Glossary—Royal Canadian Mounted Police Pension Plan

Here you will find a list of useful pension and benefits terminology.

Please select a letter from the alphabet to go to the terms beginning with that letter, or browse the full list of terms.

Topics starting with the letter A

Acting pay
Pay received by a member temporarily appointed to act in a position of higher authority. Not considered pensionable earnings under the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Pension Plan (See also Basic pay), but pensionable under the Canada Pension Plan (CPP)/Quebec Pension Plan (QPP).
Actuarial adjustment
Amount withdrawn from the plan in respect of a surplus or additional amount contributed by the government in respect of a deficit.
Actuarial asset value adjustment
Difference between investments valued at fair value and investments valued at market related values.
Actuarial assumptions
Assumptions used by actuaries to predict how certain factors will affect the cost of the plan. These include predictions on interest rates, rates of return on plan assets, retirement age, mortality rates, future salary levels and other factors.
Actuarial valuation
Assessment of the financial status of a pension plan. It consists of the valuation of assets held by the fund and the accrued pension benefits.
Actuarial value
Pension value based on a set of actuarial assumptions. The method and assumptions used to calculate the actuarial value of your pension credits (in current dollars) is specific to the terms of each Pension Transfer Agreement.
A person professionally trained in the technical and mathematical aspects of insurance, pensions, and related fields. The actuary estimates how much money must be contributed to a defined benefit (DB) pension plan each year in order to support the benefits that will become payable in the future.
Annual allowance
A reduced annuity for early retirement. Available to a member with more than two years of service in the force, who discharges before age 60 and is not entitled to an immediate annuity. Can become payable at age 50 for civilian members.
A member of the pension plan. Retired and in receipt of an annuity.
A fixed sum paid to a retired member each year, typically for the rest of their life and divided into equal monthly payments.
Application for a division of pension
Request for split of pension benefits after a marriage breakdown or the end of a common-law relationship. The application follows a court order or a written spousal agreement. (See also Pension credit splitting and Pension Benefits Division Act (PBDA).)
Average annual salary
Average of the best five consecutive years of pensionable earnings. Used to calculate pension benefits under the RCMP Pension Plan.
Average maximum pensionable earnings (AMPE)
Average amount of the yearly maximum pensionable earnings (YMPE) for the current year and four prior years. The AMPE is used to determine the amount by which a member's pension will be offset at age 65, or earlier if a member becomes disabled.

Topics starting with the letter B

Basic pay
Annual salary of a member's substantive rank.
Basic pension formula
Used to calculate the annual benefit. For member benefit: 2% × (Years of pensionable service) × (Highest average salary for 5 consecutive years); For survivor benefit: 1% × (Years of pensionable service) × (Highest average salary for 5 consecutive years).
Beneficiary designation
The naming of a person or organization to receive pension benefits following a member's death where no eligible survivor exists.
Payment to which a plan member, survivor or designated beneficiary is entitled.
Bridge Benefit
A retired member receiving an annuity will receive both a lifetime pension and a bridge benefit. A bridge benefit is temporary, payable until a member becomes entitled to CPP/ QPP benefits. (Either at age 65 or when entitled to receive CPP/ QPP Disability benefits.)

