days until our Collective Agreement expires, we are preparing, we are united and we will make change.

Early Retirement Incentive Program

Your Union is happy to advise that through the Joint Planning Committee process, the Union and Air Canada/Air Canada Rouge have agreed to an Early Retirement Incentive Program. This program consists of pension improvements payable from the Air Canada Pension Plan as well as enhanced travel privileges to those eligible and granted an early retirement through this program. It is being offered to CUPE members as well as members of CALDA, IAM, and Unifor.

You are eligible for this program if you are under age 65 and participate in the Defined Benefit (DB) component of the pension plan and have more 20 years of qualifying service.

The Pension improvements payable from the plan are as follows:

  • Temporary Pension: Employees eligible to an unreduced pension as of August 1, 2021 are entitled to receive an additional temporary pension payment up to age 65. The temporary annual pension is equal to $400 for each year of allowable service accumulated in the Plan and will be payable in monthly installments until the first month you reach age 65.
  • Unreduced pension from 55/85: Employees not eligible to an unreduced pension because they have not yet attained age 55 and a total of 85 points (sum of age and qualifying service), will be eligible to an unreduced pension from the date they would have attained the age of 55 and a total of 85 points (without accumulation of service) instead of an unreduced pension payable from age 65.

To be eligible for either of these temporary improvements you must elect to retire on June 1, July 1, or August 1, 2021.

For full details on the Early Retirement Incentive Program including program eligibility, please check your Air Canada e-mail or CLICK HERE.

An in-depth FAQ including examples is also available on HR Connex under the COVID-19 Mitigation Banner or by CLICKING HERE.

Assuming you retire or terminate your employment from Air Canada under the early retirement program, your estimated pension benefits will be calculated for you to review. They will be posted in an eTool found on HR Connex by May 3, 2021 at the latest. You will also see your pension benefits under the current plan rules. This will allow you to compare between this temporary program and the current plan rules. Information on how to access the eTool will be provided as soon as it is available.

How to Apply
If you are interested in participating, you will need to apply through the eTool which will be posted on HR Connex on May 3, 2021 at the latest. You must submit your online application before the end of the day on May 14, 2021.

Shortly after May 14, 2021, an email will be sent to you to confirm if your application for the Program has been approved and you will be advised of next steps.

Once you have applied to this Program, your decision is final and irrevocable, unless the Company denies your application.

We would encourage all members to read all the available information provided before seeking further clarification. The Union is available for general guidance or clarification; however, we do not have access to your specific pension metrics and eligibility to provide individualised advice. For that information you should reach out to Air Canada. For any pension related questions, you may contact HR Connex Pension (Alight). For any non-pension related questions, you may contact the Air Canada Employee Care Team (ECT). They can both be reached at 1-833-847-3675.

We know that this phase of your career can be one in which decisions must be made.  They do not have to be difficult ones. We strongly encourage eligible members to review the program in detail before deciding. Imagining your new life post retirement can be an exciting time.  We believe that if you are going to take a good look at this offering that you do so armed with the knowledge and information that you require.   An opportunity like this may not come around again for some time but if you are going to ride off into that beautiful sunset, we recommend that you talk to family, friends and financial advisors to ensure that it is right for you.  EAP is also available as needed with services to assist you with these types of decisions.

On behalf of your entire executive, we thank you for your patience in this process.  Please reach out anytime.

In solidarity,


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