Clicking the term below will show the definition.
Actuarial Value of Assets
Alberta Consumer Price Index (ACPI)
Alberta Pensions Services Corporation (APS)
Alternative Investments Index
Approved Long-Term Disability Income (LTDI) Plan
Canada Pension Plan (CPP)
Combined Pensionable Service (CPS)
Consumer Price Index (CPI)
Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA)
Current Employment Status
Defined Benefit (DB) Plan
Dependent Minor Child
DEX 91-Day T-Bill Index
DEX Bond Universe Index
Equity / Equities
Foreign Equity Index
Highest Average Salary
Interest Rate Sensitive Equity
IPD All Property Index
Leave with Partial Salary
Liability / Liabilities
Locked-in-Retirement Account (LIRA)
Long-Term Disability Income Continuance Plan (LTDI)
Matrimonial Property Order (MPO)
Member Plan Status
Morgan Stanley World Index
MSCI EAFE (Morgan Stanley Capital International Europe, Australiasia, Far East Index)
Old Age Security (OAS)
Payment Due Date
Period on Loan to a Bargaining Agent
Policy Benchmark Portfolio
Portable Document Format (PDF)
Pre-retirement Death Waiver
Prior Service (Buyback or Past Service)
Rate of Return
Real Estate Index
Real Return Bond
Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP)
Russell Canadian Property Index
S&P / TSX Composite Index
S&P 500 (Standard & Poor's 500 Index)
Social Insurance Number (SIN)
Statement of Investment Beliefs
Statement of Investment Policies and Guidelines (SIP&G)
Swap (Structured Investments)
Tactical Assets Allocations (TAA)
TSE 300 Index
YMPE (Years Maximum Pensionable Earnings)
Investments that seek to generate positive returns through active currency trading (primarily using forward currency contracts) from anticipated movements in various foreign exchange rates. Participation in this investment vehicle is largely on an unfunded basis (investments are based on the notional amounts with a small capital commitment or cash required for settlements only).
A member who is making contributions to PSPP or would be making contributions if not for being:
- on leave;
- in receipt of benefits under the employer's disability plan; or
- at the maximum pensionable service limit (35 years).
These strategies have two forms - security selection or market timing. Security selection is the buying and selling of securities to earn a return above a market index such as the TSE 300 Index for Canadian stocks. Market timing is based on shifting asset class weights to earn a return above that available from maintaining the asset class exposure of the policy asset mix.
The estimated cost to PSPP of providing the increased benefits gained by a member who buys or transfers prior service. An actuarial reserve calculation takes into account a number of factors including salary scaling and mortality tables.
The adjusted value of a pension plan's assets used by the actuary to determine the funded status of the Plan.
A person authorized by their designation as a Fellow of the Canadian Institute of Actuaries to prepare and sign actuarial valuations.
A weighted average measure of the cost of a group of goods and services that are normally purchased by Alberta households. This includes things such as clothing, food, housing, gasoline, health and personal care services, recreation, and education.
The designation of your pension benefits to one or more beneficiaries.
- CPI + 600 from April 2005 to May 2005
- CPI + 600 and CPI + 400 from June 2005 to March 2006
- CPI + 600, CPI + 400 and Goldman Sachs Commodity Index from April 2006 to July 2006
- CPI + 600, CPI + 400, Goldman Sachs Commodity Index and CPI + 800 in August 2006
- CPI + 600, CPI + 400, Goldman Sachs Commodity Index, CPI + 800 and HFRX Global Investable Index (C$ Hedged) from September 2006
An income replacement plan sponsored by an employer for its employees that will pay you a portion of your pre-disability salary while you are off work. Where the LTDI plan is approved by APS, the period of LTDI coverage is considered mandatory service for pension purposes.
The criteria used by APS to approve LTDI plans are:
- All members employed by the employer in the group to whom the LTDI plan applies, except for those ineligible for coverage by reason of not meeting the medical requirements, must be covered by the LTDI plan;
- A member must not be required to apply for a pension as long as the member qualifies for benefits under the LTDI plan; and
- The LTDI plan must be filed with APS.
Types of investments, such as bonds, stocks, real estate and cash.
The percentage of a pension plan's funds allocated to various asset classes (for example, 34.5% fixed income and 65.5% equities) for investment purposes.
Any item of economic value owned by an individual or entity, especially one that could be bought and sold.
A standard against which others are measured. For the purposes of this report, benchmarks are established income indices (listed in percentages) used to measure the health of the Fund's investment returns.
Your pension partner is automatically your sole beneficiary if you die before retirement.
If you have no pension partner, you should let PSPP know who would receive the benefit.
A Beneficiary is the person(s) you designate to receive a benefit if:
- you die before retirement; or
- you die before the end of the guaranteed period. This is only applicable if:
- you chose one of the Single Lifetime Guaranteed Term options; or
- you chose one of the Joint Lifetime options and both you and your pension partner die within the guaranteed period.
