Social Benefits Plans
The construction industry’s social benefits plans comprise insurance and pension plans. They are administered by the Commission de la construction du Québec (CCQ).
There are two insurance periods per year. Each insurance period corresponds to a reference period during which the hours required to be insured are accumulated. Each reference period contains six consecutive monthly report periods.
|Insurance period||Reference period|
|January 1 to June 30
||March to August
|July 1 to December 31||September to February|
For all participants in the plan, the hours declared to the CCQ and the associated pension contributions are recorded in their file. These hours and contributions are used to calculate the pension benefits they will be entitled to.
Eligibility for Social Benefits Plans
Some people who have participated in the social benefits plans as employees may continue to do so when holding certain administrative positions in companies working in the Québec construction industry. On the employer side, two categories of persons are eligible: managers, and if the company is recognized for social benefits, the members of the company.
A “manager” is a person employed by a professional employer, but is not a director, a partner or the designated representative. This category includes superintendents and job site foremen.
Managers may participate in the pension plan and insurance plan if:
- They have previously participated in the social benefits plans as employees.
- The amounts in their construction industry pension file have not been completely reimbursed (if these amounts have been completely reimbursed, they cannot participate).
A manager makes the voluntary contributions that allow him or her to participate in the social benefits plans through the monthly reports submitted to the Commission de la construction du Québec (CCQ). The Reference Guide for Completing the Employer’s Monthly Report describes how to make the contributions.
For a manager not paid on an hourly basis, the number of work hours declared per week for social benefits cannot exceed 60. These 60 hours of work include the contributions made to the insurance plan and the pension plan.
Member of a company
When a company is recognized, a member of the company must also be recognized.
The term “member of the company” designates:
- an employer;
- a partner in a partnership that is an employer;
- a director of a corporation that is an employer;
- the designated representative of a corporation that is an employer.
A member of a company must have previously participated in the pension and insurance plans as an employee.
An independent contractor is not considered a member of a company and may not therefore participate in the social benefits plans.
In May and November, the Commission de la construction du Québec (CCQ) sends eligible members of a company an insurability notice indicating the premium payable in order to receive coverage under general plan A in the following insurance period.
If a member of a company chooses to be insured under plan A during the year, in November, the member will be offered the opportunity of contributing to the pension plan.
Some restrictions and exclusions apply to the insurance coverage offered to a member of a company.
Recognition of a company
Restrictions and exclusions
To be recognized as an employer for social benefits purposes for a given insurance period:
- The company must have paid the $350 fee for registration with the Commission de la construction du Québec (CCQ);
- The company must hold a licence from the Régie du bâtiment du Québec (RBQ);
- During the period of 12 consecutive months commencing 18 months before the insurance period in question, the company must have filed with the CCQ at least five monthly reports declaring hours worked by at least one employee. If the company began operations during this 12-month period, at least one monthly report out of two must declare hours worked by at least one employee.
|To be recognized as eligible for the insurance period from:||The company must have filed monthly reports in the period from:|
|July to December 2022||January to December 2021|
|January to June 2023||July 2021 to June 2022|
|July to December 2023||January to December 2022|
|January to June 2024||July 2022 to June 2023
When a recognized company is no longer eligible because it no longer meets one of the criteria, a member of the company retains his or her right to participate in the social benefits plans for two additional consecutive insurance periods following the company’s loss of eligibility.
An eligible member of a company can have voluntary insurance coverage by paying the required premium for Plan A.
This person, however, may pay the premium only if:
He or she has not lost the right to participate in the insurance and pension plans;
His or her company is recognized as an employer for the insurance period in question or was so recognized for one of the two preceding insurance periods.
For each insurance period where a member of the company is recognized as eligible, he or she may obtain the coverages offered under insurance plan A at a cost calculated on the basis of 750 hours plus administrative fees and the applicable tax.
