Membership Resources

Benefits of Membership

The below information only applies to full members of IATSE Local 849 and do not apply to those who have registered for Sister Status or applied with the local as a Referral. 

Membership with Local 849 has a range of benefits including access to a medical plan, Group RRSP, life insurance, access to union discounts on a vast selection of brands across a number of industries, training reimbursement programs & opportunities, the opportunity to contribute to the Local through committees and advocacy work, and more. Please find some details on these benefits below.

RRSPs / Canada Life / CEIRP

What’s the CEIRP?
As a working member of IATSE 849, you and your employer pay into your Canadian Entertainment Industry Retirement Plan (CEIRP), administered by Canada Life. This program is used by almost all IATSE Film Locals and the Director's Guild of Canada across Canada, which makes it easier for members to work in other jurisdictions.

The CEIRP consists of two parts:
  • A Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP), and
  • A Non-registered Savings Plan (NRSP)
What’s the difference between an RRSP and an NRSP? Do I need both?
An RRSP is a tax-deferred savings plan that allows Canadians to make tax-deductible contributions within the limits set by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) up to the end of the year in which they turn 71.

An NRSP may be used in the event that certain circumstances prevent you from contributing to an RRSP or for Employee payroll deductions. This should be arranged with your Administrator/Payroll, as applicable.

In most cases, only an RRSP will be used, but you will need both to safeguard against any special circumstances or issues with payroll.

Who pays into my RRSP? How much do they pay?
When you’re on a union show, RRSP contributions are automatically deducted from your paycheque and your employer will match up to a certain percentage. The percentages of the RRSP contributions are determined by the negotiated Collective Agreement for each show. Every Local has different arrangements, so this may be different if you work in another jurisdiction.

If you are not non-member, your RRSP contributions will be added to your pay.

How does my RRSP grow? What investment options do I have?
Your RRSP is an investment fund. Deciding which investment options work for you is a purely personal choice and staff of IATSE Local 849 cannot provide financial advice. In your Retirement Guide, given to you in your membership package, there is an “Investment Personality Questionnaire” to help you decide what your investment portfolio will include. There are different levels of risk for each portfolio.

If you don’t make an investment choice, your money will be invested in the target date default fund. The fund will be based on your age when you join and the normal retirement age of the plan (determined by CEIRP). Many Local 849 members choose this option and you can opt to change how your funds are invested at any time by contacting Canada Life - by phone or logging into your online profile.

How can I keep track of my RRSP balance and see how much it’s grown?
You can see your plan’s balance, with your contributions, producer contribution, and its growth, when you login to your account. Registering for your account is easy; provide your email address, name, and postal code and then you can access your account. If you cannot access your account please contact either Canada Life or the Local 849 office - your contact information may need to be updated in their system.

I’m not meeting my retirement goals and I want to invest more or change what kind of investments I have. How can I do that?
If you aren’t meeting your retirement goals, you can This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. at the Local 849 office to increase your contributions that are taken off your paycheck when you’re working, or you can make independent contributions to your RRSP when you have extra savings that you’d like to invest (most banks allow you to set up your RRSP account as a "payee"). Canada Life will usually send you a letter close to tax season asking if you’d like to make any deposits.

Contributions can take up to two months to reflect in your account after the period you work. This is standard and should be considered when looking at your account.

I need more information about CEIRP and my RRSP!
For more information, refer to your Retirement Guide and feel free to call Canada Life at 1-800-724-3402, Monday to Friday between the hours of 9 a.m. and 9 p.m AT.

Our policy number is 62724 and our subgroup number is 849! Having these handy will make it easier for Canada Life employees to help you faster.

Medical Plan / Union Benefits

When you’re working on a union show, producers pay into your “dollar bank” every pay period through fringe benefits. The amount contributed by the producer can fluctuate. This is because the producer contribution is based on a percentage of your pay which is negotiated in the collective agreement. Only the producers pay into your dollar bank, you do not match their contribution and nothing is deducted off of - or reported on - your pay that goes towards the medical plan.

You become eligible for the Medical Care, Vision Care, Emergency Travel Insurance and Assistance benefit and Dental Care benefits when the amount in your dollar bank is equal to at least three months worth of premiums. To qualify initially, these funds must be producer-paid contributions and cannot be paid by yourself.

If you acquired membership with mostly non-union hours, it may take some time to grow your dollar bank to finally qualify for coverage; but once you do, you can “pay-direct” or “self-pay” your premiums if your dollar bank cannot cover the monthly cost of your coverage. If you have worked under a Local 849 Collective Agreement in the year prior to your acceptance into the Local, you may have contributions waiting for you.

