TIMEWISE: Member Profile

What do I need to do to retire comfortably?

October 31, 2023


Being in the twilight of his career, Jeff doesn’t associate retirement with being a certain age, but rather a time in his life when he feels he has reached his financial goals and is ready to enjoy his savings comfortably.

Jeff has been a pension plan member with CSS for almost nine years, since starting at Bee Maid Honey Limited as a National Sales Manager. He resides in Calgary, working remotely from home while his head office is stationed in Winnipeg, which means his pension account is under Manitoba legislation.

When Jeff first started at Bee Maid, his employer talked to him about the low fees CSS offers, and the opportunity to gain returns on his pension was very appealing to him. Yet when 
he was younger, Jeff admits that having a pension plan was not a top priority when he first 
started working.

“I want to shift away from the common mindset of retiring at age 65, and rather, know what
I need to live, travel and take care of my children,” Jeff says, although no specific retirement date is in sight.

“I could have cared less at 25, but now looking back I wish it was more of a priority, and I hope the younger generation, my children included, can see the value in having a pension plan,” he expresses.

Having a pension plan like CSS, Jeff enjoys the benefit of having his pension come right off 
his cheque and appreciates the simplicity of the Plan.

“CSS does a very good job of making it easy for everyone to understand their pension plan,” 
he said.


"I want to shift away from the common mindset of retiring at age 65, and rather, know what I need to live, travel and take care of my children"


Jeff Shevchuk (4)

Jeff meets with Marilyn Shipley, a CSS Retirement and Pension Advisor. CSS Advisors are here to help answer any questions you have about your pension plan or retirement options.


To help Jeff understand his pension plan, he recently attended a CSS Retirement Income Options (RIO) workshop. He learned about the investment funds CSS offers (Balanced, Equity, Bond, Money Market), our retirement income options (Variable Benefit payment, monthly pension, or a combination of both) and more.

Listening to our Retirement and Pension Advisors, he understood that CSS is working hard to grow his retirement income and maximize his potential.

“But you need to have other sources. You still need other income and save money outside the Plan,” he said. “CSS is just one component to the bigger picture.”

The biggest take away from attending the RIO workshop and talking to his CSS Retirement and Pension Advisor was understanding his entire picture for retirement and the various income sources available:

  • Government sources [like Canada Pension Plan (CPP) and Old Age Security (OAS)]
  • Workplace sources (employer pension plans and other registered pension plans)
  • Personal sources (RRSP, TFSA, etc.)

To him, he really appreciates how CSS helped him understand all his options.


Jeff Shevchuk (5)


“If I was to retire today, they would help me see what my CPP and OAS, etc. will look like,” he said.


When it comes to investments, Jeff considers his investment style somewhere between aggressive and conservative.


“I am more aggressive with my other investments and am in the Balanced Fund with my CSS funds,” he said.


Although the last few years in the markets have been hard, Jeff did appreciate the transparency CSS provided when explaining the investment funds and markets in his workshop.


“CSS was very transparent. They know they didn’t have a great year last year, but no one really did. But they weren’t hiding that, which I found honest and refreshing,” he said.


Jeff learned recently that he became eligible to retire at the age of 50. Even though he doesn’t have a date or timeframe in mind of when he exactly wants to retire, he is taking steps toward building his retirement pot.


“Once I know in my heart what I need to live, travel, take care of my children, we can call it a day,” he said.


“If I had to choose my retirement option, I am leaning towards the monthly pension option. As I am a very routine person, I like knowing exactly what I am getting each month. Yet, the Variable Benefit payment benefit is a great option too. I am open to it as well,” he said.



But he knows that when that time comes, it will be important for him to stay busy. He plans to stay active with his volunteer work, helping his children and future grandchildren and travel.

“You got to look at the whole picture, the whole pot, everyone’s different and we all have different needs and wants.”

If he could give any advice to someone in a similar stage of life or younger, he strongly encourages CSS members to attend a RIO workshop.

“Go to a RIO workshop. Look at your pension account online and see what you have. Talk to a CSS Retirement and Pension Advisor. They know what they are talking about. Ask yourself, what do I need to retire comfortably? And, that’s a different number for everybody,” Jeff concludes.

As he continues to build up toward retirement, he will continue to have access to the support and resources offered by the CSS Pension Plan, including RIO workshops, customized assistance from the Plan’s Retirement and Pension Advisors, myCSSPEN® for members, online tools and calculators and more.

Explore our website for more information on how CSS can help you navigate your options and make decisions that fit your life.


Article from the Fall/Winter 2023 issue of TimeWise.

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