ASSOCIATION OF DALHOUSIE RETIREES AND PENSIONERS
VOLUME 3, NUMBER 2, November, 2004
Welcome to the last issue of our Newsletter for 2004. This is timed to issue a special invitation to all members to attend the General Meeting on December 8th. We hope you will find the information on the activities of ADRP and news about our members interesting.
Date and Time :
Location: Lord Dalhousie Room,
Agenda: Approval of minutes of Annual General
Report of the president
Following the meeting, there will be a Christmas social in the University Club. Each member will receive 1 drink coupon; fruit and cheese trays will be served. We hope that many of you will attend.
PARKING: Attendees of the General Meeting and Christmas social
will be able to park without ticketing at the parking lot between the Sir James
Dunn building and Howe Hall (enter from
Chair Man Vohra writes: I would like to thank Emerson Moffitt and Patricia Lutley for taking over as Newsletter editors and for their dedication and hard work in bringing out this issue. This is much appreciated, especially with Emerson just reaching his 80th year and still very active. We hope he has many more happy years. I also thank Barbara Prime Walker, Chair of our Sharing and Caring Subcommittee for contacting and visiting members who were sick or hospitalized or were coping with unexpected difficult circumstances. I urge members to pass on news about friends and former colleagues that can be shared by other ADRP members.
The Communications Committee also helps to maintain a web site for the ADRP that is updated frequently with new information relating to the activities of the Association either locally or with CURAC nationally. I urge members to visit the web site. I would be happy to receive your feedback about the web site and your suggestions for improving it. The ADRP web site can be accessed at http://is.dal.ca/~adrp/ . The CURAC site can be accessed via a link on the ADRP page or directly. Thank you all for your support.
SUBCOMMITTEE: Barbara Prime
Barbara believes that a repeat of the Committee's aims and activities is pertinent.
..........SOLICITING HELP FROM ALL MEMBERS...........
Do you know of
As the new Chair of the Sharing/Caring Subcommittee of the Communications Committee, I request your assistance in helping our committee to keep abreast of individual accomplishments, special occasions, changes in health status or bereavement in the lives of our large and diversified membership. We wish to acknowledge formally all these events through cards, notes and/or personal visits depending upon the circumstances and wishes of the retiree and his/her family. The success and ongoing development of such a program is dependent on each of us sharing pertinent information to ensure that no one is forgotten. Together, I hope that our collaborative efforts will enhance our outreach work to support each other.
Information may be forwarded in the following ways:
Phone: ADRP answering machine (902) 494-7174
Email: ADRP Office email@example.com
I look forward to working with you. Thank you in advance for your cooperation.
According to the
still unofficial financial statements of the Retirees Trust Fund, its net
assets increased between
Note that the RTF administrative costs are only 0.36% per annum. Compare that with a typical "balanced" mutual fund which has an annual management expense ratio of about 2.4%! Hence the RTF can be expected to outperform balanced mutual fund management by about 2% annually. This is a major reason for thinking twice before you take your money out at retirement: a 2% annual difference cumulated over one's life expectancy of about 20 years at retirement is enough to offset nearly 15% greater value of entitlements invested in RRIF versus being transferred to the RTF.
The one year return of
the RTF does not determine whether indexation is warranted; it is the three
year average return that drives indexation.. As at
1). Under "normal" circumstances, indexation of 0.794% would be warranted in January 2005. In the actual situation, indexation may again be zero. Inflation was 2.46% in the last year. Thus the overall indexation could increase to 6.05%.
2). Although the overall Dalhousie Pension Plan has a deficit of $40 million the RTF does enjoy a significant surplus (18.5 million at actuarial values), which is about one-eighth of its net liabilities. The RTF Trustees are permitted, in their discretion, to decide to use some of this surplus to provide a modest amount of indexation in January 2005.
3). The actuary projects returns for the RTF at 7.5% annually. If such results are achieved in the current year, cumulative earnings in excess of the indexation threshold would be almost sufficient to pay off the return shortfall and make it possible to resume indexation in 2007. Returns above the 7.5% average level would accelerate the resumption of full indexation and provide for some "catch-up"; returns below 7.5% would delay it and prevent making good the indexation shortfall.