Topics starting with the letter C

Canada Pension Plan (CPP)
A mandatory earnings-related pension plan to provide workers or their families pension benefits upon retirement, disability or death. While Quebec operates the Quebec Pension Plan (QPP), which is similar to the CPP, all RCMP members contribute to the Canada Pension Plan, even if they live or work in Quebec.
Cash termination allowance
Lump-sum payment generally available on disability where no monthly benefit is payable.
Cessation Date
The cessation date is the date a member ceases to be a member of the force. It is the day following their discharge date, or where there is a death in service, the day following their date of death.
For the purposes of RCMP survivor benefits, an eligible child or dependent can be a natural child, an adopted child or a stepchild less than 18 years of age, or less than 25 years of age and enrolled full-time in a school or university without any substantial breaks in attendance since reaching age 18.
Civilian Member (CM)
Member of the RCMP and who does not hold a rank.
Commuted value
See Transfer value.
Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF)
The total of all public moneys that are on deposit at the credit of the Receiver General for Canada and from which most government expenditures are made.
Consumer Price Index (CPI)
Comparative index that measures monthly increases in the cost of certain consumer goods and services. It is used as an indicator of inflation.
Contribution deficiency
Contributions that were not paid and are now due to the pension plan.
Money that is paid into a pension plan to provide for future benefits. Typically there is both an employee and employer share.
A member of the pension plan. Required to contribute a percentage of pensionable earnings to fund future benefits.
Cost-of-Living Index
Increase in the average of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for Canada for the 12-month period ending September 30 over the average for the 12-month period ending September 30 for the preceding year.

Topics starting with the letter D

Death benefit
See Survivor benefit.
Default payment
When a plan member chooses to pay the cost of elective service by semi-monthly instalments, any instalment not paid by the due date is in default.
Deferred annuity
An unreduced annuity for which payment is deferred until a member's 60th birthday.
Defined benefit plan
A pension plan that guarantees the payment of a retirement pension based on a pre-set formula that takes into account the length of the employee's service and salary. The RCMPSA is a defined benefit plan.
See Child/dependent.
Designated Beneficiary
Person or organization a member designates to receive any pension benefits should there be no survivor upon death. If no survivor or designated beneficiary exists, benefits will be paid to the member's estate.
Any condition that renders a member incapable of performing their duties as a member of the force.
Discharge date
The discharge date is the date of the member's last paid day.

Topics starting with the letter E

All remuneration (salary and allowances) paid to a member in a calendar year. For pension purposes: substantive salary and pensionable allowances only.
See Service buyback.
Elective service
Elective service is a period of service, as a member of the force or other employment, that occurred before the member most recently became a contributor under the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Pension Plan. The member may choose to count these periods of prior service as pensionable service by making a valid election to count the service as pensionable service.
Eligibility requirements
Conditions that must be met in order to be entitled to join a plan or to be entitled to a benefit under a plan. (for example, Age, employment classification, scheduled hours of work, length of service, etc.)
Eligible child/dependent
See Child/dependent.
Engagement date
A member's first day of work with the RCMP and generally the day they start contributing to the RCMP pension plan. (See also Pension service start date.)

Topics starting with the letter F

Topics starting with the letter G

Government of Canada Pension Centre
Client service centre that provides information and assistance to CRF pension plan members.

Topics starting with the letter H

Topics starting with the letter I

Immediate annuity
An unreduced annuity, calculated using the basic pension formula, payable to a member on discharge. Regular Members (RM) become entitled at age 60 with at least two years of service in the force or before age 60 with 25 years of service in the force. Civilian Members (CM) become entitled at age 60 with at least two years of service in the force or at age 55 with 30 years of service in the force. In the case of disability, a member with at least two years of pensionable service can receive an immediate annuity at any age.
A percentage increase that is applied to a member's pension if the cost of living goes up as per the Cost-of-Living Index.

Topics starting with the letter J

Topics starting with the letter K

Topics starting with the letter L

Leave without pay (LWOP)
Periods during which a member was absent from work and did not receive pay.
Restrictions on withdrawing funds from a pension plan. The primary objective of locking-in funds is to ensure the pensioner has a lifetime pension. Locked-in benefits cannot be withdrawn as cash.
Locked-in retirement account (LIRA)
Account that holds accrued pension benefits from a former employer, transferred into the account when the employee left that employer. In some jurisdictions, a LIRA is called a Locked-in RRSP.
Locked-in RRSP
Registered retirement plan managed by a financial institution. The funds deposited in such a fund cannot be withdrawn and must be used solely to provide for an annuity.
Loss of basic requirements (LBR)
Mandatory period of leave taken by a member when they no longer meet the basic requirements of a police officer role.
LWOP deficiency
Contributions required in respect of LWOP periods.

