CUPE Local 3261, Full-time and Part-time: Pension

Your University of Toronto pension will form the basis of your retirement financial plan. A “defined benefit” plan guarantees a pre-determined amount that you will receive at retirement. It is calculated using a formula based on the number of years you participated in the plan and the highest average 36 months of salary you earned. The earlier you join the plan, the greater your pension benefit will be. Your pension contribution is deducted directly from your pay cheque.

Bridge Program

Per the CUPE 3261 (FT) Memorandum of Settlement (2014/07/01 – 2017/06/30) – Early Retirement Bridge Benefit, payable outside of the Pension Plan for retirements after January 31, 2015 up to and including December 31, 2016. Eligibility is dependent on meeting the following criteria:

  1. Your retirement date is between January 31, 2015 up to and including December 31, 2016
  2. You are eligible for an Unreduced Early Retirement Pension under the 60/80 provision of the Plan. This means your minimum Age is 60 plus employment service totalling 80 or more.

To request a bridge estimate effective a projected retirement date please contact the Pension Advisor at 416.978.6260.

Once you’ve provided a letter confirming your retirement date to your Unit head or manager, paperwork will automatically be mailed to your home address a couple weeks prior to your retirement date. Payment options will include a monthly payment on the 28th of each month from the 28th day following your retirement date up to and including the month prior to your 65th birthday OR a lump sum retiring allowance at the date of early retirement, tax sheltered to the extent possible under the provisions of the Income Tax Act.


Your participation in the Pension Plan is optional until you reach 35. You may join the plan on any quarterly enrolment date – January 1, April 1, July 1 and October 1. If you are hired after age 35, Pension Plan enrolment is mandatory after one year of continuous service.

You may apply for exemption from the Pension Plan with proof of participation in an equal or better retirement plan. Approval must be formally granted through an application to Human Resources (Pensions).

How Is My Pension Determined?

Your Pension Plan is integrated with the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) to which you and the University both contribute. It means that your retirement income benefits will be paid by a combination of Canada Pension Plan (CPP) benefits and University of Toronto Pension Plan benefits.

Each year, the Government of Canada announces the maximum Canada Pension Plan earnings, an amount known as the Yearly Maximum Pensionable Earnings (YMPE). Your contributions are regularly deducted from your salary/wages and are fully tax-deductable. Your contributions will be increasing based on the chart below and prorated to your percentage of full-time worked:

Employee Pension Contributions
Effective Date Up to Dec. 31, 2011 January 1, 2012 July 1, 2012 July 1, 2013
Below YMPE 5.00% 5.45% 6.05% 6.80%
Above YMPE 6.00% 6.60% 7.40% 8.40%

The formula for determining your pension is also based on two calculations. The amounts you earn up to the YMPE and amounts you earn over the YMPE. Under the plan, your normal retirement date (NRD) is June 30 coincident with or following your 65th birthday. Your annual pension benefit at your NRD is defined by a formula:

  • 1.6% of your highest average salary up to the average YMPE
  • 2% of your highest average salary above the average YMPE
  • your years and months of continuous service as a plan member.

Based on your age and years of service, you may be eligible to receive a reduced pension as early as June 30 coincident with or following your 55th birthday, or an unreduced pension from age 60. Upon retirement, or cessation of employment, there are several pension payment options available to you. These are described in more detail in your Pension Plan brochure.