Why do I have to wait 24 months to terminate my membership and transfer my money out of your Fund?
The 24-month period is in accordance with the Plan’s Rules and Regulations, along with Section 38 of the Ontario Pension Benefits Act. This rule applies to members who belong to Multi-Employer Pension Plans (MEPPs). Members of MEPPs often move from employer to employer and may have periods of time where they are unemployed in between different employers, or in some cases where seasonal work is involved. The 24-month provision was put in place to prevent members from becoming inactive in the plan due to these breaks in employment. This differs from the rules in place for a member who is part of a single-employer plan, where the member would become inactive almost immediately once they are no longer employed.
Section 38 of the Ontario Pension Benefits Act states:
“38(1) A person who is,
(a) a member of a multi-employer pension plan;
(b) a member of a pension plan who is employed by the employer on a less than full-time basis; or
(c) a member of a pension plan who has been laid off from employment by the employer,
is entitled to terminate his or her membership in the pension plan if no contributions are paid or are required to be paid to the pension fund by or on behalf of the member for twenty-four consecutive months or for such shorter period of time as is specified in the pension plan.”
Section 2.4 (a) of the Plan’s Rules & Regulations state:
(a) An Employee or former Employee, as Employee is defined in Sections 1.12(a) and (e), may elect to cease to be a Participant if no Contributions are remitted on his behalf for twenty-four consecutive months. If he makes such an election, he will cease to be a Participant on the later of:
(i) the end of the twenty-four consecutive month period in which no Contributions are remitted on his behalf; and
(ii) the date his election to cease to be a Participant is filed with and received by the Trustees.