As pensioners, our Benefit Plans are administered by INVISTA (Canada) Company and the details of these plans are to be found in two Choices documents that are usually issued annually. These are:
*****Pensioner Plan Options, and
*****Pensioner Enrolment Guide-YEAR
These two documents provide full details on all aspects of all applicable plan features.
The available package of Benefit Plans provides for various levels of coverage for medical/dental care and life insurance. The coverage combinations are largely a matter of personal choice, and this is accommodated by the availability of a specified number of INVISTA Flex Dollars, to be allocated according to the choices you elect each year. It is important to note that there are restrictions on changing coverage once you have made an election. The full cost, of the benefits package you choose, is covered by the available Flex Dollars plus deductions from your pension income. Flex Dollars that are not utilized for benefits are available as additional pension income.
Most individuals have found the annual Enrolment process to be complex and confusing, despite efforts to clearly explain the process and the options available. As a result, since mistakes can be made, it is very important to check and re-check the elections you have made. Usually the Enrolment process takes place around November of each year and the results of those choices are evident in your pension Payment Confirmation statement for the month of January. You will also receive a Choices Confirmation statement if you have made changes to the choices that were in effect.
A "point of contention" issue that exists is whether or not Benefit Plans applicable to you as a pensioner are subject to termination or reduction by the company, with the proviso that two years notice has been given in advance of such action.
Historically, Choices information material supplied to employees and pensioners prior to the DuPont/INVISTA sale purchase, included no reference to the termination/reduction question. However in November 2004, following the transition, words to that effect became a feature in material issued by INVISTA.
Prior to the sale/purchase, wording reflecting a "two year notice" provision historically was to be found in the various hourly employee bargaining unit collective agreements in effect at any time at the various manufacturing sites. Such words were consistent with the usual two year term of these agreements, and made it apparent that with respect to bargaining unit employees, Benefits Plans could not outlive the collective agreement. In the process of negotiating a "renewal" collective agreement, these provisions were concurrently dealt with, and another agreement cycle commenced. It must be pointed out that this practice was applicable to hourly employees in a certified bargaining unit, as distinct from all other employees and from pensioners.
Ideally the need to resolve this question will not arise. Complete details on your Benefit Plans are in the Choices material sent to you, and specific personal questions should be directed to the "Invista (Canada) Company Benefits Centre" at 1-866-307-7793 or Greenshield Canada at 1-888-711-1119