The new year brings new rates

Changes to EI, workers' compensation, and RPP and RRSP on the horizon

EI rate going down
The Employment Insurance (EI) premium rate for employees in all parts of Canada but Quebec will go down from 1.95% to 1.87%, beginning January 1, 2006. The employer rate will be 1.4 times the employee rate, or 2.618%, down from 2 .73% in 2005, unless the employer has been approved for a reduced rate.

In Quebec the employee EI premium rate will be 1.53%, while the employer rate will be 2.14%. The rates are different for Quebec because, beginning January 1, 2006, the province will have its own parental insurance program. Employees and employers in the province will have to contribute to that plan and will no longer be covered under EI for maternity or parental benefits.

The maximum insurable earnings will remain $39,000 for 2006. As a result, the maximum employee contribution for next year will be $729.30, while the maximum employer contribution will be $1,021.02. For Quebec employees, the maximum employee EI contribution will be $596.70, while the employer maximum will be $835.38.

RPP and RRSP limit increase for 2006
The maximum contribution rates for 2006 for registered pension plans and registered retirement savings plans will increase from 2005. The maximums are:

Money purchase plans$18,000$19,000 Deferred profit-sharing plans$9,000$9,500 RRSPs$16,500$18,000 Defined benefit plans$2,000$2,111

Maximum assessable/insurable earnings in 2006
The following workers’ compensation bodies have announced their maximum assessable/insurable earnings ceiling for 2006:

2005 Ceiling2006 Ceiling
British Columbia$61,300$62,400 Manitoba$58,260$66,500 New Brunswick$50,900$51,900 Newfoundland and Labrador$46,275$47,245 Northwest Territories and Nunavut$66,500$67,500 Nova Scotia$43,800$45,100 Ontario$67,700$69,400

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