Topics starting with the letter M

Mandatory retirement age
There is no mandatory retirement age for either regular or civilian members.
Maximum contributory service
There is a 35 year maximum of combined service with all employers for which a member could become entitled to a pension payable from the Consolidated Revenue Fund - for example, the RCMP, Federal Public Service, and the Canadian Forces.
Minimum Benefit
If the total pension payments to the member and/or to the member's surviving spouse or children does not equal five times the amount of the plan member's annual pension, the difference becomes payable to the member's designated beneficiary or estate as a lump sum.

Topics starting with the letter N

National Compensation Services
The group within the RCMP responsible for development and delivery of compensation programs to members of the RCMP.
Notice of assessment
Document sent by the Canada Revenue Agency after it has processed an income tax return. It states a member's Pension Adjustment (PA) and maximum RRSP contribution room.

Topics starting with the letter O

Optional Survivor Benefit (OSB)
Benefit available to members who became legally married after age 60 and chose to receive a reduction in their pension payments in order to provide benefits to their surviving spouse upon their death.

Topics starting with the letter P

Past Service
For tax purposes, pensionable service performed by a member prior to the current fiscal year.
Past Service Pension Adjustment (PSPA)
Assigned value of the pension accumulated for elective service being purchased if this service occurred after December 31, 1989. The PSPA is declared to the CRA and will reduce a member's personal RRSP contribution room.
Pension Adjustment (PA)
The assigned value of the pension accumulated in a given year used to calculate the maximum RRSP contribution room.
Pension Adjustment Reversal (PAR)
Upon termination, if the value of the pension transferred to the member is less than the sum of the Pension Adjustments (PAs) previously declared, a PAR will be made for the difference to restore a member's RRSP contribution room.
Pension Benefits Division Act (PBDA)
Legislation that governs pension splitting when a marriage or a common-law relationship ends. Applicable to pension's payable from the Consolidated Revenue Fund - for example, the RCMPSA, PSSA, and the CFSA.
Pension Benefits Standards Act (PBSA)
An act of Parliament respecting the pension plans organized and administered for the benefits of persons employed in connection with certain federal undertakings and businesses.
Pension credit splitting
Pension plan or legislative provision stating that upon divorce, separation, annulment of marriage or end of the conjugal relationship, the spouse is entitled to obtain a portion of the pension benefits vested in the other spouse's plan during the period of the marriage or conjugal relationship. (See also Pension Benefits Division Act .)
Pension fund
Fund set up to receive pension plan contributions from members and the employer, which are then invested and used to pay the pension benefits provided by the plan. (See also RCMP Pension Fund and RCMP Superannuation Account.)
Pension plan
An arrangement whereby an employer provides benefits to employees after they retire for services provided while they were working.
Pension portability
The amended Royal Canadian Mounted Police Superannuation Regulations (RCMPSR) which came into force effective September 1, 2012 introduced expanded service buyback provisions known as pension portability. Pension portability means members will have additional opportunities to purchase eligible prior service for pension purposes.
Pension service start date (PSSD)
The date a member becomes eligible to contribute to the RCMP Pension Plan. (See also Engagement date.)
Pension transfer agreement (PTA)
A PTA is an agreement between the RCMP and an eligible employer that allows a pension plan member to increase pensionable service by transferring the actuarial value of benefits earned under a former pension plan directly into or out of the RCMP Pension Plan. In order to enter into a PTA with an outside employer, that employer's pension plan must meet the minimum requirements set out by the terms of a PTA. A member can benefit from a PTA only if the funds are still in the outside employer's pension plan.
Pensionable allowance
Money paid in respect of a service that is included in the pensionable earnings used to calculate a pension benefit.
Pensionable earnings
Earnings used to calculate a retirement pension. It includes basic pay plus any pensionable allowances.
Pensionable employment
Pensionable Employment (PE) is service with an external employer during which time the member contributed to a recognized pension plan registered under the Income Tax Act.
Pensionable service
Used to calculate the amount of a pension benefit. The total period between the pension service start date and the discharge date – plus any periods of prior service bought back or transferred in and less any non-pensionable periods of LWOP – up to the 35-year contributory service maximum. (See also Service in the force.)
Police Officer
Any Canadian citizen, who has graduated from a recognized Canadian police training institution, has acquired Canadian police experience and who has preserved and maintained public safety.
Public Plan
Government plan that provides benefits to the general population, such as the Canada Pension Plan (CPP), Quebec Pension Plan (QPP) and Old Age Security (OAS).
Public Sector Pension Investment Board (PSPIB)
Also known as PSP Investments, a crown corporation established to invest funds for the pension plans of the RCMP, the Public Service, the Canadian Forces, and the Reserve Force.

