5 Common Mistakes to Avoid as a Member of the Teamsters Canadian Pension Plan (TCPP)

Mistake 1: Assuming you will automatically be sent your retirement forms for age 65.

You won’t.

  • Retirement planning includes very individualized decisions. While the “normal” retirement age is age 65, members are eligible to retire as early as age 55, or members may postpone their retirement until a later date (age 69 or 71 at the latest, depending on your employer).
  • Be sure to let your Employer and Divisional Administrator know approximately three months before your intended retirement date so that they can send you the necessary paperwork to be completed and to ensure a seamless transition to receiving your pension payments.
  • If you choose not to contact the Divisional Administrator until after age 65, you will not be given the option to backdate retirement to age 65.
  • Please see the newsletter on Choosing your Retirement Age.

Mistake 2: Not notifying the Divisional Administrator of a change of address.

  • Keeping your contact information up to date is extremely important so that you may receive any annual benefit statements, termination packages, or other valuable TCPP communications.
  • You may also consider providing your Divisional Administrator with your phone number, personal email address, contact details for your beneficiary or an alternate contact person so that, if any mail is returned, the Divisional Administrator has other methods to try and locate you regarding your pension entitlement.

Mistake 3: Not notifying the Divisional Administrator of a change in your relationship status.

  • If you die prior to retirement, any death benefits under the TCPP will become payable to your spouse unless your spouse has waived their rights by filing the prescribed form with your Divisional Administrator.
  • A common law partner may be treated equally to a spouse under the TCPP.
  • If someone is no longer your spouse, you may wish to update your beneficiary designations.

Mistake 4: Asking your Divisional Administrator for retirement advice.

The Divisional Administrator can only explain the options available to you with regard to your pension. However, they do not know your complete financial, health or family situation, and they cannot provide you with any advice, so it is encouraged that you seek external advice from a financial and/or legal advisor when it comes to your pension benefit.

Mistake 5: Forgetting to submit a proof of age document along with retirement or termination forms.

  • You have gone through all your paperwork to either start collecting your pension or withdraw the value of your benefit from the TCPP. You have elected the option of your choice, signed, and dated, have had your signature witnessed and are ready to send your forms back to the Divisional Administrator. Don’t forget to provide a copy of a proof of age document (for you and your spouse, if applicable)!
  • The Divisional Administrator cannot process your entitlement without a proof of age document. So, to avoid any delays, be sure to include a copy of your birth certificate, valid driver’s license, or valid passport.
  • A copy of one of the above documents is preferable, but if unobtainable, a copy of any two documents displaying your date of birth may be considered, such as a Canadian citizenship card, Canadian permanent resident card, certificate of Indian status card, marriage certificate, baptismal certificate or military record.

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