Westcoast Actuaries Recent Updates
We are pleased to present our 2021 Summary of Government Benefits – a convenient consolidated reference guide of government benefit programs, income tax retirement savings, and pension limits.
With the growing global concerns and overwhelming news of COVID-19, Westcoast Actuaries is committed to being both responsive and responsible to our clients, employees, and community.
We have introduced some precautionary measures to ensure the safety of our employees and workplace environment. The health and well-being of our team is our upmost priority. We have shifted all our office employees to flexible working arrangements, and we will continue to follow the guidance from the Canadian public health authorities at this critical time.
We want to assure our clients and partners that our daily business activities have not been impacted, and we are prepared to continue providing high quality consulting to meet your needs.
We hope that everyone stays safe and stays healthy.
We are pleased to present our 2020 Summary of Government Benefits – a convenient consolidated reference guide of government benefit programs, income tax retirement savings, and pension limits.
We are thrilled that Stephen Cheng, Managing Director & Senior Consulting Actuary of Westcoast Actuaries, has been recognized with a Gold Award for his volunteer efforts with the Canadian Institute of Actuaries (CIA). Stephen has been actively involved with the CIA as a volunteer since 2000, participating in many task forces, committees and councils. We would like to thank the CIA for their recognition of Stephen and many other dedicated volunteers, whose contributions are essential to support the development of the actuarial profession.
Federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau tabled the 2019 federal budget on March 19, 2019. Our consultants are pleased to provide a commentary summarizing the key changes in the new budget that affect retirement savings and pension. Please click here to find the full commentary.
We are pleased to present our 2019 Summary of Government Benefits – a convenient consolidated reference guide of government benefit programs, income tax retirement savings, and pension limits.
Westcoast Actuaries is excited to announce Kevin MacKenzie has joined our Investment Consulting team! Kevin will work with our practice lead, Andrea, in developing and supporting our clients’ investment strategies.
Kevin first started working with Andrea in 2014 at their prior company, a national consulting firm, where he worked in a performance measurement, analytical, and consulting capacity. He brings over six years of experience in the investment industry, helping institutional clients on a variety of responsibilities, including developing and implementing well-diversified portfolios based on asset mix and overall investment manager fit, as well as monitoring the overall portfolio. Kevin has worked with a diverse client base, including pension plans, endowments, foundations, family offices, and trusts.
Kevin is a graduate from the University of Victoria with a Bachelor of Science in Economics (distinction) and holds the Chartered Financial Analyst® (CFA) designation.
We are delighted he brings continuity to our growing team and pleased to have his expertise on board.
The Registered Plans Directorate of the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) announced the 2019 limits on November 1, 2018. They are as follows: • Money purchase (MP) limit is $27,230; • Defined benefit (DB) limit is $3,025.56; • 2020 registered retirement savings plan (RRSP) dollar limit is $27,230; • Deferred profit sharing plan (DPSP) limit is $13,615; and the • Year’s maximum pensionable earnings (YMPE) is $57,400. Please go here for more information and updates from CRA.
September 28, 2018
Over $185,000 was raised for educational programs for individuals with Down syndrome at last night’s 25th Anniversary Up the Down Market Dinner. We are proud to announce that our incredible team members placed first again in the simulated stock market game for a third victory in four years! All of the photos from the historic evening can be found on the Foundation’s Facebook page.
The Financial and Consumer Affairs Authority (FCAA) has released amendments to The Pension Benefits Regulation, 1993. To summarize their amendments effective January 1, 2019, the FCAA will now be implementing fees for the filings of Amendments and Actuarial Valuation Reports in the amount of $300. In addition, the Annual Information Returns will also see a filing fee increase to $300. The FCAA has stated that these fees are intended to ensure that fees paid are sufficient to cover the costs incurred to process these filings. Please visit the FCAA website for more details on these amendments.
The Financial Institutions Commission (FICOM) of British Columbia is implementing changes to its Pensions Electronic Filing Systems. Users will now have the capability to attach specific filing-based documents, eliminating the need for these documents to be submitted through mail or email. For further information, click here.
A Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta decision issued April 13, 2018 gives common-law pension partners the same rights to split pension benefits as apply to legally married pension partners on marriage breakdown. The common-law pension partner must meet the criteria for being a pension partner as defined in section 1(3)(b) of the Employment Pension Plans Act (EPPA). For further information, click here.
The Financial and Consumer Affairs Authority of Saskatchewan (FCAA) has recently launched their online Registration and Licensing System (RLS). The RLS is a secure electronic environment designed to make filings and submissions to the FCAA more efficient. Plan Administrators will now have access to file amendments and annual filings, and remit payment via the RLS. Please visit the FCAA website for more details on the RLS.
The Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) Canada will be hosting their 20th national conference at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre May 28-29, 2018. This conference features distinguished guest speakers addressing current trends and developments in tax, estate planning and wealth management.
Of particular interest to pension and wealth management professionals would be Session 9 on Individual Pension Plans (IPPs) with panelists Lea Koiv, Peter Merrick, and Trevor Parry (with Robin MacKnight as moderator) from 3:45pm – 5:00pm on Monday, May 28th, in Room 714.
Additional information on the conference including the program schedule, fees, and registration can be found here.
An Individual Pension Plan (IPP) is an excellent retirement savings vehicle for shareholder employees and senior executives. It delivers significantly more retirement savings contributions than a regular RRSP for individuals who are close to retirement. It would also provide very attractive succession and estate planning opportunities for family owned businesses. With the proposed tax changes for Canadian private corporations, IPPs’ ability to maximize tax efficiency via increased tax deductible pension contributions should be thoroughly considered.
Stephen Cheng, managing director and senior consulting actuary at Westcoast Actuaries Inc., previously contributed one chapter (Chapter 21 – Actuarial Calculations for Individual Pension Plans) to a book titled The Trusted Advisor’s Survival Kit published by LexisNexis in September 2009 that was authored by Mr. Peter Merrick, one of the panelists for this IPP session, at the upcoming STEP Canada national conference.
Westcoast Actuaries Inc. is pleased to have collaborated with Galinski Pension and Benefits Law again in teaching the advanced course on Family Mediation – Dealing with Difficult Issues in Family Mediation, hosted by the Continuing Legal Education Society of BC (CLEBC). Last week, our Managing Director and Senior Consulting Actuary, Stephen Cheng, partnered up with Colin Galinski, Lawyer and Owner of Galinski Pension Benefits Law, to share their expertise on the actuarial, legal, and practical considerations required for pension divisions and valuations. We want to thank CLEBC for the opportunity to be a part of their great program once again. More information on our Actuarial Evidence services can be found here.
We are pleased to present our 2018 Summary of Government Benefits – a convenient consolidated reference guide of government benefit programs, income tax retirement savings, and pension limits.
We are pleased to announce that Jean-Michel Côté has joined our Actuarial Evidence team as one of our Actuarial Analysts. Jean-Michel brings five years of pension and actuarial valuation experience to our team. He began his actuarial career with an internship at Premium Consulting in Paris, France. Thereafter, he serviced both private and public sector clients through his actuarial work with the province of Québec’s public sector pension plans. Originally from Quebec City, Jean-Michel holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Actuarial Science from Université Laval and currently holds his Associateship from the Society of Actuaries. Our growing team at Westcoast Actuaries Inc. extend our warmest welcome to Jean-Michel. We are excited to continue supporting the legal community, financial advisors, and individuals in Canada with their actuarial evidence needs.
