Member Frequently Asked Questions
Break In Service
What is a Break in Service ("BIS")?

If you are under age 55, you will have a Break in Service if no contributions are received on your behalf for eight months. This eight-month period provides members an opportunity to find employment with another contributing employer to continue participating in the NHRIPP. The eight-month period does not include periods during which you are away from work due to illness or disability but still on a contributing employer’s payroll; on an approved leave of absence; or on layoff and subject to recall under your collective agreement.

Why didn’t I receive a termination benefit statement package after the eight-month Break in Service period?

There are various reasons for not receiving your termination benefit statement package. The common reasons are as follows:

i) In many cases participating employers do not advise InBenefits of the date you stopped working.

ii) InBenefits does not have your current address on file and the package was sent to an old address.

What are “self-payments”?

Self-payments are additional pension contributions you can make voluntarily to keep your pension growing in one of the following cases:

  • You are on a layoff with recall rights or an approved leave of absence (such as sick leave, maternity or parental leave, workers’ compensation leave, pandemic leave, etc.); or

  • You stop working for a contributing employer and become employed by another contributing employer before having a break in service.

InBenefits will need to be advised by you and your employer if you are on an approved leave of absence. We will contact you to confirm if you would like to make self-payments. If you do, you will need to complete an Election to Contribute Form and return it to InBenefits.

If InBenefits’ records do not indicate that you have made any self-payments, the number under self-payments in your annual pension statement will be $0.

Can I contribute to the NHRIPP at any age?

Members may not contribute to the Plan after November 30th of the year in which they turn 71. 

How To Join
Can I join the NHRIPP on my first day of employment?

No.  You will join the Plan on the first day of the month after you complete the required hours of employment in your collective agreement – which cannot exceed 975 hours.

Can I opt out of the Plan?

You cannot opt out of the Plan if the applicable collective agreement or affiliation agreement requires you to contribute.  However, your active membership must end no later than November 30th of the calendar year in which you turn 71.

My collective agreement says I need to work 975 qualifying hours before I can join the NHRIPP. Do these hours include overtime?

Yes, the 975 hours include overtime hours.

I am a management employee of a contributing employer, can I join the Plan?

If there is an affiliation agreement in force between your employer and the Plan, non-union employees in job categories covered by that agreement must join the NHRIPP.

How To Calculate Your Pension
Do I qualify for a past service benefit?

If you worked for your first contributing employer when it began contributing to the Plan, you may be entitled to receive a past service benefit.

You may receive a past service pension of up to $26.60 per month for each year of your service with that employer before it began contributing to the Plan, up to a maximum of seven years. Please note the following past service rules.

1. You are only eligible to receive past service with your first contributing employer.

2. If your employer started contributing to the NHRIPP on or before June 1, 2016, you must complete 24 continuous months of Plan membership, or turn age 65, to receive all past service for which you are eligible.

3. If your employer started contributing to the NHRIPP after June 1, 2016, you will receive up to two years of past service once you complete 24 months of continuous membership or reach age 65. If you are eligible, you will receive another year of past service for each additional year of continuous Plan membership you complete, to a maximum of five additional years.

What will my monthly pension be when I retire?

If you want to calculate your monthly pension at retirement, check out the pension estimate calculator on the member portal.  Click on the member sign-in button at the top of this page to access the My InSite member portal and follow the instructions.

You can also request an estimate of your monthly pension amount by calling InBenefits at 905-889-6200 or toll-free at 1-800-287-4816.

How long will the Plan provide me with a pension?

You’ll receive a pension from the NHRIPP for the rest of your life, regardless of which pension payment option you choose. Payments may then continue to your spouse if the pension payment option you chose included a survivor pension.  If no survivor pension is payable, the current value of any remaining payments, if the pension payment option you chose included a minimum number of payments, will be paid to your designated beneficiary or estate. Note that the amount of your pension may increase or decrease depending on the financial health of your Plan.

Keeping track
My Annual Pension Statement shows no beneficiaries on file. What happens to my pension if I die?

Under Ontario pension law, your eligible spouse is automatically your sole beneficiary - unless he or she has waived this entitlement by completing the appropriate form and providing it to InBenefits. It’s important to have a designated beneficiary(ies) if you don’t have a spouse. It is also important to designate a beneficiary(ies) even if you have a spouse, as your spouse may predecease you. If you have not designated a beneficiary and you do not have a spouse at the date of death, any death benefits will be payable to your estate and may be subject to estate taxes and/or probate fees and claims by your creditors.

When will I receive my Annual Pension Statement?

Annual pension statements for our active members are issued every year by the end of June. This statement shows a summary of the total employee and employer contributions for the previous calendar year, as well as your accrued monthly pension payable at age 65 – the normal retirement age under the NHRIPP.

Why is “interest on contributions” shown on the Annual Statement?

