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Life Events for Plan Members

Please keep GSI informed of any of the life changes outlined on this page.

Each tab describes what information or forms are required and what further steps may be necessary for each life event. Please review these and refer back to them when these occasions arise.

New Plan Member

ELCIC Group Services Inc. (GSI) has created a complete pension and benefits package for all eligible employees of any ELCIC congregation or affiliated ELCIC organization. Your treasurer or someone in the human resources area of your organization needs to complete the Salary Calculation form to determine your eligibility and advise GSI of your call or hire. You will need to complete the following forms:

  • Pension Plan Enrollment,
  • Group Benefits Plan Enrollment, and
  • Continuing Education Plan (CEP) Enrollment

All can be found on the forms and worksheets page

Next you should review how your pension plan works and the benefits available to you. You will need to  select a Health Care module that is most appropriate for you and discuss the cost sharing with your employer. Note that the Health Module insurer requires that employees enroll in their ‘true’ family status. If you have a spouse and that spouse has health care coverage, you will be coordinating claims. Once you are enrolled you will receive a Manulife Financial Card. You may obtain additional Manulife Financial Cards for your registered Dependents, but all cards will be in your name.

The pension plan is a savings account for your retirement. The account grows by the contributions you and your employer make each month. Investment returns are credited to the account each month as well. So expect a deduction of 7% from each pay cheque to be added to your pension account. Your employer will also be making a contribution of 8% of your pay.

Now is the time to consider whether you would like to make voluntary pension contributions to increase your overall savings for retirement (max is another 3%). If you do, talk to your treasurer about the amount of additional deduction they should make and forward to your pension account and complete the voluntary pension form (also on the forms and worksheets page). You may also want to think about signing up for optional life insurance for you or for your spouse.

New to Canada

Welcome to Canada!

Everything described in the new plan member tab above applies with this one exception…

The Health Care benefits are second payer to the government health program, therefore you need to apply for provincial health coverage first and the group plan will begin when your provincial coverage becomes effective (typically 3 months after arrival). All other benefits will start immediately. If you have a spouse and/or children, coverage for them will begin once you are enrolled and they are living in Canada as well. Contributions to the pension plan can begin as soon as you have your social insurance number.

Getting married


Please let GSI know your date of marriage. Here are some of the key items you should know regarding how your pension and benefits are affected by this event.

The Health Care Benefits also cover your Spouse (and dependent children).  If your new Spouse’s employer also provides benefits then they will be coordinated.

Let your Spouse know that they also have access to the short term counselling plan (Employee and Family Assistance EFAP).

There is also $10,000 life insurance coverage for your Spouse.

Most importantly, please review your life insurance beneficiary and note that your Spouse is the legislated beneficiary of your pension account.

You will need to complete the Change in Marital Status and submit it to the GSI office.

Changes to Spouse's Benefits

Co-ordination of Health Care Benefits

Co-ordination of benefits allows for reimbursement of insured expenses from both yours and your spouse’s plans up to a total of 100% of the actual expenses incurred.

In order to set this up and to have your claims properly process please provide GSI with the following information:

  • spouse’s insurer
  • effective date of coverage
  • spouse’s insurance plan number
  • spouse’s member number.

Please review the How to Submit a Claim section in the Group Benefits information for guidance on which plan pays first.

Changes to Your Spouse’s Benefits

Please advise GSI if your Spouse has a new employer or a new benefits plan. Likewise if your Spouse’s benefits cease for any reason, GSI will need to update your coordination information for your claims to be processed properly.

If your Spouse’s coverage terminates please advise us immediately as we need to update the records in order for any claims to be processed properly. GSI will need to be advised of the date of the change.

Waiver of  Benefits

The Health Care benefits may not be waived.

Becoming a parent


Please contact us so that we can add your new baby to the benefits plans.  

Supplemental Pay Information

If you are a member of the ELCIC Group Benefits Plan and are receiving employment insurance for maternity and/or parental benefits, you may be eligible for supplemental pay benefit at 30% over 12 months or 20% over 18 months coinciding with the employment insurance option selected, of your pre-leave salary.

Review the full details of the Parental Leave Policy in the Compensation Guidelines Appendix Two for more information.

Please consult with your treasurer and complete the forms found under the Forms & Worksheets page. Note that pension contributions are required on the supplemental pay. Your employer must maintain your group benefits while you are on leave.

New call for existing plan members

If you are transitioning from your previous call without a break in service, all of your benefits continue seamlessly. Note that the Health Benefits module that you selected will continue with your new employer.

Please ensure your former treasurer has contacted our office to advise us of your final date and to confirm that all amounts owing are correctly remitted.  Then make sure your new treasurer has notified our office of your hire date and submitted a Salary Basis Calculation form (found on forms page) so we can update our records.

If there is some time between your calls, please contact our office about which benefits can be converted to individual plans for the in between time.

Require Sick Days

ELCIC Sick Leave Policy

This policy is provided for employees to better manage their health and wellness. Please see Appendix One of the Compensation Guidelines.

Medical Absence beyond sick days

The disability program aims to create an environment of wellness and engagement through awareness and acceptance of any health challenges. The program also aims to support health and wellness promotion and to have excellent attendance and engagement. 

The ELCIC Group Benefits Plan provides both short-term disability and long-term disability benefits to plan members with supported claims.   

We invite you to refer to the Short-term Disability Policy plan document for detailed information on the terms and conditions of the plan.  

