Put one foot in front of the other

May 30, 2024


It’s your life … your career … your journey. As you set out on your career path and start with your new employer, among the many things that come with learning the ropes of a new job - you will find yourself contributing to your pension plan. Life will ebb and flow, and you will reach special milestones while still managing your financial wellness and your pension benefits. The milestones might include:

  • Getting married or living common-law

  • Starting a family (e.g., maternity, paternity, adoption leave)

  • Owning your first home

  • And other life events

A significant moment in your life might also be transitioning away from your current employer. In the pension industry, this is often called a “termination of employment.” It simply means that you are no longer working with an employer that participates in the CSS Pension Plan.



I’m no longer working for a CSS employer.

When you are no longer employed by an employer member who participates in the pension plan, you have a decision to make.


Your employer will let us know you are done working, and then we'll send you a current statement of your account and a description of your options.


Did you know that you are welcome to remain a CSS member and continue investing in the CSS Pension Plan, even if you no longer work for a CSS employer? If you choose this option, you’ll become an “inactive” member – but you’ll still enjoy the many benefits the Plan has to offer, including personalized assistance from the Plan’s Retirement and Pension Advisors and low investment fees. Another option is to transfer your pension monies to your credit union or financial institution, or your new employer’s registered pension plan.


When you’re ready to retire, you can also choose to continue your membership with CSS. Seventy-five per cent of those triggering a retirement income choose to remain a member of CSS and generate their retirement income directly from their CSS Pension Plan. This is a rare feature for a defined contribution (DC) pension plan – most DC pension plans do not offer internal retirement income options, which means your membership ends once you retire and you must move your accumulated pension funds elsewhere.


I’m going to work with a different CSS employer.

One of the key advantages of being a member of the CSS Pension Plan is the portability it offers when transitioning between participating employers. CSS is a multi-employer pension plan, so you can "take your pension with you" if you leave one participating employer member of the Plan for another.


This is considered a transfer between employers, meaning we do not consider your employment terminated (you are still working for a CSS employer, so in our eyes, you are still a CSS member).


Transferring between employer members is often seamless. If your break in service between your previous employer and your new employer is less than 12 months, you may be able to skip the waiting period and continue contributing to the CSS Pension Plan right away. Talk to us or your new employer to determine your eligibility.


I made a decision to remain a CSS member.

As a CSS member you continue to have access to exclusive pension and retirement services, and you continue to be invested in world-class institutional funds at a low cost.


When you turn 50 and no longer work for a CSS employer member, you will be able to start a retirement income if you choose (or you may qualify for early retirement before age 50 if your age plus years of continuous service with one or more participating employers equals a factor of 75). The amount of your retirement income will depend on the value of your pension funds in your CSS Pension Plan account. The amount of funds in your account grows over time depending on investment earnings, contributions (if any), and transfers-in.


While you hold pension monies in your CSS Pension Plan account and/or your CSS Variable Benefit payment account, you remain in control of your investment decisions, and have the ability to transfer funds out to your credit union or financial institution should you feel that is the best decision for you and your circumstances.


Visit our life events section on our website to learn more about managing your account through types of life events.


Or, contact us and speak to one of our Retirement and Pension Advisors to discuss your specific life event.


Article from the Spring/Summer 2024 issue of TimeWise.

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