Pension Dictionary
Pension Dictionary
Active Plan member

You are an active Plan member if you have joined the Plan and are working for a contributing employer that is required to make contributions on your behalf.


The Plan’s actuaries advise the Board of Trustees on the design and funding of the Plan and prepare the various funding estimates required by the pension regulators.


The NHRIPP uses a third-party administrator, InBenefits, that looks after the day-to-day administration of the Plan. This includes recordkeeping, processing retirement benefit applications and communicating with members.

You can contact InBenefits in the following ways:
Phone: 905-889-6200 or 1-800-287-4816
Fax: 905-889-7313

You can also write to:
310-105 Commerce Valley Drive West
Markham, Ontario L3T 7W3


An annuity is a stream of income that you can buy from an insurance company. “Locked-in” funds, such as those from the NHRIPP, can only be used to buy a “life” annuity. Payments from a life annuity may start anytime you choose after you reach age 55 and will continue for your life. You can also arrange to provide continuing payments after your death to a spouse or other beneficiary.


This is the person you name to receive your pension benefits in the event of your death. If you name more than one person as your beneficiary, your death benefits from the Plan will be divided according to your instructions.

If you have an eligible spouse, he or she is automatically your beneficiary, unless your spouse waives this entitlement.

If you do not have a spouse – or your spouse signs a waiver – you may name anyone as your beneficiary.

If your beneficiary is a minor, you should consider appointing a trustee or guardian to look after the child’s benefits.

Otherwise, your death benefits will be held in trust by the courts until the child reaches age 18.

If you do not name a beneficiary, death benefits will be paid to your estate.

Board of Trustees

The Board is made up of individuals who are responsible for managing the Plan. They are appointed by the participating unions.

Break in service

Normally, a member for whom no contributions have been received for eight months incurs a break in service and become a former member. The reason no contributions were received, creates a number of exceptions to this eight-month rule. Former member who incur a break in service can transfer their benefits out of the Plan until they turn 55.

Canada Pension Plan (CPP)

CPP is a federal retirement income program. You can start receiving a reduced CPP pension as early as age 60 or wait until you turn 65 to receive an unreduced benefit.

Contributing employer

A contributing employer is an employer that makes pension contributions to the Plan in accordance its collective agreement. The Board of Trustees must approve all contributing employers.

Early retirement

You can retire as early as age 55. Your monthly pension will be permanently reduced by 0.5% for each month before your 65th birthday that your pension begins to be paid.

Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS)

GIS is a federal government program that provides additional support to low-income individuals in Canada. You must be eligible for an OAS pension to receive this tax-free supplement.

Life income fund (LIF)

A LIF works much like a LIRA (see below) but is designed to provide a retirement income. You may contribute to a LIF as early as the calendar year immediately before the year you turn 55, but you must start withdrawing your funds by the end of the second year after your LIF is established. Annual minimum and maximum withdrawal limits apply.

Within the first 60 days of transferring your funds to a LIF, you can apply to your financial institution to “unlock” and withdraw up to 50% of your funds in cash. These funds are taxable unless you transfer them to an RRSP or RRIF (registered retirement income fund). If you don’t apply within the first 60 days of the transfer, there will be no other opportunity to unlock this money.

Locked-in registered retirement account

A LIRA works the same way as an RRSP, except that amounts in a LIRA are locked in and must normally be used to provide retirement income.


A person under the age of 18.

Old Age Security (OAS)

OAS is a federal program that provides retirement income starting at age 65.

Pension adjustment (PA)

Your PA is the total amount that you and your employer contributed to the NHRIPP for the previous year. It is used to calculate your RRSP contribution room.

Postponed retirement

You can postpone starting your pension until December 1st of the year in which you turn age 71. At that point you must start your pension even if you continue working for a Contributing employer.

Registered retirement savings plan (RRSP)

Contributions to an RRSP reduce your annual income tax (unless contributions are transferred in from another registered plan). Money invested in an RRSP can grow tax free and is not taxed until it is withdrawn from the RRSP.


To keep your pension growing, you can make “self-payments” if you:

  • stop working for a contributing employer, and
  • are employed by another contributing employer before having a break in service, or
  • are on an approved leave of absence (for example maternity, parental, or workers’ compensation leave).

To arrange self-payments, please contact InBenefits.

Small pension

If your pension is less than $100 per month at age 65, you will receive the solvency-funded portion of your pension as a lump sum payment, which can be taken as a taxable cash payment or transferred tax-free to an RRSP. If you work in a province other than Ontario, different rules may apply.

Please contact InBenefits for more information.


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

  • a) married to you; or
  • b) 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 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. Your spouse is automatically your beneficiary for any pre-retirement death benefit, unless he or she waives this entitlement before your death.

If you have a spouse when you retire, you must choose a payment option that provides a pension to your spouse should you die first – unless you and your spouse provide a signed waiver to InBenefits before your first pension payment is made.