Alexis Hinde is an Assistant Business Agent with the Directors Guild of Canada, British Columbia. She publishes a bi-weekly column entitled Debunking Collective Agreement Myths with Alexis Hinde for the DGC BC's Newsletter to Members and can be seen out on set visits. If you see her, make sure to say hello!
Debunking Collective Agreement Myths: RSP Contributions
I know from experience that when you're working 80 hours a week, thoughts of retirement could not be further from your mind. At best you're figuring out how to get laundry done and fit friends and family into your weekend time.
But planning for retirement is crucial in this industry, and through the hard work of your representatives in bargaining, and the tireless efforts of the trustees of our pension funds, we have an excellent Group RSP plan in CEIRP.
- Poverty among seniors is on the rise - StatsCan says 12.5% of seniors in Canada now live in poverty.
- Government benefits alone are not enough to live comfortably in retirement - current maximum benefits are $15,000 to $25,000 per year.
- Under the DGC BC agreement, the employers pay into your RSP on top of your gross pay. The percentage varies depending on the rate sheet, but can be from 3% to 8.5% of your gross pay on every pay cheque.
- Unfortunately, 3%-8.5% is not enough.
Okay, that last point is an opinion, not a fact. But people smarter than me agree that Canadians as a whole need to be doing more to ensure financial stability in retirement.
Okay, but what can I do?
You can make voluntary contributions to your Group RSP, on top of what the employers are already putting in!
All you need to do is fill out this form and send it to Jamie here at the DGC BC office. Once it's processed, the percentage you've chosen will be automatically taken from your cheque and put into your RSP. That voluntary contribution will follow you with no further effort or tracking on your part for every production and every day you work under a DGC contract. And should your financial situation change, you can increase or decrease the voluntary contribution any time by filling out and submitting the form again.
How much should I contribute?
That's a long answer, and one I'm not qualified to provide. It's a personal cost-benefit analysis, and we're not financial advisors here at the DGC. But you can always contact the administrators of the plan, Great-West Life, for financial advice at 1-800-724-3402.
The short answer? As much as you can! The maximum voluntary contribution under our plan is 9.5%. (Maximum overall RSP contributions are 18%, and our top employer-paid rate is 8.5%, so to avoid over-contributions, our voluntary rate tops out at 9.5%.)
As always, feel free to contact me with any questions you might have!