Compensation Disclosure - Questions and Answers

1. What is the Public Sector Compensation Transparency Act?

Public Sector Compensation Transparency Act (Bill 5)

Public sector agencies, boards and commissions and Alberta post-secondary institutions, including the University of Lethbridge, are required to comply with the Public Sector Compensation Transparency Act that received Royal Assent on December 11, 2015.

The objective of the Act is to provide increased transparency to the public by requiring the disclosure of compensation paid to a wide variety of public sector employees, appointees, physicians and other health practitioners. This Act is similar to those in other provinces.

For all University employees whose compensation during a calendar year exceeded the established annual threshold, the Act requires the public disclosure of the employee’s name, position, annual compensation, severance and non-monetary benefits.

2. What is the annual threshold?

The threshold will be adjusted cumulatively from year to year by a percentage equal to the increase to the Alberta Consumer Price Index.

The annual thresholds are as follows:

  • 2015 - $125,000
  • 2016 - $126,375
  • 2017 - $127,765
  • 2018 - $129,809

There is no threshold amount for Board members and therefore all University of Lethbridge Board members must be disclosed even though they do not receive compensation for participation on the University of Lethbridge Board.

3. What is included in compensation?

Compensation means the total of all amounts paid and benefits provided in a year to an employee/Board member that are required for tax purposes to be included in that employee’s/Board member's income for that year. This amount includes Box 14 on a T4 slip and all taxable benefits. Compensation does not include severance amounts.

4. How is the threshold amount determined?

The total compensation paid to the employee in the calendar year plus any severance paid or payable to the employee in that year is the compensation amount for the purposes of the threshold assessment. If the total compensation equals or is greater than the threshold of $129,809 (2017: $127,765, 2016:$126,375 & 2015:$125,000) then that employee’s compensation, including non-monetary benefits and severance pay, will be disclosed.

If an employee held multiple positions during the year at the University, the compensation for all positions will be combined for the disclosure.

Examples:

i. Employee A's T4 (Box 14) shows $130,000 in 2016. Employee A is over the threshold and her compensation must be disclosed.

ii. Employee B's T4 (Box 14) shows $103,000. He was also paid a retiring allowance of $20,000. The total of these two amounts is $123,000, which is less than the threshold and therefore his compensation is not disclosed.

iii. Employee C's T4 (Box 14) shows $85,000 in 2016. In 2016 she was also entitled to a severance allowance of $50,000, payable over 2 years. Her compensation must be disclosed as the total compensation paid and payable in 2015 was $135,000.

5. What are non-monetary benefits?

Non-monetary benefits includes employer paid benefits such as health, vision and dental premiums, pension contributions, workers compensation premiums, the employer's portion of CPP (Canada Pension Plan) and EI (Employment Insurance) contributions.

The total amount of non-monetary benefits will be reported for all employees on the disclosure.

6. What is severance?

Severance is the total of any remuneration paid or payable to an employee in lieu of or supplementary to notice of termination of employment and any salary or remuneration paid or payable to an employee after permanent termination of employment. Severance also includes a retiring allowance, as defined by Canada Revenue Agency.

7. What information will be published on the disclosure?

The information disclosed for the 2018 calendar year per employee with annual compensation and severance equal to or greater than the annual threshold will include the:

  • employee's name;
  • position or appointment last held by the employee during the year;
  • amount of compensation provided to the employee during the year;
  • amount or value of all non-monetary benefits provided to or in respect of the employee during the year;
  • amount of severance, if any, paid to the employee, or to which the employee became entitled, during the year; and
  • president & vice-chancellor's employment contract.

8. When will the disclosure be published?

The disclosure must be made public on or before June 30 of the following year.

9. Where will the disclosure be published?

The University must publish the disclosure data on our website and the data will also be accessible directly from the Government of Alberta's compensation disclosure site.

10. How long will the compensation disclosure data remain public?

The University is required to keep the disclosure website public and accessible for five (5) years from the date it was initially required to be disclosed.

Disclosure for the 2015 calendar year, which was required to be made public by June 30, 2016, must be kept online until June 30, 2021.

11. Is releasing employee compensation information allowed under the province's Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act?

Disclosure under the Public Service Compensation Transparency Act is permitted by the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOIP).

12. Are individual disclosure exemptions possible?

Detailed information on exemption applications is available (PDF).

There is no appeal from a denied exemption. The designated Minister's decision is final. However, an employee is entitled to apply for an exemption in a subsequent year if the individual's facts or circumstances changes.

An exemption will generally be valid for 5 years, unless circumstances warrant an earlier expiry date. To have an exemption continue, it will be necessary to re-apply at the end of the current term.

It's up to an employee to monitor the expiry dates for the exemption and re-apply if necessary. If an employee leaves a public sector body and moves to another public sector body or to the Government of Alberta, the employee has to re-apply for an exemption.

13. Who do I contact for more information?

For more information about Compensation Disclosure, please contact Marnie Sawa, Director, Resource Planning or call 403-317-2866.