Frequently Asked Questions

Please note that the system is governed by the Regulations and the Trust Deed used to establish the regime, as well as any amendments to these documents. In case of discrepancy between the FAQ and Regulations or the Trust Agreement, the provisions of the Regulations or the Trust Deed shall prevail.


We are happy to provide this Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ). We hope you will find answers to your questions! We plan to add topics to the list of FAQ with time. If you have a question that you think might interest other members, please contact us at

If your question is not answered here, you may find the answer in our Plan Summary.

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The Fund and How It Works

What type of Plan is the Musicians’ Pension Fund of Canada (MPF Canada)?

The Plan is a multi-employer defined benefit pension plan, commonly known as a “target benefit plan.” This is a plan in which multiple employers contribute to the Fund to pay specified monthly benefits to Plan members when they retire. Benefits are predetermined by a formula that is based on employer contributions. Accrual rates and/or accrued benefits may be adjusted depending on the Plan’s funding status.

How can I join the Plan?

You’re eligible to become a Plan member if you work for an employer who has entered into a collective bargaining agreement with the Canadian Federation of Musicians (CFM), or with one of its affiliated locals. You’re also eligible if you work for an employer who has entered into a Participation Agreement with the Trustees and who has agreed to contribute to the Fund on your behalf.

What kind of work must I do to join the Plan?

You can work as any of the following:

  • A musician (including a composer, arranger, copyist, proofreader, librarian, instrumentalist, leader, contractor), OR
  • An elected or appointed officer or representative of the CFM or any of its affiliated locals, OR
  • An officer or clerical employee of the Fund, Musicians’ Rights Organization Canada (MROC), or the CFM or any of its affiliated locals.

What does “CFM” mean?

“CFM” means the Canadian Federation of Musicians and/or The American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada, including any of their affiliated Canadian locals.

How can I become a Plan member?

You can become a Plan member in one of three ways:

  1. You have 24 months of vesting service without a six calendar month period with no contributions (this is the way most musicians become members), OR
  1. If you have your first contribution made on your behalf after December 31, 2000, you will become a Plan member on the first day of the calendar year following the calendar year in which you have 700 hours of covered employment  or covered earnings equal to or greater than 35% of the Year’s Maximum Pensionable Earnings ,OR
  1. If the first contribution made on your behalf was before January 1, 2001, the date when you become a Plan member depends on several things. These include the date the first contributions to the Plan were made for you and whether your work was done as a musician or not. Please contact the Fund Office for more information.

What do “covered employment,” “covered earnings” and “Year’s Maximum Pensionable Earnings” mean?

  • Covered employment is the work done for an employer that is required to contribute to the Plan.
  • Covered earnings are scale wages on which pension contributions have been made to the Fund on your behalf.
  •  Year’s Maximum Pensionable Earnings is a term defined in the Canada Pension Plan for persons subject to the pension law of Quebec or the Quebec Pension Plan. The2023 amount is $66,600. This amount may change annually.

When am I entitled to a pension benefit?

You’re entitled to a pension benefit once you become vested in your benefit. (“Vesting” means you have a right to your benefit.) You may become vested under any one of the following rules;

  • You were a participant who becomes a Plan Member after December 31, 2000. OR
  • You were already a Member of the Plan on December 31, 2000 and have contributions made on your behalf after December 31, 2000, but before your membership in the Plan terminates. OR
  • If you became a Plan Member before January 1, 2001 and do not have employer contributions made on your behalf after December 31, 2000, in which case you become vested on the earlier of the date when you have earned at least 24 months of vesting service OR you reach age 65 while you are a Plan Member.

What are some key Plan Definitions?

Click on this link to help you understand Key Plan Definitions