Personal Finance

Summary of Canadian "Big 5" Bank Pension Plan Types

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  • May 14th, 2019 5:25 pm
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Mar 25, 2012
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Summary of Canadian "Big 5" Bank Pension Plan Types

For those curious, I was reading my mom's 2017 Scotiabank Pension Plan annual report (latest report out) where she is a deferred pension plan member having left the bank January 1, 2012, but who has not yet retired, and thought I'd summarize the key highlights of the SPP over the past few years.

Canadian employees of Scotiabank hired December 31, 2015, and previous, are all members of either a non-contributory defined benefit (DB) pension plan. Additionally, they had/have the option of making additional voluntary employee contributions to the plan.

Employees hired between January 1, 2016, and April 30, 2018, are members of a hybridized version of the SPP, which has both defined benefit (DB) and defined contribution (DC) components (DC is similar to a group RRSP and is sometimes called a "money purchase plan" or a "capital accumulation plan").

All Scotiabank Canadian employees hired on or after May 1, 2018, are members of the DC component of the SPP. In effect, the DB component is fully closed to new members after April 30, 2018.

The following are the external service providers for the SPP:

- Actuary: Mercer (Canada) Ltd.
- Auditor: KPMG LLP (also Scotiabank's external auditor)
- Trustee/Custodian: RBC Investor Services
- SPP DB Component Third Party Administrator: Buck Consultants (part of Conduent, a spinoff of Xerox Corp.)
- SPP DC Component Third Party Administrator: Manulife
- SPP DC Component Third Party Administrator: Eckler Ltd.

Additionally, SPP retirees have access to a third-party SPP website called Scotia Vitality, which is created and managed by Morneau Shepell, but this would be a very minor role.

I know RBC Royal Bank switched all employees hired on or after July 1, 2013, or possibly July 1, 2012, to a purely DC pension plan.

If anyone wants to add the other Canadian banks' pension plan particulars, feel free to reply and I'll update the OP as time allows.

5 replies
Deal Expert
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Jan 27, 2004
44691 posts
T.O. Lotto Captain
BMO is a defined benifit pension plan & you don’t have to contribute. You start accumalating it after 2 years service.
Its not bad. When i looked @ the estimated lump sum of the commuted value i was kinda pleasantly surprised. Its not huge... but considering i didnt have to deduct a % of my paycheck its a decent amount.
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Jan 19, 2007
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TD was DB until recently (summer 2018) with contributory option starting 6m of service or negotiable for some roles. Currently it DC for all except titled roles.
RBC moved to DC as early as 2010 if I remember correctly. Anybody before that had a choice to move once between the two.
BMO in my view is probably the only one kept DB - but their 2yr limit is extremely noncompetitive

That being is DBs plan regularly fall into short-falls in low-interest rate environment - shareholders are on the hook for that ....or the tax-payer if the banks get bailed
Jr. Member
Oct 31, 2017
175 posts
CIBC is DB - also 2yr vested period
You miss shots you don't take.
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Oct 12, 2006
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If you're allowed to say, what are the payout formulas?
Deal Guru
Feb 9, 2009
10836 posts
Chingyul wrote: If you're allowed to say, what are the payout formulas?
Td is 1.4% up to full cpp amount and 2.0% above that x years vested up to max 35 years x salary (best 5 of 10 I believe).