TRAMTelephone Retirees Association of Manitoba

Retiree Pension Representatives Report on the MTS DB Pension Plan to TRAM members

February 23, 2015

Retiree Pension Representatives Report on the

MTS DB Pension Plan to TRAM members. 


First let me start by thanking all of you for your support of the Pension Lawsuit over the last 17 years.  If it wasn’t for your support of TRAM and Harry Restall as the plaintiff for retirees / beneficiaries we would have never been able to win the lawsuit and restore what is ours.  If it had not been for the unions support (especially TEAM) for me as plaintiff for all unionized plan members we would have never got this done and restore our pension plan to the terms and conditions of the MOA with respect to the initial surplus. 


Furthermore, this has been said many times but this time doesn’t make it any less pertinent we had the best legal team from D’arcy & Deacon LLP we could have asked for in Brian Meronek QC, Kris Saxberg and their team at D & D.  If it wasn’t for these two (2) gentlemen who helped convince the unions we should go forward to the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) I am not sure we would have gone the extra mile.  They did so by convincing their clients at the time TRAM, TEAM, and IBEW plus Unifor (formally CEP) and their lawyer that we had a strong case to seek leave for an appeal to the SCC.  They also reduced their billing rates to help with costs. 


I would also like to personal thank all of you for supporting me as your elected Retiree Pension Representative to the MTS DB Pension Plan. 


Please Note:  If you are a retiree/beneficiary receiving a pension and your surplus amount was to be paid in two lump sum payments the final payment was paid on schedule for deposit to your account the week ending February 6th, 2015. 


DB Pension Committee

The Committee reports to the Audit Committee of the Board of Directors and meets twice a year.  Last year we met on June 5th, and Oct. 22nd, 2014.  The next Pension Committee meeting will be in spring of 2015.  The last Annual Valuation Report (AVR) of the Pension plan details are as at Jan. 1st, 2014 for 2013.  The next AVR will be for 2014 and will be reviewed at our spring Pension Committee meeting. 


Surplus Implementation Committee

A Surplus Implementation Committee was created as per the Pension Plan Surplus and Implementation Agreement.  The committee met initially on Aug. 19, 2014 and continues to meet monthly since then with the last meeting being on Feb. 13th, 2015. 


The Committee is comprised of eight members who serve on the MTS Inc. and Participating Subsidiaries Employee Pension Plan Pension Committee.  This includes one member from each of the unions IBEW, TEAM, Unifor, the elected Retiree Representative who is also your 2nd Vice President on the TRAM Executive and four MTS representatives. 


The Committee’s mandate is to monitor Implementation Costs by reviewing and approving the Implementation budget, reviewing detailed summaries of actual costs, reviewing and approving revised budgets as are necessary.  The Committee also established and approved the Roadshow process, schedule, presentations and reviewed the results. 


For the Implementation Process the committee reviewed updates to the member notices, the process to find unlocated members, and the distribution summary reports.  It also reviews status reports on undistributed surplus and will determine how that surplus for Exited Members will be distributed after the forfeiture date.  The Committee’s mandate will be completed and the Committee dissolved after the forfeited undistributed surplus relating to Exited Members has been distributed as directed by the Committee.



I attend most of the Roadshows except for Brandon due to an illness.  I also attended the first Webcast and Conference Call sessions. 


It was very clear that Ari Kaplan did an excellent job in both his presentation of the settlement agreement and answering of questions afterwards.  Dan Morrison the plan actuary from Towers Watson also did a good job in his presentation and answering questions from the floor. 


Most who attended the Roadshows seemed happy with the settlement agreement and mostly asked questions for clarity.  In my view a lot of the concerns expressed by people in attendance revolved around primarily tax issues and how best to deal with them. 


I must also include a Special Thanks to the many people over at MTS who worked numerous hours on the settlement agreement negotiations and especial the people in Treasury who worked with the CSSB and Towers Watson to get the settlement agreement implemented.  All of them deserve a huge thank you for their efforts to get the 1st payment out before Christmas and the second payment out in early February 2015. 


Pension Formula Statement of Claim 

The YMPE pension formula calculation used in the past could have had a minor negative effect on a retiree’s pension if the person retired during a given year as apposed to retiring at the end of a year. 


This matter was settled as part of the over all settlement agreement and has been approved by the court. 


MTS will commence calculating Pension Benefits as defined in the Plan using the YMPE for each partial year included in the Pension Benefit calculation based on a proration of credited service for that same year (the “New YMPE Methodology”).  This new pension formula calculation will take effect on January 01, 2015 for all plan members retiring going forward from that date and plan members who have retired or are beneficiaries of plan members who retired as of December 01, 2006 or later. 


There will be no retroactive payments made in respect of the change to the New YMPE Methodology for any period of time prior to the Effective Date and the New YMPE Methodology will only apply to those who commenced receiving a monthly pension after Dec. 31, 2006. 


This means new retirements; terminations, etc. after Jan 1, 2015 will have the new formula applied.  Retirees prior to Dec. 1, 2006 remain unchanged under the old YMPE pension formula. 


It should be noted that this new YMPE pension formula for our old plan the Civil Service Superannuation Fund (CSSF) was made effective for events on and after January 1, 2013.  This means new retirements; terminations, etc. after Jan 1, 2013 have the new formula applied.  Retirees prior to Jan 1, 2013 remain unchanged under the old YMPE pension formula. 


Yours truly,


J. Larry Trach

Retiree Representative

MTS DB Pension Committee