Pension Committee Update – October 2022

Thinking of taking a leave?
Remember to think about the impact on your retirement, too!

In the summer of 2021, over 420 members participated in the Early Retirement Incentive Program (ERIP).

There could have been a few more members possibly participating in the ERIP program. Unfortunately, there are some that did not buyback their pension following their leaves; this attributed to lacking the required numbers in order to be able to retire early.

This bulletin is to remind members that if you take a leave, at any point in your 35 years of serviceable time, (members stop contributing into their pension plan after 35 years), you should take the time to seriously consider buying back your pension.

After a leave of absence, or after participating in a reduced block program, please call 1-855-538-7799 to speak to an Alight representative, whether you are on a Defined Benefit or Hybrid pension plan.

Note: Members interested in buying back service, must do so within 90 days from return to duty.

This applies for Mainline and Rouge members.

Safe travels.


Your Component Pension Committee:

Marc Roumy (Chairperson)
Henly Larden (Member)
Caroline Lozeau Gelinas (Member)
Alex Habib (Rouge Member)

Did you know?
The number of members who retired within June, July, and August of 2021 by participating in the ERIP program (429 retired), was almost the equivalent of the number of members who retired in the previous two years.

Retirement Update:
For this year, between January and October, 51 members have retired.  Click HERE to look at the breakdown between bases.  Best wishes to all retired members.

Pension Contributions

The Pension Committee wants to welcome all new members from Mainline and Rouge.  Now, let us talk about your retirement!

In an effort to welcome all new members to Air Canada, this bulletin applies to all members both at Air Canada and Rouge, who have been hired after November 7, 2011.

It is never too early to plan for your retirement. In fact, the sooner you prepare for your retirement, the greater opportunity you have to take advantage of an investment’s best friend, which is: time.  The more time you have, the better it is for your money to grow.

Members hired after November 7, 2011, are on a Hybrid Pension plan.

A Hybrid pension plan consists of two equal components: Defined Benefit (DB) and Defined Contribution (DC).

You can increase your contributions in the DC component of your Hybrid Pension plan.  (Members cannot increase their contribution amounts for their Defined Benefit (DB) pension.)

The default setting is at 1.5%, but depending on one’s years of service, members can increase their contribution amount for the DC component of their Hybrid Pension plan.

The Company matches the amounts members contribute into the DC component of their Hybrid Pension plan. Therefore, the more you contribute to your DC plan, the more money you get from the Company.

As an example: a member that has 2 years or less of continuous service, who contributes $100 to their DC pension, will receive a $100 from the employer.  Therefore, the member will have $200 in their DC pension account.

Company matching amounts for DC contributions:

To maximize your DC contribution amounts, follow these steps:

For Mainline Employees: HR Connex > Retirement > My DC Pension > Manulife > My Account > My Contributions > View/Change My Payroll Deduction Amount.


For Rouge Employees: Login to Manulife > My Account > My Contributions > View/Change My Payroll Deduction Amount

Regards and in solidarity,

Your Component Pension Committee:

Marc Roumy (Chairperson)
Henly Larden (Member)
Caroline Lozeau Gelinas (Member)
Alex Habib (Rouge Member)

Did you know?
Only 27% of members on a Hybrid Pension plan are contributing to the maximum amount. Therefore, 73% of members are not contributing to the maximum and are missing out from receiving extra money from the company.

Pension Committee Update – March 2022

First, we hope this bulletin finds you all healthy and well.  We also would like to welcome back all of our colleagues who were laid off and wish you all the best for 2022.

Second, we want to take the time to thank Hugh Chetwynd and Karim Sheir for their years of service to the membership on the pension committee.  We wish them the best in their future endeavors.

As members of the Pension Committee, we are here to help you better understand the what, the why, and the how of your pension plan. Below are the quick answers to most common questions we get from the membership. We hope this helps you get started.

Your pension benefit is extremely significant and is the second largest benefit after your pay.

CUPE members are participants in one of 2 types of plans. Members hired prior to November 7, 2011 are participants in the Defined Benefit (DB) Pension Plan and members hired at Mainline and Rouge on or after November 7, 2011, are participants in a Hybrid Pension Plan which has 2 parts: a DB portion and a Defined Contribution (DC) portion.

If you would like more information about your pension and how it fits in with your financial planning, please find the “Pensions 201” bulletin on the Air Canada Component of CUPE website:

If you are a DB member requesting information about your pension amounts, please make sure you have a current estimate from the online calculator.

For DB plan members:

  • Log in to select HR Connex
  • Under Retirement select HR Connex Pension
    • Select the tile: Project Your Retirement Income

For Hybrid DC plan members:

  • Log in to select HR Connex
  • Under Retirement select
    • HR Connex Pension (DB Portion)
    • My DC Pension (DC Portion)

If your pension questions are not addressed satisfactorily, please call the Employee Care Team at 1-833-847-EMPL (3675).

  • Option 4: Pensions
    • Option 1: DB plan (Alight)
    • Option 2: DC Plan (Manulife)

DB members including Hybrid mainline and Rouge members can also schedule a call with an Alight pensions agent for personalized service following the above path.  Members on a Hybrid pension plan can buyback/payback for their DB/DC pension by just speaking to a representative at Alight.

Click HERE to view slides to help you maneuver on the HR Connex website.

PLEASE NOTE: Members of the Rouge plan do not have access to HR Connex Pension.  Information on your plan can be accessed by contacting Alight directly.

Your Pension Committee wishes you all safe flying. Please reach out if you have questions at

Best wishes for 2022,

Your Component Pension Committee

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Did you know?

The Air Canada Pension plan is worth around $24 Billion.
On the Toronto Stock Exchange, Air Canada is valued at just around $8.4 Billion. (Based at a share price of $23.54 on March 21st, 2022.)

The Air Canada pension plan is 3 times bigger in value than Air Canada itself.

Update on Pension Buybacks

The Pension Committee has received a lot of enquiries regarding Pension Buyback and how a layoff affects the timeline to initiate a buyback. Generally, all members who are laid-off and wish to initiate a buyback fall into one of these two categories:

  • If you were on a Leave eligible for a buyback and then placed directly on layoff, you will have 90 days upon your recall to buyback that leave. This only applies to you if you were laid-off directly from that leave and were never returned to the payroll in-between the leave and the layoff.
  • The other situation is those that took a Leave eligible for a buyback and were subsequently returned to work. You will have 90 days from the end of that leave to initiate the buyback even if you have now been laid-off, as you were returned to payroll for even just a few days. If you select payroll deductions as your buyback option, the deductions will begin upon your recall.

Mainline Defined Benefit Plan Members must contact HR Connex Pension at 1-833-847-3675, Option 2 to initiate their buyback.

In Solidarity,

Your Component Pension Committee