The Personal Pension Plan Sub-accounts

Articles The Personal Pension Plan Sub-accounts

The Personal Pension Plan (PPP) is a registered pension plan designed exclusively for business owners and incorporated professionals. It is a very powerful way of saving for your retirement because you can save your money and protect your assets in a very flexible way. The PPP is unlike any other registered pension plan in Canada. It is composed of three distinct sub-accounts:

(1) The Defined Benefit (DB) sub-account,

(2) The Defined Contribution (DC) sub-account, and

(3)The Additional Voluntary Contribution (AVC) sub-account.

The sub-accounts allow plan members to choose how to save their money in any given year. Understanding how the three sub-accounts work together to help clients is important.

(1) Defined Benefit Sub-account

Monies contributed to and saved in this account are pre-determined. Defined benefit retirement calculations are based on a formula that considers years of service, annual earnings, and the age of the plan member. The method of benefit accrual in this sub-account is identical to Individual Pension Plans (IPP). The maximum DB contribution limit for 2015 is $40,242.75. That level of contribution would be for a 64-year old. The DB sub-account is designed to maximize the tax deductions available to a plan member in a given year. Up to 50% of the contributions can come from the plan member (out of salary by payroll deductions). There is always the option of having the corporation pay 100% of these contributions.

(2) Defined Contribution Sub-account

This is also known as the money purchase sub-account. Retirement income derived from this account is not pre-determined because it is based on the value of the account at the time you choose to retire. The corporation under the DC sub-account is required to contribute 1% of their T4 income, if the member has elected to save under the DC method that year. The PPP permits plan members to switch between DB and DC contribution methods. While the DC account functions like an RRSP, DC assets are trade-creditor protected, whereas RRSP funds are not. The maximum DC contribution limit for 2015 is $25,370. If, for example, a member is receiving a salary of $100,000, the corporate contribution to the DC sub-account in that year would only be $1,000. This provides an ‘escape hatch’ when a business is facing uncertain cash flows.

(3) Additional Voluntary Contribution Sub-account

Plan members that choose to save under the DC option of the PPP can choose to make additional contributions to the AVC sub-account as well. While employers, or sponsoring corporations, make a mandatory 1% of T4 income contribution into a DC account, an employee can contribute between 0% and 17% of his or her T4 income to the AVC account. This means that the plan member can deduct the AVC contributions from their personal taxable income and obtain refunds based on their marginal tax rates. While AVC monies are treated as if they were DC assets, the funds are not locked-in by pension laws. If plan members wish to withdraw their AVCs, this can be achieved by filing a plan amendment. In addition, the AVC sub-account can receive the member’s existing RRSP assets on a tax-deferred basis at any time after the plan has been registered. This provides creditor protection to these RRSP assets, and enables the corporate sponsor of the PPP to deduct – from corporate income taxes – all of the investment management fees that attach to those funds.

3 Subaccounts Working For You

Plan members who save for retirement under the PPP will enjoy all the benefits of convenience and flexibility. The DB and DC contribution methods provide business owners and professionals with a choice no other IPP offers. More importantly, the Personal Pension Plan, a CRA- approved method of saving for retirement, provides plan members with the assurance that their hard earned money is protected whether it accrues as DB, DC, or AVC assets.

Regardless of the method you choose to save for retirement, the pension provider (INTEGRIS) has a legal duty to always act in your best interest. In fact, INTEGRIS is bound by pension legislation to ensure your pension plan is administered in a manner that complies with federal and provincial regulations.

For inquires about the Personal Pension Plan, and to receive a complimentary retirement savings illustration, contact us at DFS Private Wealth. We’re happy to introduce and discuss this pension plan option to business owners, entrepreneurs and professionals!


Sources: INTEGRIS Pension Management Corp.