Public Sector Compensation Transparency Act


Compensation Disclosure

On Dec. 11, 2015, the Alberta government’s Public Sector Compensation Transparency Act (2015) came into effect. The act applies to all public sector agencies, boards and commissions governed by the Alberta Public Agencies Governance Act. This act requires that the University of Calgary disclose the name, position, compensation, non-monetary benefits and severance for all employees whose earnings plus severance exceeds a threshold established by the Government of Alberta. There is no threshold for Board of Governors members; any remuneration paid by the university to a member must be disclosed. Legislation ensures that disclosure under the Public Sector Compensation Transparency Act is permitted by the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOIP).

The University of Calgary is committed to keeping affected employees informed and supported through this process.


Will I be on the Disclosure List?

Public sector bodies are required to disclose the information twice per year:

  • June 30 – Compensation for the period Jan 1 – Dec. 31 from the previous calendar year
  • Dec. 31 – severance for the period Jan 1 – June 30 from the first half of the calendar year

If your total 2019 earnings plus severance exceed $132,924, your compensation may be disclosed under the requirements of this act. All affected employees will receive notification of their inclusion on the compensation disclosure list, and the process to request an exemption. You can also review your earnings from your 2019 T4 and T4A slips to determine if you will be on the disclosure list.


Details

Compensation is the total amount paid and the value of taxable benefits provided in a year. Compensation includes salary, allowances, supplements and other earnings included in Box 14, 028, 104 or 105 of the T4/T4A slip.

Non-monetary benefits include employer paid benefits for supplemental health, dental, employee/family assistance program, long-term disability, pension and workers compensation. Non-monetary benefits also include the employer's portion of CPP (Canada Pension Plan) and EI (Employment Insurance) contributions.

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 is reported in Box 66 and 67 of the T4 slip.

Employer pension contributions are not included in the threshold calculation but are included in non-monetary benefits.

The threshold amount for 2019 is $132,924. The threshold amount will be adjusted cumulatively from year to year by a percentage equal to the increase in the Alberta Consumer Price Index (CPI).

The annual disclosure must occur on or before June 30 each year and will be published on the University of Calgary website, accessible from the Government of Alberta website.

Section 6(2) of the Act authorizes the Minister responsible for the act, or their delegate, to exempt a public sector body from the requirement to disclose an individual's information if, in the designated Minister's opinion, the disclosure could unduly threaten the safety of that individual. There are no other grounds for granting exemptions to individuals. The deadline for application for exemption for the 2019 disclosure is Nov. 1, 2019.



Frequently Asked Questions

The provincial government has committed to increasing transparency by addressing the disclosure of compensation paid to a wide variety of public sector employees, appointees, physicians and other health practitioners. This legislation will allow Alberta taxpayers to see where their dollars are spent. The government will work closely with organizations affected by this legislation to support compliance.

The Public Sector Compensation Transparency Act became law on Dec. 11, 2015 and requires disclosure of the names, positions, compensation (salary and benefits), non-monetary benefits and severance for all employees whose total remuneration and/or severance payments exceed $132,924 in 2019.

The Act applies to all public sector agencies, boards and commissions including universities and requires the University of Calgary to disclose the names of employees with compensation including severance (if applicable) in 2019 that exceeds $132,924.

The threshold calculation is used to determine if you have total yearly earnings that exceed $132,924. If you do, then you will be included on the compensation disclosure list. If the threshold is met, all remuneration, including severance, will be disclosed. Employer pension contributions will also be disclosed.

All post-secondary institutions in Alberta are required to post on their institutional websites on or before June 30 of each year. Public sector bodies are also required to disclose severance payments made between Jan. 1 and June 30 by Dec. 31 of each year.

The threshold is indexed to the Alberta Consumer Price Index and will be adjusted accordingly year over year.

Any and all remuneration paid to board members are also required to be disclosed irrespective of the threshold for staff.

Compensation is the total of all salary, allowances, supplements, and taxable benefits or other amounts paid to an employee that will be reported on your T4/T4A slips for the 2019 tax year.

The amount paid may differ from an employee's annual salary due to variables such as date of hire or termination in the year, personal leave plan, unpaid leaves of absence, partially paid leaves, salary changes, overtime earned, additional teaching/appointments, etc.

Non-monetary benefits include employer-paid benefits for supplemental health, dental, employee/family assistance program, long-term disability, pension and workers compensation. Non-monetary benefits also include 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.

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 termination of employment.

The threshold for the Government of Alberta disclosure was set in 2012 at $100,000 and has been adjusted cumulatively from year to year by a percentage equal to the increase to the Alberta Consumer Price Index.

The disclosure data will be accessible on the Compensation Disclosure data page and the Government of Alberta's compensation disclosure site.

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

Employees may apply to be exempted from having their compensation disclosed only if disclosure could unduly threaten their safety. There are no other grounds for granting exemptions. Employees who believe the disclosure would put their safety at risk may apply to the Minister of Justice and Solicitor General for a personal exemption. Affected employees will be informed of the exemption process and exemption applications are required to be submitted by Nov. 1, 2019.  It will be extremely rare that an exemption to disclosure is granted. The individual application form is available on the Alberta Justice and Solicitor General website.

All employees whose annual compensation in 2019 exceeds $132,924 will appear on the compensation disclosure, including severance unless an exemption is granted by the government.

Starting in 2019, in accordance with Reform of Agencies, Boards and Commissions (Post-secondary Institutions) Compensation Regulations, the university must disclose salary and/or severance contracts for the president during the previous calendar year. 

Employees should feel no obligation to answer questions or defend their annual compensation. If you are contacted by members of the media, it is your choice how and if to respond, but if you’d prefer, refer them to Dean Parthenis, senior manager, media and issues management in Strategic Communications at dparthen@ucalgary.ca or 403.210.6815.

If you have additional questions, email vpfs@ucalgary.ca. For specific enquiries about individual compensation data being disclosed, contact Katie Mansell, senior manager, payroll at katie.mansell@ucalgary.ca.