The following information is now available: The Registered Plans Directorate of the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) announces that the 2018 money purchase (MP) limit is $26,500, the 2018 defined benefit (DB) limit is $2,944.44, the 2019 registered retirement savings plan (RRSP) dollar limit is $26,500, the 2018 deferred profit sharing plan (DPSP) limit is $13,250 and the 2018 year’s maximum pensionable earnings (YMPE) is $55,900. Please go here for more information and updates from CRA
Luna Oni, one of our Individual Pension Plan (IPP) experts, will be a guest speaker at a RBC Dominion Securities seminar hosted by Stephanie Tang later this month. Luna will be presenting on the benefits of IPPs for incorporated business owners. Attendees at this seminar will learn how to utilize the flexibility of the IPP to benefit their overall tax strategy and maximize their retirement savings. Please RSVP to Stephanie Tang by Wednesday September 27, 2017 to join us for this informative seminar! Business Opportunity Knocks – IPP Seminar Invitation September 2017
We are delighted to announce that Cameron Tompkins will be re-joining our firm effective August 9, 2017 as a Consulting Actuary in our pension practice. Cameron began working in the actuarial profession with our team here at Westcoast Actuaries Inc. in 2005. He dedicated eight years with us to develop his pension specialty and elevate our firm, providing unparalleled advice and solutions to our clients. He then continued his career at a large global consulting firm where he further expanded his consulting expertise. Cameron is a native of New Zealand and graduated from the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand with a degree in Finance and Economics. In 2016, he attained his fellowship in both the Canadian Institute of Actuaries and the Society of Actuaries. Our expanding team here at Westcoast Actuaries Inc. is very excited to have Cameron back as a key member of our consulting team to serve the growing and diverse needs of our pension clients. Welcome back, Cameron!
We are delighted to announce that Andrea Schmelcher joined our firm in June of this year to lead our Investment Consulting Practice. Andrea brings eight years of performance measurement and investment consulting experience from a national consulting firm to our growing team. She began working in the investment consulting profession in 2009, helping clients in choosing an appropriate asset mix, developing investment beliefs, evaluating performance, and assessing investment manager characteristics for the purposes of hiring, retention, and termination decisions. Andrea has worked with diverse clients including pension plans (defined benefit and defined contribution), health and welfare plan reserves, endowments, foundations and trusts. Andrea holds a combined Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics and Economics from the University of British Columbia. She has completed the Canadian Securities Course and is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) charterholder. All of us at Westcoast Actuaries Inc. are very excited to have Andrea on board to help serve our clients’ growing investment consulting needs. Welcome, Andrea!
As a response to the current and persistent low interest rate environment the Government of British Columbia has amended the Pension Benefits Standards Regulation to extend the period over which solvency deficiencies can be funded. This new short term funding relief is intended to assist plan sponsors of defined benefit pension plans in managing the financial pressures of funding their plans. The current legislation requires a solvency deficiency to be amortized over a period not exceeding five years. The legislation further requires that each solvency deficiency must be funded separately and may not be combined with any other solvency deficiencies. The amendment permits the plan sponsor to consolidate all existing solvency deficiencies into one new solvency deficiency at the review date (referred to by FICOM as a Fresh Start). The new solvency deficiency may then be amortized over a period not exceeding 10 years (extended from the usual 5-year requirement). The plan sponsor may make an election only once with a specified review date between December 31, 2015 and December 31, 2017, inclusive. For solvency deficiencies established with a review date after December 31, 2017, the 5 year amortization schedule applies. The plan sponsor must disclose to all active members and members receiving retirement benefits or their beneficiaries the fact that the plan has elected to amortize the plan’s solvency deficiency over a period of 10 years.Transfer deficiency payments must still be paid over a period not exceeding five years. In future valuations, the plan sponsor is allowed to include in the calculation of the solvency asset adjustment, the present value of payments that are yet to be made under the new schedule. The plan sponsor may also include the present value of unfunded liability payments required to be made for the remaining period of this extension.
We are pleased to present our 2017 Summary of Government Benefits – a convenient consolidated reference guide of government benefit programs, income tax retirement savings, and pension limits.
The following information is now available on the CRA Web site: The Registered Plans Directorate announces that the 2017 money purchase (MP) limit is $26,230, the 2017 defined benefit (DB) limit is $2,914.44, the 2018 registered retirement savings plan (RRSP) is $26,230, the 2017 deferred profit sharing plan (DPSP) limit is $13,115 and the 2017 year’s maximum pensionable earnings (YMPE) is $55,300. Please go here for more information and updates from CRA