Pension law requires “interest on employee contributions”, at a minimum, to be shown on the annual statement. Interest on employee contributions is used for purposes of the “50% rule” only – this calculation is intended to ensure members don’t fund more than 50% of the value of the pension they accrued. If your employee contributions plus calculated interest equal more than 50% of the current value of your pension, this difference or “excess” may be refunded to you as a taxable lump sum, used to provide you with a larger pension or transferred on a tax-free basis to your RRSP, another registered account or another pension plan.  In the case of pre-retirement death, any excess contributions will be paid to your spouse/beneficiary, or estate.

Pre-retirement Death
Who qualifies as an eligible spouse?

Under Ontario pension law, your “spouse” is the person who is living with you, and is:

1. married to you, or

2. not married to you but has been:

  • living in a conjugal relationship with you continuously for at least three years; or
  • in a relationship of some permanence with you if you are the parents of a child, as defined in the Children’s Law Reform Act, (Ontario).

You can claim only one person as your spouse at any one time.

NOTE: If you work in a province other than Ontario, the definition of “spouse” may differ. Please contact InBenefits for more information.

What happens if I die before I start to receive my pension?

If you die before starting your pension, your spouse, beneficiary or estate will receive a death benefit from the Plan.  The death benefit is equal to the value of your pension at your date of death.

If I die before I retire, what are my spouse’s options for the death benefit payable by the NHRIPP?

Your spouse can choose to receive the death benefit as:

  • An immediate monthly lifetime pension, or
  • A deferred monthly lifetime pension, which can begin as early as when the spouse reaches age 55, with an early retirement reduction,
  • A single lump sum cash payment (less applicable taxes) or
  • A tax-free transfer to a non-locked-in RRSP.


Ready to Retire
My spouse has his/her own pension. Do I still have to choose a pension payment option that provides a survivor pension to my spouse if I die first?

Ontario law says you must receive a pension that provides a survivor’s pension equal to at least 60% of your pension to your spouse after your death, unless your spouse waives this entitlement. (This waiver is different from the waiver for pre-retirement death benefits.) If your spouse provides a signed waiver to InBenefits before your pension begins to be paid, you may select any of the other pension payment options. We strongly recommend that your spouse speak with a qualified, independent financial adviser or lawyer before waiving her entitlement to a survivor pension.

Are taxes deducted from my pension? What about from my spouse’s survivor pension if I die first?

Taxes are withheld from all monthly pensions based on the TD1 form completed by the recipient of the pension.

How do I apply for my pension?

Members who are considering retirement as early as age 55 can call InBenefits to request a pension estimate, showing their monthly pension amount at the date or age requested. When you are ready to start your pension, please call InBenefits three months before the date you want your pension to begin to be paid to request a pension application and the forms you will need to complete to start your pension.

You can also apply for your pension using the member portal.  Click on the member sign-in button at the top of this page to access the My InSite member portal and follow the instructions.

Confirmation of your last day worked from your employer is required before your pension can begin to be paid.

When is my pension effective and when will the first payment be made?

Your pension is payable on the latest of (i) the month following the month in which your application is received; (ii) the month following the month you last worked and (iii) the month for which you elect to begin receiving your pension.

Pension payments are made on the first business day of the month via direct deposit or cheque and will be paid for your lifetime and possibly the lifetime of your spouse, depending on the pension payment option you select.

What’s the Plan’s normal retirement age?

The normal retirement date is the first of the month coinciding with or immediately following your 65th birthday. You will be eligible for your full pension on this date.

Can I retire early?

You can start collecting a pension from the Plan as early as age 55. However, if you do there will be a permanent reduction of approximately 0.5% in the monthly pension for every month you start your pension before age 65. The reduction is to account for the additional pension payments you will receive.

How late can I retire?

By law, your pension payments must begin no later than the December 1st of the calendar year in which you turn 71.

Once I start to receive my pension, can I change the pension payment option I chose?

Once a pension has started to be paid, you cannot change the pension payment option you chose.

Relationship Breakdown
What happens to my pension benefits if my spousal relationship ends?

Your pension is considered a family asset. This means any pension you accrue while you and your spouse are married or living as a common-law couple may have to be divided between you and your former spouse.

The actual amount your former spouse receives will depend on your court order, family arbitration award or domestic contract.  Keep in mind, it is the pension your accrued not the contributions which are divided.

The Trustees strongly recommend you get independent legal advice on how your separation or divorce may affect your pension benefits. Laws differ in jurisdictions outside Ontario. You can call InBenefits to get more information on how to request the family law value of your pension benefits.

My spousal relationship is ending. Can I use my annual pension statement as a family law valuation?

When a spousal relationship ends, a family law valuation is required to determine the value of your pension benefits for the purpose of dividing your family assets. Your annual pension statement is not an acceptable document for this purpose. Ontario members can request a family law valuation using the forms available on the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario website at, and then providing InBenefits with completed FSCO Family Law Forms 1, 2 and 3. InBenefits charges a fee of $600 plus HST for InBenefits to perform the calculations needed to provide a family law valuation.

