1. Eligibility
    2. Application
    3. Salary Deferral
    4. Duration of Leave
    5. Payment of the Deferred Salary
    6. Return From Leave
    7. Cancellation of Leave
    1. During the Salary Deferral Period:
    2. During the Leave Period


Carleton University offers a self-funded leave plan for non-academic staff with continuing appointments.

If you are eligible, the plan gives you an opportunity to fund a leave of absence by deferring a portion of your salary, which will then be paid to you at the time of the leave. The Income Tax Act allows you to defer taxes on the deferred salary until the leave period.


Under this plan, you may apply for a leave of absence of at least six months and no longer than 12 months.

To fund this leave, a portion of your annual salary (up to 33 1/3%) would be held in an interest-bearing trust account. At the end of a specified period, you would go on leave of absence and be paid the amount set aside in this account.


  • You may choose to work for three years at 75% of your normal salary. The remaining 25% would be deposited in an interest-bearing trust account. In year four, you would go on leave and receive the amount set aside in the previous years. (In this case, 75% of annual salary.)
  • During the deferral period, you would only pay tax on the amount actually received rather than the amount earned. In the example above, you would be taxed on 75% of salary for four years rather than 100% for three. This could result in less total tax on the same total salary.

Please see the chart at the end of this document for further examples of possible deferral options.

Contact the Payroll or Benefits sections of Human Resources for details of other available options.



The plan is available to non-academic staff with continuing appointments who have completed the probationary period.


An application to participate in the plan must be made in writing to your department head.

The application will be forwarded to the appropriate dean, librarian, director or vice-president for review and a decision will be made based on the operational requirements of your work unit.

If approved, the application will then be forwarded to the Assistant Vice-President (Human Resources) for implementation.

If you are promoted or transferred to a different department during the deferral period, your continued participation in the plan is subject to the approval of your new department head.

Salary Deferral

The amount of salary to be deferred in any one year may not exceed 33 1/3% of your annual nominal salary.

The deferred salary will be held in a separate trust account for you by the Bank of Nova Scotia.

Interest will be credited to your account monthly. The accumulated interest will be paid to you at the end of each calendar year during the deferral period.

The interest on this account is taxable in the calendar year it is earned and the amount must be reported by you on your personal income tax return for that year. The amount of interest earned will be reported to you and to Revenue Canada on a T4A form.

Duration of Leave

The leave must be:

  • at least six months and no longer than 12 months
  • start within six years of the date of the first salary deferral.
  • taken at the end of the deferral period. That is, you may not take the leave and then defer salary to reimburse the

During the leave, you may not be employed by the University in any capacity even if that employment is casual and
unrelated to your normal duties.

Payment of the Deferred Salary

The deferred salary will be paid to you in equal instalments on your regular pay dates.

Example: If you have saved 25% of your annual salary and have chosen to take a six-month leave, the deferred amount will be paid to you in equal installments over the six months.

Return From Leave

Upon returning from leave, you have the right to return to the same position you held prior to going on leave.

Vacation and sick leave balances which have accumulated prior to the leave will be reinstated.

Cancellation of Leave

It is expected that employees who join the plan will follow through on their commitment, except in the case of unforeseen or extenuating circumstances such as:

  • Promotion
  • Transfer to a new job

You may withdraw from the plan up to three months prior to the date of the scheduled leave.

The department head and the Assistant Vice-President (Human Resources) must be informed in writing of your intention to withdraw from the plan.

On leaving the plan, you will receive the amount of salary accumulated (less tax) plus any interest not already paid. Withdrawal from the plan will not prevent you from reapplying at a later date.

Should you die while participating in the plan, any balance in your account at the time of death will be paid to your estate.


During the Salary Deferral Period:

  • Retirement Plan contributions are based on your nominal (100%) salary with the University matching these contributions.
  • Income Tax and Canada Pension Plan contributions will be based on your reduced salary.
  • Employment Insurance, Life Insurance and Long Term Disability premiums and benefits will be based on your nominal (100%) salary and normal cost-sharing arrangements will apply.
  • Extended Health Care and Dental Insurance premiums remain the same and the normal cost-sharing arrangements will apply.
  • Vacation and sick leave credits will accumulate as if you are receiving 100% of salary.

During the Leave Period

  • Under current Revenue Canada regulations, Retirement Plan contributions are permitted. If you choose to contribute to the Retirement Plan during your leave you are responsible for both the Employee and Employer contributions for the duration of the leave.
  • Income Tax and Canada Pension Plan contributions will be deducted from the deferred salary payments.
  • You may choose to continue benefit coverage based on nominal salary for Life Insurance, Long Term Disability,
    Extended Health Care, and Dental Insurance Plans. Premiums for coverage under these plans will be your full
    responsibility. The University will not pay any portion of these premiums. This premium cost-sharing practice is
    consistent with the University policy on Leave without Pay. The premiums will be deducted from your deferred salary payments.
  • Vacation and Sick Leave credits will not accumulate


  • Participating in a self-funded leave plan has implications for pension provisions and income tax.
  • It is your responsibility to be fully aware of the effect of the plan.
  • If you wish to participate in the last five years before your retirement, you should be aware of the implications of doing so.
  • Staff in the Pensions and Benefits section of Human Resources can advise you of the various implications.
  • The University intends to maintain the plan in force indefinitely, but nevertheless retains the right to amend or
    discontinue the plan in whole or in part at any time.
  • No amendments to the plan initiated by the University will reduce the benefits accruing to you if you are enrolled in the plan at the time of amendment.

For further information, contact:
Pensions and Benefits
Human Resources
Room 507, Robertson Hall


Period Deferral
(in Years)
Salary Deferred per
Annual Salary payable during Deferral
Salary Payable During Leave
1 33 1/3% ($20,000) 66 2/3% ($40,000) 33 1/3% ($20,000)
2 33 1/3% ($20,000) 66 2/3% ($40,000) 66 2/3% ($40,000)
2 25% ($15,000) 75% ($45,000) 50% ($30,000)
3 25% ($15,000) 75% ($45,000) 75% ($45,000)
3 20% ($12,000) 80% ($48,000) 60% ($36,000)
4 20% ($12,000) 80% ($48,000) 80% ($48,000)
4 25% ($15,000) 75% ($45,000) 100% ($60,000)
5 20% ($12,000) 80% ($48,000) 100% ($60,000)
5 15% ($9,000) 85% ($51,000) 75% ($45,000)
6 10% ($6,000) 90% ($54,000) 60% ($36,000)
6 15% ($9,000) 85% ($51,000) 90% ($54,000)


  • The above are only examples of possible deferral options. Other options are available and can be discussed with the Payroll and Benefits staff of Human Resources.
  • Maximum salary deferral in one year is 33 1/3%
  • Maximum period of deferral is six years
  • Leave period must be at least six months and no greater than 12 months

Revised: 26-MAR-2019