November 23, 2022
When the Simon Fraser University Faculty Association (SFUFA) decided to leave the SFU Academic Pension Plan in favour of the BC College Pension Plan (BC CPP), Rina Zazkis wanted to opt out.
Because she was a professor who had worked at the university since 1991, she believed there was a section of the plan rules that opened the doors for an opt-out — despite the fact the plan’s entry agreement stated plan participation was mandatory. Zazkis took her case to the Supreme Court of British Columbia, arguing that this wording allowed her to elect not to participate in the BC CPP plan:
“Subject to the terms and conditions of eligibility specified by the board, this Plan applies to an employee hired before September 1, 1999 who…is an individual providing educational services to students…and elects coverage under this Plan.”
But because Zazkis was considered an initial eligible employee under the entry agreement, she only had the ability to opt out if she was an academic administrator, which she was not.
As a result, Justice W.A. Baker ruled that Zazkis’s enrolment in the BC CPP was mandatory — and she wasn’t eligible for any financial relief.
To read the full case, and the Justice’s reasoning, click on more information: