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Retiring at 55

  • Thread starter stellarpanther
  • Start date


Hopefully someone here can provide a clear answer.  I joined the CAF at 33 years old on 31 Mar 04, when 55 was still CRA, when I signed my last TOS in 2010 or 2011 it had to be a CE as I could not sign an IE25 as there wasn't enough time left until I reached CRA.  I was told at that time that due to the time when I joined, I was not obligated to select CRA 60 which would mean when I hit my 55th birthday, I could retire and would not be penalized because it was my age forcing me to retire.  Pension Services is now saying that if I decided to retire when I turn 55 years old, I will be hit with a 25 percent penalty.  This doesn't seem right.  I was also told then by the OR Chief Clerk as well as the pension people back then the same as I am saying now which is there would be no penalty.  Now Pension Services have changed there story.  They told me they get several people each day thinking exactly as I am saying. 
Can someone clarify this or is Pension Services correct?  To me it doesn't make sense, who in there right mind would sign a TOS thinking they are signing up to CRA knowing they will lose 25 percent?  I would be better off to stop sucking up the documented physical pain I deal with everyday and get a medical release so I don't get penalized.  The whole thing just doesn't make any sense.  The other stressor is that I could go to work tomorrow and request to change to CRA 60 but then I still need to hope they give me a new TOS which wouldn't happen until I have less than 2 years remaining on my current TOS.

You should be grandfathered under the old terms; sometimes the folks at the pension office are new and don't know all the intricacies of the plans.

Ask specific questions about grandfathering or alternate options and they may give additional information; there is also the pension website (DWAN only) that provides specific info for you and includes those options. ( PKI card required)

For more info on grandfathering, see https://www.tpsgc-pwgsc.gc.ca/fac-caf/srvv/glssr-reg-eng.html#listg

I'm in the same boat as you. Joined age 31 in 2003, currently on a CE that takes me to my 55th birthday. Never signed CRA 60.

The key date is March 2007. If you joined before that you are grandfathered as long as you do not sign CRA 60, and are entitled to an unreduced pension, based on years of service x 2%, immediately upon retirement. I confirmed this a couple of years ago with the pension folks. So in my case I'm entitled to a 48.4% pension (or something like that) immediately upon retirement. Yours should be 44.something%, based on the info you provided.

If you sign CRA 60 all kinds of weird things kick in......
dapaterson said:
... there is also the pension website (DWAN only) that provides specific info for you and includes those options. ( PKI card required)

That pension website is indeed useful!  However, it will not calculate correctly for people with CRA55 and/or who are on an IE20.  Both of those things apply to me but the calculator will still tell me I'll get a 25% penalty.  You can play with the numbers a bit to get the terms you know should be the correct ones (ie: no penalty), but grandfathered situations should be possible with the calculator -- it could just be one of the few bits of info you put in to make the calculation (if/or!!!).