Document name
Pension Commutation (The Workers’ Compensation Act, 1974)
Document number
PRO 13/2016

Effective date: August 1, 2016

Application: All requests for pension commutations under the 1974 Act.

Policy subject: Annuities and pensions

Purpose:

To establish the process for commuting pensions payable under The Workers’ Compensation Act, 1974.

BACKGROUND

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POL 13/2016, Pension Commutations (The Workers’ Compensation Act, 1974) establishes guidelines for commuting permanent disability pensions payable under The Workers’ Compensation Act, 1974.

PROCEDURE

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  1. Annually, Case Managers (CM) will send letters to workers who are only receiving permanent disability pension benefits under The Workers’ Compensation Act, 1974. Letters will advise eligible workers of the:
    1. Pension commutation option.
    2. Approval criteria for pension commutation.
    3. Financial impact of a pension commutation.
    4. Recommendation that the worker should seek independent financial advice before making a decision (not funded by WCB).
    5. Current value of a full pension commutation (the value will be based on the date the pension is commuted).
    6. Steps to request a pension commutation.
    7. Clarification that the worker will remain eligible for other WCB benefits if he or she decides to commute the pension (e.g., medical care, medication, etc.).
  2. The CM will not send letters to workers who are receiving earnings loss benefits.

Commutation Requests

  1. If a worker wants the WCB to commute their pension, the worker must send a completed Commutation Qualification Review form (PCOM) to their CM. The commutation request must:
    1. Provide reasoning for the request.
    2. Note the amount to be commuted.
    3. Be signed by the worker.
  2. Subject to the guiding principles noted in Point 2 of POL 13/2016, the CM may approve pension commutations in situations including, but not limited to, the following.
    1. Home purchase.
    2. Automobile purchase.
    3. Investment in a potentially successful business.
    4. Debt payment.
    5. Education (aside from the educational expenses the WCB pays for).
    6. The worker is terminally ill.
  3. The CM may request additional information from the worker to help make a decision.
  4. If the worker still wants to commute their pension, the commuted pension will be issued to the worker.
  5. If the CM does not approve the pension commutation, the CM will explain to the worker their decision:
    1. By phone, and
    2. In writing.

Appeals

  1. The Board Appeal Tribunal will review and make decisions on pension commutation appeals (POL 22/2013, Board Appeal Tribunal will apply).

Actuarial Review

  1. To ensure that the information used to commute pensions is accurate, the Internal Actuary will annually update:
    1. Current interest rates, and
    2. Life expectancy rates.

Policy references

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Act Sec #

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76(1); The Workers’ Compensation Act, 1974 82

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Supersedes

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PRO 11/2010 Pension Commutation (The Workers’ Compensation Act, 1974)

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Complements

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