Why do I have to provide divorce or separation documents to transfer my benefits out of the Plan?

Your former spouse may be entitled to a share of the pension benefits accrued during your spousal relationship. InBenefits requires divorce or separation documents to verify settlement of the spouse's rights and to protect itself from any future claims.

Temporary Absences due to Pandemic
Can my employer stop collecting and remitting contributions to the Plan until the pandemic is over?

Employers are required to collect and remit employee and employer contributions as per their applicable collective agreements. The collective agreements which require NHRIPP contributions do not allow contribution holidays. The NHRIPP permits members to make self-payments during emergency leaves due to the pandemic.  Unless you provide your employer with written notice that you do not intend to make self-payments during such a leave, your employer must make its employer contributions on your behalf. Please contact InBenefits for more information.

I can’t attend work because I have to look after my kids since their school has been closed. What will this mean to my NHRIPP pension?

Your NHRIPP pension is based on the employer and employee contributions received on your behalf. If no contributions are received on your behalf, your pension will not grow during this absence from work.

In response to the pandemic, the Ontario government introduced a new job-protected, emergency leave for employees who were unable to work for reasons related to COVID-19. Ontario employees are eligible for this unpaid leave if they are:

  • under individual medical investigation, supervision or treatment for reasons related to COVID-19;
  • acting in accordance with an order under the Health Protection and Promotion Act;
  • directed by their employer not to attend work due to the employer’s concern that the employee may expose others in the workplace to COVID-19;
  • providing care or support to family members for a matter related to COVID-19, including a school closure;
  • directly affected by travel restrictions and cannot reasonably be expected to travel back to Ontario; or
  • in quarantine or self-isolation as a result of information or directions issued by a public health official, a qualified health practitioner, Telehealth Ontario, the province, the federal government, a municipal council, or a board of health.

Under the Employment Standards Act, your employer must continue to contribute to the NHRIPP on your behalf during a COVID-19 leave, unless you provide it with written notice that you do not intend to make your employee contributions during your leave. The Trustees will permit members to make self-payments of employee contributions for a COVID-19 leave until December 31, 2021. This date will be reassessed at a future time.

Termination from the plan
When can I apply to transfer my benefits out of the NHRIPP?

A member who is under the age of 55, terminates employment with all contributing employers and does not contribute to the Plan for more than eight months can apply to transfer their benefits out of the Plan. At that point InBenefits will issue a termination package. You have 60 days from the date of the termination package to return the completed forms and supporting documents to InBenefits.

Do I have to pay a fee to transfer my benefits out of the Plan?

There is no fee charged to members transferring their benefits out of the Plan.

I was not married when I joined the NHRIPP. Why do I need to provide a marriage certificate to transfer my benefits?

A marriage certificate may be required to substantiate the change of your family name when you apply to transfer your benefits under your married name.

Do I have to transfer my benefits out of the Plan?

You can decide to leave your benefits in the Plan until you start your person anytime after age 54.  The NHRIPP’s normal retirement age is age 65.

Can I start my pension after age 65?

Yes. However, by law, your pension must start to be paid by no later than December 1st of the calendar year in which you reach age 71.  Whether you defer receipt of your pension beyond age 65 or not, it will be calculated in the same way as a normal retirement date pension and will be based on total contributions received by the Plan on your behalf, any past service you may be entitled to receive and the target benefit formula. 

Can I apply to transfer my benefits out of the Plan after I turn 55?

Plan members are not eligible to transfer their benefits out of the Plan after they reach age 55.

What happens if I do not have the required proof of age documents?

Plan members sometimes do not have all the proof of age documents required for the completion of the application process. A sworn affidavit (statutory declaration under oath) may be provided in this case. Please refer to the list of acceptable proof of age documents in your termination package.

Do I need to provide a completed declaration of martial status form to transfer by benefits out of the Plan?

Yes, we do require a completed declaration of marital status form.  This form is also required if you are applying for a pension. 

What are the payment options for my benefits and their tax consequences?

You may elect to receive a deferred pension payable from the NHRIPP at age 65 or as early as age 55, with reduction. Tax is withheld at source from your monthly pension payments.

Alternatively, you may choose one of the portability options.  These options are exempt from tax because they involve transferring your benefits to an eligible retirement vehicle which includes:

  • a registered pension plan of your new employer (if that plan accepts such transfers);
  • a deferred life annuity (lifetime pension purchased from an insurance company);
  • a Locked-in Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP); or,
  • a Life Income Fund (LIF).
Plan termination
What happens to my pension if the NHRIPP is terminated?

The NHRIPP is expected to operate indefinitely. However, if for some unlikely reason it is terminated, your pension benefits will be administered as required by applicable legislation.