LIAISON COMMITTEE: Alasdair Sinclair, Chair
Thanks to the work of Man Vohra , the Liaison Committee has been meeting with representatives from local Universities to encourage the formation of retiree associations at their institutions. Also Tarun Ghose and I met with the executive of the Acadia Retirees Association to explore the possibility of forming an association of Nova Scotia University Associations. Among other benefits, such an association would make us eligible to join a group of retiree associations that has a formal linkage with the Senior Citizen's Secretariat of the province, with the possibility of influencing government policy relating to seniors. In that context, a group of Executive Members met with Valerie White of the Senior's Secretariat recently. Among other matters, she suggested that our members could become personally involved in the work of the Secretariat by attending sessions of the Committee on Aging, which was announced recently, and by adding their names to a volunteer list that the Secretariat will be developing. More on these matters will be circulated as we gain more detailed information on them.
Two other items may also be of interest. The Executive recently considered a suggestion that it initiate the formation of a CARP (Canadian Association of Retired People) Local Association to work with CARP at the national level in promoting the interests of seniors. The Executive decided not to undertake this activity at this time, but to make the possibility known to the membership in the event that some members might have an interest in such a project. I can be contacted for further information. Finally, on a personal note, I would like to draw attention to the work of the Canadian Executive Service Organization, which sponsors volunteers to work on short term projects internationally and with local aboriginal groups. CESO is seeking to expand its volunteer base. If you are interested in participating contact Brian Smith, the Director of the local office of CESO at (902)461-9871. I can also provide more information either by email Alasdair.Sinclair@dal.ca or by phone 422-6185.
BENEFITS COMMITTEE: Philip Welch, Chair
Some months ago we received inquiries regarding continuation of the Dalhousie Blue Cross Plan for Retirees when a Family Plan has been selected and a retired staff member dies. On investigation of this matter with the Dalhousie Employee Benefits and Pension Office, we were informed that the entire coverage ceases on the death of the retired member. This information was included in some of the recent literature on benefits provided to retirees, but in the past retirees were not informed of this. Your ADRP representatives checked this point directly with the Dalhousie Blue Cross contract and found coverage is continued for the surviving spouse if he/she continues to receive a Dalhousie Pension and if the appropriate premiums continue to be paid to Blue Cross. This was brought to the attention of the Employee Benefits and Pension Office, who have subsequently confirmed this provision of continuation of coverage for surviving spouses.
As a result of this ADRP initiative, Dalhousie authorities will inform all current retirees with a Blue Cross Family Plan of this coverage proviso. Presumably, any surviving spouses who have had their Blue Cross coverage cancelled on the death of a retired staff member will be offered immediate reinstatement in the Plan. The situation with regard to those surviving spouses, whose policy was cancelled on death of a spouse and who have subsequently paid bills for covered medical and health services from their own resources is unclear at this time.
Some ADRP members elected to take all their money entitlement out of the Pension Fund at the time of retirement or termination. Therefore, they do not receive a Dalhousie pension. However, many of these individuals were offered the option to continue in the Blue Cross Plan. Continuation of the spousal Blue Cross coverage in the event of the death of the ex-staff member is currently unclear in this situation. The view of the ADRP is that such coverage should continue to be provided, as for those in receipt of a Dalhousie pension. It is expected that this matter will be the subject of further discussion with the University authorities.
Updates re Auto, Home and Travel Insurance: Our Board continues to explore a possible relationship with Meloche Monnex (MM) to provide insurance in these areas to ADRP members (MM already has such an arrangement with Dal Alumni). The Board has some remaining concerns on your behalf, but we hope these can be satisfactorily addressed.
The last Newsletter also briefly mentioned that MM offers Travel Health Insurance with "no age limit and no medical questionnaire." On further exploration, we found that this is not quite accurate. Travel insurance through MM indeed has no age limit and no medical questionnaire - provided the applicant is below age 60. For applicants age 60 and over there is a comprehensive medical questionnaire, which may exclude insurance for expenses relating to pre-existing conditions, or may exclude the applicant from any travel insurance with MM. A more detailed and comparative analysis of the MM Travel Insurance Plan is in progress.
This article is take from the Northwood Resident Times where Margaret has resided for eight years. Recently the ADRP Board passed a motion that Margaret be made an honorary member of the Association.
The reporter said, "Margaret is a very kind and gentle lady, she welcomed me and shared with the stories of her life."
school, she worked as a typesetter for two local weekly papers. In June,1940 she married James Stoker, a janitor at Dalhousie's
Dr. Rowland J. Smith,
former Dean of The Faculty of Arts and Sciences and a former Chair of the
Department of English has accepted the position of
Dean of Humanities at the
Ron Gilkie: The last issue
of the Dalhousie Alumni Magazine announced that Ron Gilkie received the A. Gorgon Archibald Award,
that recognizes alumni for outstanding personal service, commitment and
contribution to Dalhousie. Ron Gilkie began engineering studies in 1956,
graduating with a Bsc. And DEng. In
1960. He graduated from Civil Engineering at NSTC in 1962. He completed
a master of Engineering degree at Tech followed by a
PhD from the
Norman Horrocks: Professor Horrocks, Director of the School of Library and Information Studies (SLIS), 1972-1986, Dean of the Faculty of Management (1983-1986) and currently Emeritus Professor, SLIS has received three awards in recent months.
