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Definition of Pension sponsors

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Pension sponsors

Organizations that have established a pension plan.



Related Terms:

Overlay strategy

A strategy of using futures for asset allocation by pension sponsors to avoid disrupting the
activities of money managers.


Canada Pension Plan (CPP)

A plan that provides retirement and long term disability income benefits to residents of Canadian provinces (excluding Quebec).


Contingent pension liability

Under ERISA, the firm is liable to the plan participants for up to 39% of the net
worth of the firm.


Overfunded pension plan

A pension plan that has a positive surplus (i.e., assets exceed liabilities).


Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC)

A federal agency that insures the vested benefits of
pension plan participants (established in 1974 by the ERISA legislation).



Pension Fund

Assets used to pay the pensions of retirees. An investment institution established to manage the assets used to pay the pensions of retirees.


Pension plan

A fund that is established for the payment of retirement benefits.


Pension Sponsors Image 2

Pension plan

A formal agreement between an entity and its employees, whereby the
entity agrees to provide some benefits to the employees upon their retirement.


Plan sponsors

The entities that establish pension plans, including private business entities acting for their
employees; state and local entities operating on behalf of their employees; unions acting on behalf of their
members; and individuals representing themselves.


Quebec Pension Plan

A plan that primarily provides retirement and long-term disability income benefits for residents of Quebec.


Registered Pension Plan

Commonly referred to as an RPP this is a tax sheltered employee group plan approved by Federal and Provincial governments allowing employees to have deductions made directly from their wages by their employer with a resulting reduction of income taxes at source. These plans are easy to implement but difficult to dissolve should the group have a change of heart. Employer contributions are usually a percentage of the employee's salary, typically from 3% to 5%, with a maximum of the lessor of 20% or $3,500 per annum. The employee has the same right of contribution. Vesting is generally set at 2 years, which means that the employee has right of ownership of both his/her and his/her employers contributions to the plan after 2 years. It also means that all contributions are locked in after 2 years and cannot be cashed in for use by the employee in a low income year. Should the employee change jobs, these funds can only be transferred to the RPP of a new employer or the funds can be transferred to an individual RRSP (or any number of RRSPs) but in either scenario, the funds are locked in and cannot be accessed until at least age 60. The only choices available to access locked in RPP funds after age 60 are the conversion to a Life Income Fund or a Unisex Annuity.
To further define an RPP, Registered pension Plans take two forms; Defined Benefit or Defined Contribution (also known as money purchase plans). The Defined Benefit plan establishes the amount of money in advance that is to be paid out at retirement based usually on number of years of employee service and various formulae involving percentages of average employee earnings. The Defined Benefit plan is subject to constant government scrutiny to make certain that sufficient contributions are being made to provide for the predetermined pension payout. On the other hand, the Defined Contribution plan is considerably easier to manage. The employer simply determines the percentage to be contributed within the prescribed limits. Whatever amount has grown in the employee's reserve by retirement determines how much the pension payout will be by virtue of the amount of LIF or Annuity payout it will purchase.
The most simple group RRSP plan is a group billed RRSP. This means that each employee has his own RRSP plan and the employer deducts the contributions directly from the employee's wages and sends them directly to the RRSP plan administrator. Regular RRSP rules apply in that maximum contribution in the current year is the lessor of 18% or $13,500. Generally, to encourage this kind of plan, the employer also agrees to make a regular contribution to the employee's plans, knowing full well that any contributions made immediately belong to the employee. Should the employee change jobs, he/she can take their plan with them and continue making contributions or cash it in and pay tax in the year in which the money is taken into income.


Underfunded pension plan

A pension plan that has a negative surplus (i.e., liabilities exceed assets).



 

 

 

 

 

 

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