You can designate one or more beneficiaries or a charitable organization.
Even if you have a pension partner you should designate a beneficiary. That way PSPP knows to whom the benefit is to be paid if your pension partner predeceases you or if your pension partner has waived the right to a benefit. If you have not designated a beneficiary and your Will does not specifically mention PSPP, payment will be made to your estate.
A promissory note issued by a company or government which bears a fixed maturity date and rate of return.
- Your pensionable service from both plans will be used to determine if you are vested under each plan. Under PSPP, you become vested once you have two years of pensionable service, which will consider service under a CPS relationship.
- Your pensionable service from both plans will be used to determine if you are entitled to an unreduced pension in PSPP.
- Your pensionable salaries from both plans will be used to determine the highest average salary in PSPP.
- Your pensionable service from both plans will be used to determine when you will reach the 35-year maximum service limit.
A weighted average of the cost of a basket of goods and services that are normally purchased by Alberta households. It includes such things as clothing, food, housing, gasoline, health, personal care services, recreation and education.
Money paid into a pension plan by you and your employer. Your contributions are tax deductible and are made through payroll deduction. All contributions go directly to the PSPP Fund. Contributions may also include payments towards prior service such as a period of qualifying leave without salary.
Your current status of employment with your employer. This can be full-time, part-time or terminated (no longer contributing to the Plan).
- Your benefit is guaranteed and you are provided a specified lifetime income regardless of market conditions or how long you live.
- You can plan for your retirement because you can estimate your future pension income. The pension estimator allows you to estimate your future monthly payments.
To qualify as a dependent minor, a child must be:
- Dependent - financially supported and not married
- Minor - under 18 years of age
An index maintained by Scotia Capital Markets. The index measures the return attributable to 91-day Treasury Bills. DEX Fixed Income Indices was formerly known as Scotia Capital Fixed Income Indices (effective October 22, 2007).
An index maintained by Scotia Capital Markets. Measures the total return attributable to bonds and includes representative bond issues by issuer (Federal, Provincial, Municipal and Corporate), quality (AAA, AA, AA, A, and BBB) and term (short-, mid-, and long-). DEX Fixed Income Indices was formerly known as Scotia Capital Fixed Income Indices (effective October 22, 2007).
The Alberta Investment Management Division of Alberta Finance manages the pension plan fund in accordance with the Board's Statement of Investment Policies and Goals, and applicable legislation. The Fund is invested in equities (both domestic and international), bonds, mortgages and real estate.
Retirement before being eligible to receive an unreduced pension. See normal retirement and postponed retirement.
An economy in the earlier stages of development whose markets have sufficient size and liquidity and are receptive to foreign investment. Examples include China, Greece and Brazil.
Shares of ownership in a corporation that can be publicly or privately traded.
The amount of contributions with interest returned to the member to ensure that the member's contributions with interest in the account do not exceed 50% of the commuted value. Contributions paid and service credited for prior service are not included when calculating excess contributions.
The amount for which an asset could be bought or sold in a free and open market.
- MSCI All-Country World Index to December 2000
- S&P 500 Index and MSCI EAFE Index from January 2001 to June 2001
- S&P 500 Index (C$ Hedged) and MSCI EAFE Index from July 2001 to June 2004
- S&P 500 Index and MSCI EAFE Index from July 2004 to December 2004
- S&P 1500 Index and MSCI EAFE Index from January 2005 to March 2006
- S&P 1500 Index, MSCI EAFE Index and MSCI Emerging Markets Index from April 2006
A fund was established under the legislation governing the PSPP to hold all employee and employer contributions and investment income. All benefits are paid from the PSPP Fund. All assets in the PSPP Fund can only be used to pay the promised benefits and cover administrative costs.
A Single Lifetime Guaranteed Term pension (5, 10 or 15 years) is paid for your lifetime. If you die before the end of the guaranteed period, payments will continue to your designated beneficiary(ies) until the end of the guaranteed period. For example, if you choose the Single Lifetime Guaranteed At Least 10 years option and die 4 years later, the pension will be paid to your beneficiary(ies) for the remaining 6 years.
Equity whose return is expected to react to changes in interest rates.
An index maintained by the Institute of Canadian Real Estate Investment Managers/International Property Databank that measures the total return on a diversified pool of properties invested in by institutional investors. The IPD All Property Index replaces the Russell Canadian Property Index.
A Joint Lifetime pension is payable for the lives of the member and pension partner. Members who have a pension partner at the time of their retirement must select one of the Joint Life pension options unless the pension partner signs a Pension Partner Waiver, waiving his or her rights to the survivor benefit.