To mark the 30th anniversary of the Nova Scotia Library Association in 1974 , the Association has established the Norman Horrocks Library Leadership Award. A founder of the Association, he was elected an Honorary Member in 1990.
The American Library
Association has bestowed on
The Professor Kaula
Endowment for Library and Information Science has selected
Dr. John Szerb
John passed away on
Gerta came to
Dalhousie in 1958 with her husband Bill and four children. She became a
dedicated and honoured teacher in the German Department and the
peacefully on September 9 surrounded by his family. He was born in
Death and Taxes: submitted by Bob Rodger
It was Ben Franklin who said, "In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes." one should therefore plan to deal with these inevitabilities.
If you have a spouse , it is usually desirable to ensure that your assets (home, cottage, car, bank accounts, mutual funds, equities, bonds, etc.) are owned jointly with your spouse. Because the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) attributes financial assets to the person from whom they come, you need finance/tax advice as to how to convert singly-owned assets to jointly-owned. Also if you have a Registered Retirement Income Fund (RRIF) or a Locked-in Retirement Account (LIRA), you should ensure that your spouse is named as beneficiary.
The above joint registration and beneficiary naming not only simplifies the financial situation of the surviving spouse, it also avoids taxes (probate as well as federal and provincial income tax).
Of course, if one has assets that will be left, one should have a Will. In spite of there being do- it- yourself Will packages, I believe it is very desirable to hire a lawyer experienced in these things to help prepare one's Will. In a Will you not only say how your assets must be distributed after your death, you also name an executor, hence YOU determine who's to administer your estate rather than some stranger appointed by the government.
When there is no spouse, all of your assets are usually taxed on your death. But there is something we can do to soften that final snatch.
On death, your real estate is valued and income tax is then due on the capital gain. The same is true for your moveable property. Your unregistered mutual funds, equities, bonds, etc. are also valued at death and tax is due, not compared to what these things cost, but on their Adjusted Cost Base as of 31 December of the previous year, i.e. their value as increased over the years due to dividends etc. on which tax had already been paid. This tax due will not therefore be inconsistent with what you had to pay on these financial assets while you were alive.
But the taxation of RRIFs/LIRAs is quite another matter. The value of these at death is compared to zero because you paid no tax on these monies (apart from tax on your withdrawals) while you were alive!. The tax here can be quite substantial. For example, if your usual annual income had been $30,000 and you have a RRIF/LIRA worth $100,000 the tax due (depending on deductions) would be about $50,000. If your usual annual income had been $50,000 and you have a RRIF/LIRA worth $150,000 the tax due (depending on deductions) would be about $81,000. The same heavy tax applies to monies from an unexpired pension guarantee period, and from a term-certain annuity you bought with money in the old Dalhousie Employee Benefit Plan.
But this huge tax
burden is not inevitable (Ben or no Ben Franklin). If your Will donates the
whole of your RRIF/LIRA to a charity (such as
All of this being true, I think it would be a great idea to set up an ADRP-Dalhousie Bursary Fund, that those of you who are interested could contribute RRIF/LIRA monies to (or other assets if you wished, by Will or otherwise), and that would have terms that the interested ADRP Members would agree upon.
Without asking any of
you for any commitment, I would welcome comments and suggestions from those of
you interested in this idea ( email to
firstname.lastname@example.org). For example, I think many of us agree that
Do you know about MASTERMINDS?
MASTERMINDS was organized by Shawna Burgess, Director of Alumni Relations, in 2003 with these goals: 1. To offer an unique program for retired alumni and friends; 2. To develop and enhance Dalhousie's relationship with this key constituency; 3. To enhance Dalhousie's image in the community; 4. To promote the ambassadorial role for retired alumni, faculty, staff, and friends;
5. To showcase Dalhousie teaching and research; and 6. To have fun.
We are pleased to
tell you that the next MASTERMIND lecture will be on
MASTERMINDS and ADRP working together bodes well for the future!
FINALLY: That's all for this issue of your Newsletter except to invite you once again to join us on December 8th for the General Meeting and the pre-Christmas social gathering.
Happy Holidays and all the best for 2005.
The editors gratefully acknowledge Diane Prosser for all her assistance.
Emerson Moffitt and Patricia Lutley, Editors