An employee is considered to be on maternity leave during the entire period in which she is eligible to receive government pregnancy benefits under the laws in effect in her province of residence. Following that period, the rules for parental leave apply.
During your maternity leave, you have the option to continue or interrupt your Desjardins Group Pension Plan (DGPP) participation; however, you must advise your employer of your decision no later than 31 days after the start of your leave.
If you continue your participation, your contributions must be paid while you are on leave. Your employer will continue to pay the employer portion.
If you are a full-time employee, the reference salary used to establish your contributions is your regular salary prior to your leave.
If you are not a full-time employee, your average salary for the last 13 weeks you worked, up to the number of regular hours for your job category, will be used to calculate your contributions. The credited service for this period is equal to the ratio of the number of hours of work for which you are required to contribute to the plan to the number of hours in your normal work week.
For benefit eligibility purposes, continuous service is fully recognized.
If you decide before the start of your leave that you do not want to continue your DGPP participation, no credited service will be recognized, but your continuous service for eligibility purposes will be. You must advise your employer before your leave starts.
If you decide to maintain your participation in the DGPP but now wish to suspend it, no credited service will be recognized, but your continuous service will be recognized for eligibility purposes. However, you must immediately advise your employer of your decision. You can buy back this period upon your return or any time before retirement. The cost may differ from what it would have cost had you maintained your participation during the leave.