If you choose the Joint Life Guaranteed At Least 5 Years option, on the death of either you or your pension partner, the same pension is paid to the survivor for his or her life.
If you choose the Joint Life Reduced by 1/3 Guaranteed At Least 5 Years option, at the first death of either you or your pension partner, the monthly payment is reduced by 1/3. This means that if the pension partner dies before the member, the member's pension will be reduced to 2/3 of the pension amount.
In both options, the pension is guaranteed for five years. If both you and your pension partner die before the end of the five year term, the pension will be paid to your beneficiary(ies) for the remainder of the term.
Investment in larger capitalized firms. Within Canada, companies with a market capitalization of greater than 0.15% of the total Toronto Stock Exchange market capitalization.
A period of service during which a member is, with the approval of his/her employer, on leave from all or a portion of his/her regular duties of employment and is receiving pensionable salary that is less than his/her regular pensionable salary from the employer. During periods of leave with partial salary, the member remains an active member and contributions are remitted through the employer as if the member were at work.
Note: If the member does not have 36 months of prior employment, the employer will not remit any contributions because the member will have to pay an actuarial reserve cost to establish the leave period as pensionable service.
The PSPP liability is the total value of all benefits earned by PSPP members and other costs for which the PSPP Fund is responsible.
A special type of RRSP designed specifically to hold locked-in pension funds. Alberta public sector pension plans, like PSPP, are not subject to the Employment Pension Plans Act (EPPA) however, once locked money is transferred out of PSPP it must be locked-in under the rules of the EPPA. If you have a LIRA and are at least 50 years old, you can start receiving pension income. Most financial Institutions offer LIRAs however APS will only send the locked-in funds to a financial institution that appears on the Alberta Superintendent of Pensions list of approved LIRA contracts.
A type of disability insurance offered by an employer for employees who become unable to perform their normal work because of a physical or mental disability. If the LTDI plan is approved by PSPP's administrator, APS, the period of LTDI coverage is included as service for pension purposes.
Manager structure refers to the number and mandates given to a plan's investment managers. Manager structures can be built around balanced fund mandates where the manager invests across multiple asset classes (Canadian stocks, Canadian bonds, US and International stocks) or specialty mandates where the manager invests in a single asset class. In the case of a specialty mandate the focus can be very specific such as investing in only Canadian small capitalized companies.
Marital status can be single, married, common-law, separated, widowed or divorced. See "Pension Partner" for further information.
If you are currently undergoing a marital breakdown, your pension benefits may be subject to division and distribution between you and your soon to be ex-spouse. For pension benefits to be divided and distributed, a court-certified copy of a Matrimonial Property Order (MPO) must be obtained and filed with Alberta Pensions Services Corporation. You should consult your legal counsel about obtaining and filing an MPO and the division and distribution of your pension benefits.
Under the Matrimonial Property Act, an MPO can only be obtained in respect of a legal marriage. In certain circumstances, the regulations governing PSPP allow for the division and distribution of your pension benefits by making a one-time payment to the non-member ex-spouse without having to wait for the member to become eligible for a benefit. If you are a PSPP member going through a marital breakdown, your legal counsel should take these regulations into account when working on your matrimonial property settlement.
The unique number assigned to you by APS' current pension administration system. The identifier is printed on publications sent after May 2016, including your pension highlights (annual statement) or Termination Statement Estimate.
Your status under the Plan. See active member, deferred member and suspended member.
mypensionplan is a secure website that provides active members and deferred members of the Public Service Pension Plan with access to personalized pension information.
The normal form is the base from which all other pension options are calculated. At present the normal form of pension is the Single Lifetime Guaranteed At Least 5 Years. All other optional forms of pension are the actuarial equivalent of the current normal form.
Retirement at exactly age 65. See early retirement and postponed retirement.
The basic federal income security program for seniors who are age 65 and older who meet the Canadian legal status and residence requirements.
Equity bought as Toronto Index Participation Units (TIPS), allowing a fund to buy into the top 35 companies on the Toronto Stock Exchange.
"pension partner" means
(i) a person who, at the relevant time, was married to a participant or former participant and had not been living separate and apart from him or her for 3 or more consecutive years,
(ii) if there is no person to whom subclause (i) applies, a person who, as at and up to the relevant time, had lived with the participant or former participant in a conjugal relationship
(A) for a continuous period of at least 3 years,
(B) of some permanence, if there is a child of the relationship by birth or adoption;
Persons are living separate and apart
- if they are living apart and either of them has the intention to live separate and apart from the other, or
- if, before the relevant time,
- they had been living separate and apart for any period, and
- that period was interrupted or terminated by reason only that either of them become incapable of continuing to live separate and apart or of forming or having the intention to continue to live separate and apart of that person's own volition, and the separation would probably have continued if that person had not become so incapable.
Your years of service during which you contribute to the pension plan, plus service recognized from a transfer or purchase of prior service. The maximum pensionable service limit in PSPP is 35 years.
A member, surviving pension partner, or beneficiary who is receiving a pension from the Plan.
A period of service during which a member is, with the approval of the employer, on leave from their regular duties in order to be employed on a full-time basis by a certified bargaining agent.
A benchmark return for the Fund which is composed from the long-term asset mix policy and the benchmark indices for each major asset class.
Outlined in the Statement of Investment Policies and Guidelines (SIP&G); reflects an optimal long-term asset mix made up of broad market indices. The PSPP's actual investment performance is measured against this policy benchmark portfolio.
Portable Document Format (PDF) is a format used to deliver documents over the Internet. AdobeŽ ReaderŽ (TM) is the standard software used to access PDF documents and can be downloaded, for free, from the AdobeŽ website.
Retirement after age 65 or after the age of entitlement to an unreduced pension. See also early retirement and normal retirement.
The pension partner may waive his/her right to a lifetime pension by completing the Pension Partner Waiver of Pre-Pension Commencement of Death Benefit. This allows the pension to be paid to the beneficiary(ies) on file with APS instead of the pension partner. This waiver can be completed by the pension partner any time before pension commencement but it may only be rescinded by the pension partner prior to the member's death.
Previous employment during which you did or did not belong to a pension plan. You may be able to buy this period of service if you are not receiving a current pension benefit from your former employer. (Only some types of service are eligible.) By buying prior service you can increase your length of pensionable service thereby increasing your future benefits.
The real rate of return is the return achieved by an asset after adjustments for inflation.
- Russell Canadian Property Index to December 2002
- IPD All-Property Index from January 2003 to December 2004
- IPD Large Institutional All-Property Index from January 2005
A fixed income investment product (a bond) whose return is linked to the real interest rate to generate a specified real rate of return. Related Terms: The real interest rate is the nominal (set) interest rate minus inflation.
An agreement negotiated with another pension plan that allows members to transfer their pension when they move between plans.
A type of tax-deferred investment that is set up to hold and invest your savings until you retire. Most can be withdrawn at any time, but you will be taxed on the amount withdrawn.
An index maintained by Frank Russell. Measures the total return attributable to Canadian commercial real estate.
An index maintained by the S&P/TSX Canadian Index Policy Committee that measures the total return on the largest companies that trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange. (Formerly the TSE 300)
Covers 500 industrial, utility, transportation and financial companies of the US markets, mostly on the New York Stock Exchange issues.
See pensionable service.
The year specified by the employer as the employer's annual payroll pay period cycle. This is the year for which members' pensionable service is reported by the employer and which will have specific "From" and "To" dates. The service year may not coincide exactly with the calendar year.
Investment in smaller capitalized firms. Within Canada, companies with a market capitalization of less than 0.15% of the total Toronto Stock Exchange market capitalization.
A nine-digit number used in the administration of various Canadian government programs. You require a SIN to work in Canada or to receive government benefits.
See pension partner.
A policy document set by the PSP Board to establish the asset mix of the Fund, how the assets may be invested, and the holding limits for each specific type of security.
A policy document set by the PSP Board to establish the asset mix of the Fund, how the assets may be invested, and the holding limits for each specific type of security.
A surplus exists when the actuarial valuation determines the Fund's accrued benefit payments are less than the net assets available for the payment of those benefits.
When a member has a CPS relationship, the term "suspended" describes the member's status in the Plan(s) to which the member is no longer contributing. For example, a MEPP member who moved from PSPP (forming a CPS relationship) is deemed "suspended" in PSPP, since they are no longer actively contributing to PSPP.
A contract between two parties to pay the other party the return on an underlying investment.
Short-term government security.
An active management strategy that alters the portfolio weights of the asset mix in an attempt to capitalize on short-term anomalies in global financial markets on an opportunistic basis. Synthetic investments such as equity index and fixed income futures or swaps and forward currency contracts are often used to obtain desired exposures. Participation in this investment vehicle is largely on an unfunded basis (investments are based on the notional amounts with a small capital commitment required for the "margin" account only).
An agreement negotiated with another pension plan that allows members to transfer their pension entitlements when they move between plans. By transferring pension entitlements, you may increase your pension income.
This index is composed of the 300 largest capitalized companies that are traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange.
A term used by pension plans that means you are eligible to receive a monthly pension. Members of PSPP are vested after two years of combined pensionable service or immediately if you are age 65.
The date on which the employer issues a member's pay for a particular pay period. Pension contributions for a particular pay period must be remitted to Alberta Pensions Services Corporation (APS) within 15 days of the withholding date.
The year in which the employer withheld contributions that were remitted to the pension plan.
The maximum amount of earnings on which contributions to CPP are based.