As well, you may download the Short-term Disability Member Guide for an overview of plan benefits, a checklist for plan members and answers to some frequently asked questions. 

Waiting period – two weeks 

When you become ill, disabled or require time off for surgery, the first two weeks are managed by your employer under the ELCIC Sick Leave Policy (see the previous tab, or Compensation Guidelines). When it becomes apparent that you will be unable to return to work after two weeks from the initial absence, your congregation/employer should notify GSI immediately. 

ShortTerm Disability – next 15 weeks 

Process and Forms  

Once your congregation/employer advises GSI of your prolonged absence, you will be contacted by Windley Ely, an independent disability management firm. Windley Ely will explain the STD program and answer your questions. They will also get preliminary information about your claim. They will then provide you with the forms that you and your doctor will need to complete. Your completed forms should be submitted directly to Windley Ely. 

Payment and Benefit Amount 

When Windley Ely has notified you that your claim is approved, your congregation/employer will pay you the STD benefit amount, which is calculated as 70% your salary basis (salary & housing) less statutory with holdings. 

Pension and Benefits 

Your pension contribution at 7% of your disability income (i.e. the reduced amount) will be withheld on your pay. Your congregation/employer will make the required 8% contribution on the disability income amount, as well. 

Your congregation/employer will continue to be responsible for the ELCIC Group Benefit Plan premiums during the short term disability period. 

LongTerm Disability – 17 weeks and beyond 


If you continue to be sick or disabled after 17 weeks, Windley Ely will assist in transitioning the case to long-term disability with Manulife Financial. Transition steps will begin several weeks ahead of STD ending. Updated medical information will likely be required to support the LTD claim. 

Payment and Benefit Amount 

Upon approval from Manulife Financial, disability payments will come directly from them. The benefit amount is equal to 65% of your pre-disability Salary Basis (salary and housing) less statutory deductions.  

Pension and Benefits 

The 15% pension contribution on your pre-disability Salary Basis is insured and will be paid by Manulife Financial to GSI directly. The premiums for life and disability are waived by Manulife Financial during this period. You may continue on the modular health benefit based on your pre-disability enrollment, at your cost for two years from the date the long term disability benefit began.

Leaving employment

ELCIC Group Benefits Plan

Your group benefits end effective the same day as your employment ends.

Health Benefit premiums must be paid in full for the month as the carrier will not pro-rate them; however coverage ends with your last day of work.  You have 90 days to submit any claims that were incurred prior to your last day, but the on line system will not be available to you after termination and so paper claims must be made. So it is best to be up to date with making your claims.

Manulife offers individual extended health plans for you when your employment ends. You may apply for an individual plan with Manulife within 90 days of termination. Whether you are at the end of your career with the Church or in professional transition and just bridging benefits, connecting with My Next Chapter helps makes the transition easier.

ELCIC Pension Plan

Your pension account will go into a suspended status after we receive the final contributions from your employer. Investment income earned in the pension fund will continue to be allocated to your account.

When employment ends, you will be provided pension transfer options, however no action is required until the year you turn age 71.

Non-Rostered employees will be provided these options automatically on termination from employment. Rostered employees will be provided these options on request with termination from employment. If the employee if seeking another Call, the pension account will be reactivated when employment resumes.

When you have received your options, please review them carefully with your financial planner and return the completed forms to our office.  Please also take some time to visit the retirement planning section of the website.

Continuing Education Plan (CEP)

CEP is a resource of funds for plan members to enhance their employment skills. This is the overriding criteria, which allows these funds to be used on a tax free basis to the member. Please review the CEP Policy for information on your account balance options at termination.

Reaching age 65

ELCIC Group Benefits Plan

As you continue to work past age 65, your Health Care benefits will continue.  The Life Plus benefits end on your 65th birthday.  

ELCIC Pension Plan

Your enrollment in the pension plan continues until you terminate employment or turn age 71.

Retiree Health Eligibility

Joining the Retiree Health Plan

This is a voluntary plan with a one time opportunity to join when your employment ends if you are over age 60 and continue residing in Canada.  A form will be mailed to you where you will indicate your choice to join the plan or waive coverage.

Health Care Benefits

The list of what is covered is provided in the the Retirement section of this website.

Survivor Benefits

If a plan member passes, their spouse may continue with single coverage. Upon remarrying, this coverage may continue for the individual, but would not include the new spouse.


The plan is paid by the member 100%.  Payments are made monthly by electronic funds transfer.  There is a collections policy that you should be aware of in the policy section of the website. Premiums are listed by province in the premium rates table on this website.

Getting divorced

GSI should be notified when you become separated or divorced by completing the Change in Marital Status form. Beneficiary and dependent information may need to be updated. There are requirements within legislation (that vary from province to province) for splitting your pension with your former spouse for the time period of your marriage / co-habitation. Please ensure that this is clearly and properly addressed in your separation documents, so that we can calculate the split.

When someone dies

When a plan member dies, please notify GSI in order to process any survivor or beneficiary claims.  A death certificate will be required.

ELCIC Group Benefits Plan

The Health Care benefits provide coverage for the surviving Spouse and dependent children for two years with the premiums waived.  GSI will assist with the Life insurance claim.  The short term counselling services can be accessed for the following two months and may assist with grief counselling.

ELCIC Pension Plan

A surviving Spouse will be provided with options to settle the pension account. If there is no spouse, then a lump sum will be paid to the beneficiary or the estate.