Pension e-news

May 26, 2015

The Employer Portal - Coming Soon

The system freeze period required to migrate member data to the new employer portal has been reduced from six weeks to two weeks.

This freeze period is expected to take place in late October. During this time, access to Employer Online Services (EOS) will be limited to the ability to view reports in the inbox.

APS continues to work with our system vendor with the goal of further minimizing disruption of service for employers and members.

The new employer portal is expected to go live in November, and we're excited about being able to offer:

-Greater control of information
-Increased flexibility
-A choice of data submission formats.

APS will help you prepare: Employers will receive information and instructions, including checklists, on how to prepare for the new portal and the conversion process.

Comprehensive training sessions start this summer. The latest webinar and workshop schedules can be found in this edition of Pension e-news. A new tab on Pension e-Guide is expected to go live in August and will offer Next Gen reference and support materials. Employer Services reps will work with employers directly and be available to answer questions.

Every employer has designated a Next Generation contact person for APS to liaise with. If you have questions, the Next Gen representative in your office may already have the answers, or you can contact your APS Employer Services representative.
Future issues of Pension e-news will also have more information as it becomes available.

Troy Diakow
Executive Director, APS Client Services

Reporting of Leaves (Short Periods of Leave)

The reporting of leave without pay has been under review in connection with the implementation of Alberta Pensions Services’ (APS) new pension administration system and from a review of legislative requirements.

Employers across the province currently have different practices in place for reporting short periods of leave; however, in order to comply with Canada Revenue Agency and public sector pension plan legislation, these guidelines must now be followed:

1. Employers must report all periods of purchased leave (contributory leave) as leave.

2. Employers can decide whether they will report periods of unpurchased leave to APS. This information allows APS to provide your employees the opportunity to purchase their period of leave.

3. When APS' new pension administration system goes live in November, APS will set a threshold of five days for generating notices of cost (NOC) for unpurchased leaves. If the available leave to purchase is less than that threshold, our system will not generate that NOC. APS can still generate a NOC for periods of leave below the threshold, on request by the employee or member.

In summary, report all contributory leaves regardless of the duration of the leave.

A contributory leave is a period of time an employee is on leave without pay but the pension contributions are calculated on the period as though the employee has been paid. If an employer makes contributions for the period, they are required to report the leave as either a leave without salary (Type L) or a parenting leave without salary (Type W), regardless of the length of the leave. These leaves will reduce and count towards the first-year leave counter and the maximum leave limits (i.e. 3 years for parental leave and 5 years for non-parental leave). This should be communicated to employees.

Please review your system and processes, and begin making changes to include all periods of purchased leave in your reporting.