Frequently asked questions
Employers are permitted to set a waiting period of up to two years before a new employee can join the CSS Pension Plan.
- Full-time employees must join the Plan at the end of the waiting period. Accordingly, the employer must make Plan membership a condition of employment.
- Less-than-full-time employees must be given the opportunity to join the Plan after reaching the minimum earnings or hours thresholds specified by each province. In most provinces, less-than-full-time employees have the option to join the Plan once they qualify. In Manitoba, less-than-full-time employees must join the Plan once they qualify.
Employers may allow less-than-full-time employees to join the Plan after the same waiting period as full-time employees without requiring them to qualify. Employers can also make membership for less-than-full-time employees mandatory.
For more information on employee eligibility requirements, please see our employer administration procedures.
Once employees start contributing to the Plan, they cannot stop contributions until their employment is terminated or until they retire.
Less-than-full-time employees also cannot stop contributing, even if they fall below the earnings and hours thresholds set by pension legislation.
If an employee ceases employment with one employer member of the CSS Pension Plan and re-commences employment with the same or any other employer member within 12 months, the employee’s membership in the Plan is deemed to be continuous. In such a case, contributions must resume immediately when the employee resumes work.
If the break in service is more than 12 months, the employee is considered a new hire under the Plan's Rules, and the employer’s waiting period applies from the date that the employee resumes work.
For more information on continuous service with one or more CSS Pension Plan employers, please see our employer administration procedures. If you are unsure how to treat an employee with a break in service, please contact us.
It is a legal requirement that contributions be paid to the CSS Pension Plan within 30 days of being deducted from employees' pay.
Yes. myCSSPEN allows employers to upload contribution information using a standard template provided by CSS.
See how to remit contributions for more information.
Yes. Employers who upload an Excel file are able to correct the file after submitting it, in the case of an error, by re-uploading a corrected file before their original submission is processed. Please contact us first to check if the original file has been processed.
Employee members of the Plan are encouraged to register for myCSSPEN so they can check the value of their account online. myCSSPEN also allows members to keep track of any contributions made, change their investments, confirm their beneficiary is up to date, and track the value of any multiple fund holdings.
Yes. When an employee terminates employment (or does not return to work after a leave), an Employee Termination Notice (ETN) must be completed.
Yes. If an employee is going on a leave or is transferring to another CSS Pension Plan employer member, please complete the Missed Contribution or Employment Status Change form.
Yes. Employees on maternity, paternity, adoption or disability leave can still make contributions, but they may be required to make the entire matched contribution (both the employee and employer portions), depending on the province's pension laws, the employer policy and any applicable disability insurance plan.
For more information, please see our employer administration procedures.
Please see our employer bulletins and updates section for this year's contribution limits.
Yes. Additional voluntary contributions also count towards the maximum contribution limit for the year.
No. All contributions to a pension plan, including additional voluntary contributions (AVCs), must be made through payroll. This is required so that all contributions are recorded on the employee’s T4 slip and can be measured against the maximum contribution limit.