Topics starting with the letter Q

Quebec Pension Plan
A mandatory earnings-related pension plan similar to the Canada Pension Plan (CPP). However, all RCMP members contribute to the CPP, even if they live or work in Quebec.

Topics starting with the letter R

RCMP Pension Fund (RCMPPF)
An account established by the RCMP to receive pension plan contributions from plan members and the government and to pay the pension benefits in respect of service provided as of April 1, 2000. Used to transfer funds to and from the PSPIB.
RCMP Superannuation Account
An account that was established by the RCMP to receive pension plan contributions from plan members and the government for service performed prior to April 1, 2000. It is still used to pay pension benefits in respect of service provided prior to April 1, 2000.
Royal Canadian Mounted Police Superannuation Act (RCMPSA)
Legislation in effect since April 1, 1960 that provides members of the RCMP with a lifetime retirement pension based on their earnings and service.
Royal Canadian Mounted Police Superannuation Regulations (RCMPSR)
Regulations enacted to govern the application of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Superannuation Act legislation.
Registered pension plan (RPP)
A pension plan, with tax-exempt status, registered under the Income Tax Act of Canada and applicable pension legislation, usually established by an employer for employees, and providing retirement income upon termination or retirement.
Registered retirement income fund (RRIF)
A registered investment that provides a pensioner with a regular income from savings or investments formerly held in an RRSP. The capital is taxed only in the year in which it is received as income. The investment income accumulates tax-free until funds are withdrawn as income.
Registered retirement savings plan (RRSP)
A registered plan that allows the holder to accumulate savings for retirement and to postpone payment of income taxes on the amounts deposited until it is withdrawn as income.
Regular Member (RM)
Person appointed to a rank in the RCMP by the Commissioner.
Voluntary termination of employment initiated by the member.
Discharge from the RCMP under which a member is entitled to an annual allowance or an immediate annuity.
Retirement Compensation Arrangement (RCA)
Because the Income Tax Act (ITA) limits the benefits that can be paid from a registered pension plan, any benefits that exceed those limitations must be financed through a separate retirement compensation arrangement (RCA) account rather than through the pension fund.
Return of contributions (ROC)
Refund of a member's contributions to the RCMP pension, plus any earned interest.

Topics starting with the letter S

Service buyback
A legal agreement to buy back one or more periods of previous service with the RCMP or any another eligible employer in order to have it count as pensionable service under the RCMP Pension Plan.
Service in the force (SIF)
Used to determine a member's eligibility for a pension benefit (as opposed to pensionable service, which is used to calculate the amount of a benefit.) The total period of service in the force (SIF) may be more or less than a member's pensionable service. In general, SIF is recognized for police-related service and can be performed with either the RCMP or other eligible external employers. (See also pensionable service.)

