last few months.

Because of the impending wind up situation, Canada Revenue some how or other was involved with the pension regulator in reviewing the applications which were subsequently put on hold until this foreign service earnings issue is resolved.

For as long as I have been in the USA (since 1985) the calculation of Canadian pensions by Nortel used the Canadian years of service that we transferees had, and the final average earnings calculated on the year the pension was requested. The FAE was determined in US dollars then converted to Canadian dollars, and used to calculate the amount of pension we are due.

In fact I have a number of Nortel reports sent to me over the years showing this calculation quite clearly. So why it is now an issue I don't understand since the pension has been registered in Ontario for decades and Nortel has submitted hundreds of reports to FSCO for approval over many years.

If this is not resolved to our benefit, we retirees in the USA stand to lose a huge chunk of our pensions, in addition to the cut we expect from Nortel's underfunding of the trust fund.

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