The hours accumulated during the reference period and the hours in reserve, adjusted to the new rate if applicable, are used to reduce the amount to pay. The supplementary contributions registered in the file are also used to reduce the premium payable.
|Example: For the insurance period from January to June 2022, a member of a company eligible for payment of the premium worked 100 hours during the reference period and has 50 reserve hours. During the reference period from March to August 2022, the cost of one hour of insurance is $2.87|
|Premium (750 hours x $2.87/hour)||$2,152.50|
|Administrative fee||+ $ 103.21|
|Reference period hours (100 hours x $2.87/hour)||- $287|
|Reserve hours (50 hours x $2.87/hour)||- $143.50|
|Cancellation of administrative costs for the 150 hours||- $20.64|
|Amount payable before tax||= $1,804.57|
|Tax (9% x $1,804.57)||+ $162.41|
|Amount payable for plan A coverage||= $1,966.39|
Some restrictions apply to certain types of insurance coverage under Plan A. For example, no salary insurance benefits are payable for total disability resulting from a work-related accident or an occupational disease if the member of the company is not covered under the Act Respecting Industrial Accidents and Occupational Diseases when this accident or occupational disease occurs.
Similarly, a member of a company is not entitled to salary insurance benefits for the first 16 weeks following the beginning of disability if he or she is not covered under the Employment Insurance Act.
Restrictions also apply to premium payment for plan A. The member of a company loses forever his or her right to pay this premium in the two following cases:
- He or she paid the premium required to be insured under plan A during a previous insurance period and is not insured under plan A for the period in question (Note: a person who has declared 750 work hours in a monthly report during the reference period in question is not required to pay any amount and is considered to have paid the premium);
- He or she has never paid the necessary premium during a previous period and is not insured under plan A, B, C or D during the period in question.
NOTE: A member of a company who is not eligible to pay the insurance premium because their company is not identified as an employer does not lose their right to participate voluntarily in the social benefits plans.
When members of a company lose their right to pay the premium for coverage under insurance plan A, they can only be insured per the hours of work declared in a monthly report. The hours recorded in their file are used to give them the best insurance coverage possible (plan A, B, C, or D). For example, if 450 hours have been declared in their name to the CCQ for the reference period and they have lost their right to participate as a member of the company, they will be insured under plan C.
Since January 2007, when a company is recognized, but a member of the company loses their right to pay the premium and cannot be insured by their hours of work, drug insurance coverage (plan Z) will be offered to the member, until the insurance period in which the member reaches age 65.
Members of a company cannot pay the premium for insurance plan A in the following situations:
- They are age 65 and over on the first day of the insurance period in question.
- They received at least one week of hour credits or benefited from maintenance of insurance during the insurance period in question (the purpose of this criteria is to prevent disabled persons from improving their insurance coverage through payment of a premium).
- They have lost their right to participate in the retiree insurance plan.
Members of the company eligible for payment of the insurance contribution and insured under plan A receive each fall a notice informing them that they may voluntarily participate in the pension plan if they are employed by the company with which they are associated. Except for hours worked as an employee, "members of the company" are not obliged to contribute to the pension plan. However, they may not participate solely in the pension plan.
Voluntary contributions by "members of the company" must not bring the total hours contributed to the pension plan to more than 2080 hours, including hours worked as an employee (including hours declared as a “designated representative registered as employee” and as a “paid administrator”).
- Changes have been made to the pension plan. Since January 1, 2005, if necessary, a part of the contribution for each hour worked is paid into the general account in order to offset a deficit or form a reserve so that the plan can be better protected during difficult financial situations; these contributions are not accumulating new pension funds. Only contributions to the complementary account are used to accumulate a pension.
- Before participating voluntarily in the pension plan, "members of the company" should consult their accountant or tax lawyer to ensure that their contribution does not exceed the limits allowed by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA);
- Income Tax slips (T4, Relevé 1, etc.) reflecting a "member of the company’s" participation in the pension plan must be produced by his or her employer.