Service in the force is the period of service from your engagement date to the date of discharge from the RCMP, plus:

  • Any service as a special constable of the force before April 1, 1960
  • Any service as a member of a provincial or municipal police force that was subsequently absorbed by the RCMP prior to June 18, 2009
  • Any service in the force which was still to your credit under the plan upon re-engagement
  • Any RCMP service for which you have made a service buyback or if re-engagement occurred prior to June 18, 2009, any prior RCMP service which is no longer to your credit under the plan
  • Any previous police officer service (see requirements below) for which you have made a service buyback:
    • Requirements:
      • graduated from a recognized Canadian police training institution
      • empowered by Provincial or Federal Legislation to enforce the Criminal Code
      • conducted investigations
      • testified in Court
      • obtained judicial authorizations
Spouse / Common-Law Partner
A person who is married to a plan member or who is a common-law partner – including a same-sex partner – with whom the plan member has cohabitated in a conjugal relationship of not less than one year.
Substantive rank
A member's current position. Used in reference to acting appointments where a member is temporarily appointed to a rank or classification of higher authority.
Surrender of pension
The action to forego future pension benefits of a Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF) pension plan by electing to buy such service and having it count as pensionable under another CRF pension plan.
Surrender Protection
Applies to two or more years of pensionable service under the Canadian Forces Superannuation Act (CFSA), Public Service Superannuation Act (PSSA), or Members of Parliament Retirement Allowances Act (MPRAA) that you transferred to the RCMPSA on engagement on or after June 18, 2009. If you subsequently discharge before earning sufficient service in the force credit to be otherwise entitled to anything other than a ROC or CTA, your surrender protected service entitles you to at least a deferred annuity for the combined years of pensionable service.

Example: A new Member age 45 engages with the RCMP in August 2010, surrenders 15 years of PSSA service, and then discharges from the RCMP after 18 months. He/she would be entitled to a deferred annuity of 16.5 years.

Note that transferred service of less than two years, or purchased service such as the buyback of a ROC or TV from the PSSA, is not surrender protected. Any locked-in funds that were transferred into the RCMP Pension Plan as payment for prior service as part of a pension transfer agreement (PTA) or as pensionable employment (PE) will be paid out to a locked-in vehicle.

Any eligible spouse, child or dependent entitled to receive a survivor benefit.
Survivor benefit
Upon the death of the plan member, a lifetime pension or lump sum payable from the pension plan to the survivor(s), the designated beneficiary and/or the member's estate.
Survivor Income Plan (SIP)
Program that provides a special benefit for survivors of active members who die in the performance of their duty.
Suspension without pay (SWOP)
A period during and for which no contributions can be made. Periods of suspension without pay are considered non-pensionable and cannot be purchased for pension purposes.

Topics starting with the letter T

Transfer value
A transfer value is a lump sum payment representing the estimated actuarial present value of a plan member's deferred annuity which would be payable at age 60. A transfer value is based on demographic and economic assumptions. (Also known as a "commuted value".)
Transfer value reinstatement
A special service buyback to reinstate pensionable service for which a member has previously received a transfer value benefit under the RCMP Pension Plan.

Topics starting with the letter U

Unreduced annuity
Annuity payable at retirement calculated under the basic pension formula and without any penalty related to early retirement. Can be immediate or deferred, payable when a member meets age and/or service in the force requirements.

Topics starting with the letter V

A member's right to a benefit under the RCMP Pension Plan. A vested member may be entitled to an annuity or a transfer value (previously called "commuted value") if they meet age and/or service in the force requirements.
Void election
Election of past service that has been cancelled. Typical reasons include lack of RRSP contribution room or failure to pass a required medical examination.

Topics starting with the letter W

Waiver of benefit
A surviving spouse may waive their entitlement to a survivor benefit in favour of an eligible child, or, if there is no eligible child, in favour of the designated beneficiary.

Topics starting with the letter Y

Yearly maximum pensionable earnings (YMPE)
The amount on which the government bases employee contributions to and benefits from the CPP/ QPP. Set annually based on changes in average Canadian industrial wages.
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