Pension Committee

Your pension committee advocates, educates and communicates on pension matters important to you.

Your pension plan is one of the most valuable assets you will acquire during your working career. For most members the Company pension will form the most significant portion of their retirement income. It is important that we work to protect, preserve and enhance this asset.

The pension funding crisis at Air Canada in 2009 brought pension issues into the spotlight and most members are now much more aware of the pension arrangement than they were.

There are two common types of pension plans, defined benefit and defined contribution. At Air Canada we have defined benefit pension plans. The benefit you receive when you retire is based on a formula that is negotiated between the Union and the Company. Your years of allowable pension service (up to a maximum of 35 years / 420 months) and your average annual compensation (as determined by your best consecutive 36 months of earnings) are the factors used in the formula that you control.

Our pension plans are governed by Federal rules and regulation. OSFI (Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions) is the federal agency that overseas federally regulated pensions. Our pension plans are subject to the rules and regulations established through OSFI and also by certain federal taxation laws.

At Air Canada there are two pension plans for CUPE members. Those originally with Air Canada are in the AC CUPE Plan which is part of the AC Main pension plan. Those formerly employed at CAIL are in the CAIL CUPE Plan. The benefit provisions for service from June 1, 2000 forward are the same for the AC CUPE and CAIL CUPE plans. For service prior to June 1, 2000 the CAIL CUPE Plan provisions are less than the AC CUPE Plan. There are different wind-up provisions applicable to each plan. The wind-up provision applicable to your plan is detailed in the financial section of your pension statement.

Each plan requires a pension communication committee composed of CUPE members and AC Company representatives. The AC Plan provisions call for one member representative from each Union that is part of the AC Main Pension Plan. This committee meets at least 3 times a year. Michel Cournoyer is your representative on this committee. The CAIL Plan calls for 3 member representatives who meet with 3 Company representatives twice a year. Ross Nichol, Nick Beveridge and Ralf Hartmann are your representatives on this committee. The CUPE representatives on these two committees are combined to form the AC Component Pension Committee.

If you have personal pension issues contact the Pension Plan Call center at 1-877-645-5000. Representatives from Air Canada’s actuarial firm Mercer (Canada) Ltd., will handle inquiries to the Call Center. These representatives have access to your personal pension files and the information that should enable them to address most of your pension related questions. If there are matters that you are not satisfied with or which they cannot assist you with contact one of your AC Component Pension Committee members.

Committee members

You can reach out to these representatives on any pension related matters. We encourage you to initially contact HR Connex Pensions with any specific questions regarding your pension as they have access to your file and should be able to address most issues.