Employee Benefits

This program (formerly Band Employee Benefits) provides funding to eligible First Nation and Inuit employers to support the employer's share of contributions to eligible employees' pension plans. These may include the costs of employer sponsored pension plans, the Canada/Quebec Pension Plan (CPP/QPP) and any additional employee benefits.

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About the program

The Employee Benefits program supports eligible First Nation and Inuit employers in attracting and keeping the qualified staff needed to manage and deliver programs and services taken over from the federal government. The program enables eligible employers to establish competitive employee benefit packages comparable to other employers (such as federal, provincial and municipal governments, school boards, etc.). This also supports Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC)’s goal of transferring control of program management and program delivery to band communities.

To receive Employee Benefits program funding, pension plans must meet the requirements of Revenue Canada Taxation (for CPP/QPP) and the Pension Benefits Standards Act, 1985 administered by the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions.

The maximum amount payable is determined by a funding formula. The employee's share of the cost of employer-sponsored pension plans will be, at minimum, equal to the employer's share. The employer's share will be contributed by the department. Only the three existing defined benefit pension plans may vary from this maximum amount payable.

Who can apply?

First Nation and Inuit employers with employees involved in delivering programs funded by the department.

However, employees are not eligible if they:


Varies by region between January and March 31 of each year. Contact your INAC regional office.

How to apply

Recipients must complete an annual application form. If a recipient assumes management of a new program, or wishes to receive an increase in funding, an application form must be submitted again.

If you are applying on behalf of a First Nation, use the First Nation Application for Indian Government Support Programs.

If you are applying on behalf of a Tribal Council, use the Tribal Council Consolidated Application for Funding.

If you are applying on behalf of an organization other than a First Nation or Tribal Council, use the Application For Band Employee Benefits – Organizations Other Than First Nations And Tribal Councils.

When applying, consult the Employee Benefits Program Policy for more information.

Submit a complete application form to your regional office. All forms must be accompanied by a list of eligible employees.

The department will review applications to determine the maximum eligible funding level for the new fiscal year.

For more information on how to develop governance capacity in your community, consult Tools for Governance.

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