Celebrating Pension Awareness Day


Celebrating Pension Awareness Day

Posted by CSS Pension Plan on February, 15 2024
CSS Pension Plan

Pension Awareness Day is traditionally recognized in Ontario, but we decided to commemorate the event by emphasizing the importance of pensions to our members nationwide. 


Did you know that just one in three Canadians belong to a pension plan?* Being a member of a pension plan is a valuable benefit and highlights your employer's commitment to your financial security both now and in retirement.  


CSS offers a unique advantage in that it allows you to tailor your plan to align with your life goals – but you must be aware of these options if you are to make the most of your CSS membership. 


In honour of Pension Awareness Day, we’ve compiled a list of unique values that make being a member of CSS a great benefit and give you the freedom to tailor your plan to suit you! 

*Source: Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions  



Contribution flexibility 


Once you've joined CSS, your employer will start deducting pension contributions from your salary each pay period. With matching contributions from your employer, you have double the earning power – a key ingredient toward building a secure retirement income stream. 


Did you know you can also make additional voluntary contributions (AVCs) to your CSS account? Although AVCs are not matched by your employer, making AVCs – even just a small amount – can help maximize your pension’s growth. To set up AVCs, talk to your employer. 


Investment choice 


We offer four professionally managed investment funds that give you the flexibility to set an investment mix according to your own goals and investment comfort. Your investment decisions play a crucial role in shaping your retirement plan, and CSS provides resources including the online myCSSPEN Compass Retirement Planner and access to Retirement and Pension Advisors who can assist you in making informed choices (our investor stories might also give you food for thought as you think about your own investment style). 


If you’d rather not make a choice, that’s okay too! You’ll automatically be invested in the Balanced Fund – our default, diversified fund that offers moderate long-term growth. 




No matter if you’re investing with a financial institution or a pension plan, you’ll pay fees to cover the cost of managing your investments. The CSS Pension Plan’s fees [or management expense ratios (MERs)] are a fraction of those charged for retail mutual funds. This means you pay less in investment and administration fees so you have more pension funds at retirement – over the long term, this could literally mean thousands of extra dollars in your pocket. 


Online self-service 


As a CSS member, you have 24/7 online access to your pension account through myCSSPEN. Log in or register to check your account balance, access planning tools, change your investments, update your contact information, access annual statements and more. 


Retirement income options 


Did you know most pension plans don’t offer in-plan retirement income options? This means when you retire, you must take your money somewhere else (like your financial institution) to start receiving retirement income payments. At CSS, we do offer in-plan retirement income options, including monthly pensions and Variable Benefit payments – so you can continue being a member of CSS into your retired years and access advisory services, low fees and more. 


Complimentary advisory services 


The CSS Advisory Team is available to address any questions you may have about your CSS account. They can also assist you in creating customized retirement plans that encompass all your sources of retirement income, including your funds in CSS, RRSPs, TFSAs, CPP and OAS. If you have a spouse, they can also factor-in your spouse's sources of retirement income too. We recommend scheduling an appointment, particularly if you are nearing retirement age. 


Member ownership 


We’re a co-operative too. We are democratically governed by a non-profit society - the Co-operative Superannuation Society - that represents employer and employee members of the CSS Pension Plan. Through delegates, you have a voice to help shape our future and influence the direction of the Plan. This is a rare governance structure in the pension industry. 




As a member of CSS, you truly have the flexibility to create a plan that fits your life. This Pension Awareness Day, we encourage you to think about your future and how your membership in CSS fits into your financial wellness picture. 


Additionally, employers can increase employee engagement, talent attraction and retention if their employees understand their pension plan (and other total reward components). We encourage those responsible for administering CSS benefits to share this article with their teams. 


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