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Frequently Asked Questions

Banking Information

How do I change my electronic deposit information?

Mail or fax a cheque marked "VOID" along with a signed letter to ATRF, or have your bank fax or mail the change to us on your behalf. Changes must be received by the 15th of the month to be effective for that month's payment. 

Alberta Teachers' Retirement Fund Board
600 Barnett House 11010 142 ST NW
Edmonton, AB  T5N 2R1
Canada

Fax: (780) 452-3547 

You may also refer to MyPension to change your banking information

When is my pension deposited into my bank account?

​Payments by electronic direct deposit will be made on the third-last business day of the month, except in December when your payment will be deposited the second-last business day before Christmas.​​

What are the pension deposit dates?

​For pension deposit dates for the current year, refer to Pension Deposit Dates.

Update Your Personal Information

How do I change my address?

​Please call or write to us, or register for MyPension to make this change online.​

How do I change my beneficiary?

​If the guarantee period of your pension has not yet expired, you will need to complete and sign the Beneficiary Update Form for Guaranteed Pensions and return it to our office.

How do I change my name?

​Send us a signed letter along with proof of the change, such as a marriage certificate, to:

Alberta Teachers' Retirement Fund Board
600 Barnett House 11010 142 ST NW
Edmonton, AB  T5N 2R1
Canada

Confirmation of Pension Letters

I received a Confirmation of Pension Letter: what is it and why did I get it?

​To learn about the confirmation of pension letter process, refer to the publication, Confirmation Letters – Frequently Asked Questions.

Cost-of-Living Adjustments (COLA)

What is the legislative basis for the ATRF cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) process?

COLA is applied every January to ATRF pensions in accordance with provisions of the Teachers’ Pension Plans Act. The provisions provide that:

  • increases are based on the change in the Alberta Consumer Price Index (ACPI),
  • the COLA formula is based on the average year-over-year change in the ACPI,
  • for service earned prior to 1993, retired members receive 60% of the change in the ACPI,
  • for service after 1992, retired members receive 70% of the change in the ACPI, and
  • pensions paid for less than a full year will receive a pro-rated portion of the cost-of-living adjustment.

We compare the average monthly ACPI for the 12 months ending on October 31st to the 12-month average a year earlier. 

What is the difference between the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and the Alberta Consumer Price Index (ACPI)?

​The CPI measures the inflation for the Canadian economy while the ACPI is specific to Alberta’s economy.​

How do other pension plans determine cost-of-living adjustments?

​Many other pension plans use a price index to calculate COLA. For example, the Canada Pension Plan and Ontario Teachers Pension Plan use the Consumer Price Index (CPI). Many other pension plans in Alberta use the same formula as ATRF.​

What is the basis for the Alberta Consumer Price Index (ACPI)?

​The ACPI measures the average price change through time of goods and services purchased by Alberta consumers by comparing the cost of a fixed basket of goods and services. There are eight major components, each with a specific weighting of the fixed basket.

Why is the ATRF cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) not 100% of the Alberta Consumer Price Index (ACPI)?

​The two ATRF plan sponsors agreed, as part of a joint Memorandum of Understanding in 1992, to use the factors of 60% of ACPI (for service prior to 1993) and 70% of ACPI (for service after 1992). The cost of each factor is funded through contribution rates. The cost of the 60% factor is shared equally by teachers and the Alberta Government; the cost of the extra 10% is the responsibility of teachers. The incremental cost of a 100% COLA was not considered to be affordable by either sponsor at that time.​

Where can I find details of my own pension increase?

Pension Information Statements will be mailed late January along with a copy of the Pension Update Newsletter. (To receive an electronic copy of the statement, instead of a mailed statement, select this option after registering for MyPension.) The statement shows your updated pension payment amount (including the impact of any income withholding tax changes).

Will the cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) provisions change in the future?

​Benefit changes are the responsibility of plan sponsors. Any changes would be part of negotiations between the Alberta Teachers’ Association (ATA) and the Alberta Government.​

Where can I get more information?

​Please click here to get to the Cost-of-Living Adjustments page of our website.

Health Benefits

Who do I contact regarding Health Benefits?

If you are under age 65, you may have continued your group benefits through the Alberta School Employee Benefits Plan (ASEBP).
ASEBP
Phone: (780) 431-4786 or Toll free in Alberta 1-877-431-4786
If you have not chosen to continue these benefits or are over the age of 65, you can contact the Alberta Retired Teachers’ Association (ARTA) at http://www.arta.net.
ARTA
Phone: (780) 822-2400 or Toll free in Alberta 1-855-212-2400
Please note that neither organization is affiliated with ATRF.

Leaving Canada

What do I need to do if I am leaving Canada?

​Under Canada's tax system, your liability for income tax in Canada is based on your status as a resident or non-resident of Canada. Your residence status must be established before your tax liability to Canada can be determined.​​

How do I determine my residency status?

​A determination of residency status can only be made after all the factors have been considered. Your circumstances have to be reviewed in their entirety to get an accurate picture of your residency status.​

The residential ties you have or establish in Canada are a major factor in determining residency status. Residential ties to Canada can include:

  • a home in Canada,
  • a spouse or common-law partner or dependants who stayed in Canada,
  • personal property in Canada, such as a car or furniture,
  • social ties in Canada, and/or
  • economic ties in Canada.

When do I become a non-resident?

​When you leave Canada to settle in another country, you usually become a non-resident of Canada for income tax purposes on the latest of the following dates:

  • the date you leave Canada,
  • the date your spouse or common-law partner and dependants leave Canada, or
  • the date you become a resident of the country to which you are immigrating.

Residential ties that you maintain or establish in another country may also be relevant to residency status. If you require more information regarding residency status please refer to the Canada Revenue Agency website.

Who do I contact?

​Contact the International Tax Service Office if you want an opinion about your residency status. Then, complete Form NR73, Determination of Residency Status (Leaving Canada).​​

Where do I send this form?

​Send it to:

International Tax Services Office
P.O. Box 9769, Station T
Ottawa, ON  K1G 3Y4
Canada​

What should I do next?

Once CRA has determined your residency status, contact ATRF in writing with the decision.​​

Pension Information Statement

Do I get a regular statement of my pension payments?

​The Pension Information Statement is a one-page document that provides details of your current pension status. It is provided annually, in January of each year, or whenever there is a change to your pension payment. For information about receiving your Pension Information Statement electronically, refer to Pension Information Statements.​

Returning to Teaching after Retirement

Where can I learn more about returning to teaching after retirement?

​Refer to Returning to Work as a Teacher for more information about returning to teaching after retirement.

© Copyright 2015, Alberta Teachers' Retirement Fund Board
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