Sometimes, a Pension Plan member’s Required Contributions to their regular Western pension account, combined with the University’s contribution to the member’s account, exceed the total contributions permitted under the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) contribution limit for the year. The Supplemental Pension Arrangement (SPA) is a plan that provides a notional account for contributions to a member’s pension account that are in excess of the CRA limit.
This occurs for higher earners - for example, members with an earnings level of approximately $178,000 or more who made Required Contributions at the 5.5% rate in 2014. In determining whether there is a SPA amount, Voluntary Contributions are not considered - only the member’s Required Contributions.
The SPA account is a notional account. A SPA account holder does not direct the investment options for this account. Instead, the University sets aside and invest sums of money equal to the contributions credited to the notional SPA accounts. The SPA accounts are credited with the same return realized by The University of Western Ontario’s Operating and Endowment funds.
Members receive an annual SPA statement outlining the amounts added to and deducted from their notional contribution accounts.
A member leaving Western may elect to receive the balance in the notional SPA account in equal annual installments over a number of years designated by the member (not more than fifteen). A one-time lump sum payment option may also be available. Members planning to leave Western should contact Western Human Resources at 519-661-2194 to discuss options and any restrictions that may apply to payout of the SPA account.
The SPA is credited with the same return realized by Western’s Operating and Endowment funds. Here are some links to view returns.