Starting January 1, 2020, if you are receiving LTD benefits you will have to deal directly with MSP when it comes to keeping your account up to date or if you have any changes. Please see the attached MSP notice for details:
December 2nd edit: Due to high demand, we've added a third day: one-on-one consultations are now available for Thursday December 19 from 8 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Following the closure of the Tolko mill in Kelowna, pension specialists from the Plan Office of the IWA-Forest Industry Pension Plan will be in Kelowna on December 17, 18, and 19 to meet one-one-one with members. At each 30-minute one-on-one consultation, we'll discuss your service history and pension options following an involuntary job loss, and answer any questions you have about the plan.
Limited appointments are available, so reserve your spot early to avoid disappointment. You are welcome to bring a friend or family member with to your consultation, but please only reserve one spot per member. Please bring government issued ID to your appointment. Click here to reserve your spot.
The BC government recently announced a retirement bridging program to financially help forest industry workers in the BC interior affected by mill closures and curtailments.
Eligible workers can now apply for the government retirement bridging program through the government website, or in person at a Service BC office.
This bridging program IS NOT related in any way to the IWA–Forest Industry Pension Plan. If you have any questions about the bridging program, please visit this government website or your local Service BC office, or call 1.844.901.0970.
We are pleased to present the latest edition of our AfterWorkTM newsletter!
The Plan Office regularly contacts retired members to verify that pension benefits are paid to the correct individuals. We recently mailed pension benefit confirmations to select members. Thank you to everyone for completing and returning your forms. A few forms are outstanding. If we have not received your completed form by September 15th, 2019, please be advised that we will suspend your monthly pension starting October 1, 2019.
Don't hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.
In late spring, forest industry companies Tolko, Canfor, Conifex and West Fraser announced the curtailment and/or closure of five USW mills in BC. As a result, 450 active pension plan members lost their jobs in Quesnel, Kelowna, Vavenby, Chasm and 100 Mile House. Other non-USW mills have also announced closures and curtailments throughout the province.
While members have expressed concern about their future and the security of the pension plan, we would like to reassure all members that the pension plan remains stable. The pension plan is designed to accommodate “shocks” such as reduced contributory hours and market downturns.
Just like you, we do not know how many more members will be affected or how quickly the industry with recover, but we do test for it. Every year plan actuaries perform stress-tests on the plan to determine the health of the plan under a variety of factors. A decline in contributory hours has been anticipated and factored into the pension plan’s valuation. In one scenario, the plan remained fully funded on a going concern basis even when contributory hours decrease by two million hours (all else equal).
At its most recent valuation, the pension plan was fully funded (107.8%) on a going concern basis (which assumes the plan will continue indefinitely into the future) and 84.5% funded on a solvency basis (assumes the plan is wound-up immediately). Additionally, the current negotiated contribution rate is more than sufficient to meet the minimum funding requirements of the PBSA. We would need to see a combination of negative factors (mill closures plus negative investment returns plus a significant decrease to the discount rate) before we need to look at decreasing benefit levels.
The pension plan is a mature pension plan, with an aging demographic. This means it relies more on investment returns rather than contributions. Total plan assets are cresting—this is expected for a mature plan. The pension plan faced many mill closures in 2010, and we’ve been supporting members for many years since then.
We know this is a difficult time for many of our members. The trustees of the pension plan have a duty to act in the best interest of all plan members. The Plan Office has been traveling around the province to meet with affected members to discuss their options. If you have any questions about your pension, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1.800.913.0022.
We are pleased to present the pension plan annual report for the year ending December 31, 2018.
We're excited to announce the launch of EmployerConnect, an online portal for all participating plan employers of the IWA–Forest Industry Pension & LTD Plan Office. Employers can use EmployerConnect to securely and conveniently share their contribution reports and billing statements and communicate privately with the Plan Office. Employers, lookout for more details and log-in information in the mail in the coming weeks.
Questions? Email email@example.com.
FICOM recently approved a rule change to article 15.08(a) of the IWA–Forest Industry Pension Plan text. What changed? Qualifying deferred members can now choose to withdraw the lump-sum value of their pension out of the plan, provided they meet the following conditions:
Unsure whether this applies to you? Lookout for your annual statement, (to be mailed in early June 2019) or contact the pension department of the Plan Office.