Dear Plan Members,

At this time, the CEIRP Retirement Committee has not relaxed criteria or amended withdrawal restrictions or waiting periods on payroll contributions due to the work stoppage resulting from Covid-19.

Rather than immediately seeking to withdraw from funds which have been set aside for retirement, as stipulated by contracts/collective agreements, members are advised to exhaust all available options:

  • Apply for employment insurance benefits as soon as possib
  • Apply to the Canada Emergency Response Benefit Act (CERBA) if you are a loan out or do not otherwise not qualify for employment insurance benefits (coming soon).
  • Apply to the AFC for emergency funds. You do not have to pay them back.
  • If you are a renter please check out support for renters in your province.
  • If you have a mortgage contact the mortgage holder.
  • Take advantage of the payment holidays and deferrals being offered by lenders, utility companies, municipalities and other service providers.
  • Check your Union or Guild office for any initiatives being undertaken which may provide additional relief through them and your benefit plan and member/employee assistance plan, as applicab

No one knows where this is going, but market corrections have occurred in the past and markets did recover over time.  A decision made in response to the current situation may cause results that are contrary to long-term goals. CEIRP’s investment policy is to protect member assets in down markets and is supported by Canada Life’s disciplined and conservative investing practices.

There is a great deal of work being done by a great many people in all sectors of the industry who have banded together to lobby governments at all levels to support Canadian workers in an industry that has been hit so hard so fast.

Stay safe and keep well.

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March 18, 2020 Update

Very important: https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/news/2020/03/canadas-covid-19-economic-response-plan-support-for-canadians-and-businesses.html

Dear Plan Members,

The CEIRP Retirement Committee held an emergency meeting on March 14th to discuss COVID-19 and the Plan. They will be monitoring and assessing the situation closely and continuing to meet regularly as necessary.

Plan Administrators have been assured that it’s business as usual and that they will be provided with regular updates as more information becomes available.

The Plan Manager is coordinating with all Participating Unions, Guilds and Employers to ensure that the lines of communication remain open to help Plan Members navigate through these uncertain times.

The COVID-19 situation is changing by the hour. Below are links to help you keep up with developments.

World Health Organization: https://www.who.int/health-topics/coronavirus

Public Health Agency of Canada: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection.html

Employment Insurance: https://www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/ei.html

The AFC: https://afchelps.ca/

For more information pertinent to you specifically, check for updates from your Union or Guild office, or Employer on their website, e-newsletter, or by phone – ask to speak with your group retirement plan administrator.

You may be able to apply for employment insurance benefits; at this time, the waiting period for EI Sick Benefits has been waived.

The AFC is able to accept applications for emergency funds, though not total income replacement, and may be able to provide information for other possible sources of assistance.

Your Employee/Member Assistance Plan, if applicable, may also be able to provide assistance.

If you have questions about your account please contact Canada Life at 1-800-724-3402 and ask to speak with an Investment and Retirement Specialist.  Canada Life has provided this article addressing market volatility.

Undoubtedly, there are concerns over the current negative effects on the markets. Canada Life’s conservative and diversified approach to investing may underperform in bull markets, but tends to protect capital during negative equity markets.

Please continue to check for updates on www.ceirp.ca, and with your local health authority.

Stay safe and keep well.