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Upcoming minimum wage changes | Understanding 2019 C/QPP changes | Reporting death benefits

Upcoming minimum wage changes

QUESTION: Are there any minimum wage changes planned for 2019? We have employees in most provinces and territories.

ANSWER: Here is a list of the minimum wage changes that we are aware of so far:

British Columbia

On June 1, minimum wage rates will rise to the following amounts:


general rate: $13.85/hour


liquor servers: $12.70/hour


resident caretakers (nine to 60 units): $831.45/month, plus $33.32/unit


resident caretakers (61 or more units): $2,832.11/month


live-in camp leaders: $110.87/day

On Jan. 1, the B.C. government raised the minimum piece rates for farm workers who hand-harvest certain crops to the following amounts:

apples: $21.06/bin

apricots: $24.23/1/2 bin

beans: $0.289/pound

blueberries: $0.488/pound

Brussels sprouts: $0.201/pound

cherries: $0.277/pound

daffodils: $0.169/bunch (10 stems)

grapes: $22.38/1/2 bin

mushrooms: $0.290/pound

peaches: $22.38/1/2 bin

pears: $23.72/bin

peas: $0.360/pound

prune plums: $23.72/1/2 bin

raspberries: $0.440/pound

strawberries: $0.424/pound

Note: Piece rates for hand-harvested crops include four per cent vacation pay, with the exception of daffodils, which require vacation pay to be paid on top of the piece rate.

Manitoba

The government annually indexes the minimum wage rate to reflect changes in the province’s consumer price index. Minimum wage changes take place on Oct. 1 each year, with the government posting the updated rate online before April 1.

New Brunswick

The government annually indexes minimum wage rates to increases in the province’s consumer price index. Minimum wage changes take place on April 1 each year.

Newfoundland and Labrador

The government annually indexes minimum wage rates to the percentage change in the consumer price index for Canada. Minimum wage changes occur on April 1 each year.

Nova Scotia

The minimum wage rate for experienced workers (for example, those with at least three months of service) will rise from $11.00 an hour to $11.55 on April 1. The rate for inexperienced workers will increase from $10.50 an hour to $11.05.

Prince Edward Island

The minimum wage rate will rise to $12.25 per hour on April 1.

Quebec

The new provincial government has not yet announced if it will raise minimum wage rates in 2019. The previous government had pledged to raise the rates over four years between 2017 and 2020.

Saskatchewan

The government annually indexes the minimum wage rate based on percentage changes to both the consumer price index and the average hourly wage for the previous year. Minimum wage changes occur on Oct. 1 each year, with the government announcing the rate change by June 30.

Yukon

The territory adjusts its minimum wage every April 1 based on the consumer price index. At publication time, the government had not yet announced any changes for this year.

Understanding 2019 C/QPP changes

QUESTION: I know that the federal government raised contribution rates for the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) on Jan. 1. Did it also increase the maximum amount for pensionable earnings and the annual $3,500 exemption?

ANSWER: The federal government raises the yearly maximum pensionable earnings (YMPE) on an annual basis, based on a legislated formula that takes into account the growth in average weekly wages and salaries in Canada. For 2019, the YMPE is $57,400. Revenu Québec uses the same YMPE for the Québec Pension Plan (QPP).

The annual basic exemption remains $3,500 for both the CPP and the QPP.

With the CPP contribution rate set at 5.1 per cent for 2019, the maximum employee contribution for the year will be $2,748.90. Employers pay a matching amount. For the QPP, the 2019 contribution rate is 5.55 per cent. As a result, the maximum employee and employer contribution is $2,991.45 each.

The federal and Quebec governments will continue to gradually raise C/QPP contribution rates on earnings up to the YMPE until 2023, when the CPP rate will reach 5.95 per cent and the QPP rate will be 6.4 per cent.

Beginning in 2024, the governments will implement an additional contribution rate of four per cent each for employers and employees on pensionable earnings between the YMPE and a new upper earnings limit. In 2024, the new upper earnings limit will be 107 per cent of the YMPE. In 2025, it will rise to 114 per cent of the YMPE.


Reporting death benefits

QUESTION: Last year, we paid a death benefit to the estate of a deceased employee to recognize the individual’s long service. For year-end reporting, do I report the payment on the employee’s T4?

ANSWER: No. Death benefits are reported on a T4A, not a T4. Report the gross amount of the death benefit in the “Other Information” area of the T4A, using code 106.

If the employee worked in Quebec, you will also need to report the gross amount of the death benefit in box O on the employee’s RL-1. In the code box on the form, enter code RK.

It is important to keep in mind that any salary, wages or other employment income that the deceased individual earned up to and including the date of death are not death benefits and must be reported on a T4 (and an RL-1 in Quebec).

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