How much are monthly premiums?
The monthly premium as of September 1st, 2023 is:
  • Single: $164.94
  • Family: $408.69
Based on these amounts, the minimum amount that needs to be in your dollar bank to initially qualify for coverage is:
  • Single: $494.82
  • Family: $1,226.07
You can call the IATSE Local 849 office to find out how much money is in your dollar bank if you are unsure.

How do I maintain my coverage? What happens if I lapse my coverage, and how do I requalify?
If you are at risk of “falling out of benefit”, meaning that your dollar bank balance is less than the amount required to pay one monthly premium, you can pay-direct or self-pay, which is to pay your monthly premium to the Local 849 office or directly to Union Benefits. If you require it, plans can be set up through the Local 849 office to have your monthly premium charged to a credit card automatically each month.

If your coverage terminates for any reason or you “let your coverage lapse” and you want to re-establish coverage, your dollar bank will have to equal at least two months worth of premiums - these funds must be producer-paid contributions and cannot be paid by yourself.

How much can I accumulate in my “dollar bank”?
The maximum amount you are permitted to accumulate in your dollar bank will be 24 times the monthly premium cost for family coverage - currently $7,144.80. Credits in excess of this amount will be transferred into the reserves of the Trust Fund to continue to fund the plan.

What is covered in the medical plan? What isn’t?
The coverage of the IATSE 849’s health plan can change yearly, so it’s always a good idea to read up on our updated local’s policy. You can find an updated policy on the Union Benefits website. When you login, click “My Benefits” and you should see a series of PDFs under “My Benefit Plan”. If you need a physical copy of the booklet sent to you, or have trouble accessing it on your profile, please contact the Local 849 office.

Currently, our plan covers 80% of the cost associated with prescription drugs, paramedical services, eye exams, and all other eligible medical benefits. Our plan currently covers 100% for hearing aids (Max of $5,000 every 5 years - excluding batteries) and $300.00 for glasses every two years for adults and every year for children.

There are some procedures that are not covered by the plan - orthodontics and out-of-province procedures are two examples. If an expense has been rejected by the plan but you wish to appeal, you can present your case to the Board of Trustees.

How do I make a claim?
Making a claim has never been easier! Download the Union Benefits app and submit there, or submit on the website. Some expenses are not able to be claimed through the app or website and must have an original receipt ssubmitted by mail - abulance bills and compression stockings are two examples.

Make sure to submit your claims in a timely manner. The time limit for submitting claims is as follows:
For Medical Care, Vision Care and Dental Care Claims
  • Twelve (12) months after the date of the service
For Life Insurance and Accidental Death & Dismemberment Claims
  • Twelve (12) months following the date of death
  • Twelve (12) months after the date of the loss for AD&D benefits
When purchasing prescription drugs, be sure to have your drug card with you that will be sent to you after registering with Union Benefits.

Contributions can take up to two months to reflect in your account after the period you work. This is standard and should be considered when looking at your account.

I need more information about our health plan! Where can I find it?
For more information, feel free to reference the updated Employee Benefit Plan Booklet, call Union Benefits, or call the IATSE 849 office!

Life Insurance / AD&D

Did you know that you also qualify for Life insurance and Accidental Death and Dismemberment insurance?

The Life Insurance is payable in the event of your death from any cause at any time or place, while you are insured. Payment will be made in a lump sum to the named beneficiary or beneficiaries designated by you. You become eligible for a $25,000 Life Insurance Policy and Accidental Death and Dismemberment (AD&D) benefits as soon as you have completed your initiation. Look at a copy of the Employee Benefit Plan Booklet for updated details on the Life Insurance and Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance policies and their payable amounts.

Please keep your beneficiary information current and up to date to avoid any hardships for loved ones in the case of your passing. Call or email Union Benefits to update your beneficiary.

EAP / Shepell

What is Shepell?
Shepell is the provider of our Employee and Family Assistance Program (commonly known as EAP or EFAP). Shepell offers tons of free services including short-term counselling, legal support services, financial support services, family support services, nutrition support services, naturopathic services, and health coaching!

Did you know Shepell’s services can be used by others too?
Shepell’s free services aren’t only for you; they can be used by your immediate family, too!

How do I access Shepell’s services?
  • Call theCare Access Centre toll free at 1 (800) 387-4765
  • Use the Online Access (Canada only)
  • Register and login to E-Counselling via or the EAP app
  • Instant online chat with a counsellor, via
I need more information about our EAP! Where can I find it?
For more information, feel free to reference the updated Employee Benefit Plan Booklet, call Union Benefits, or call the IATSE 849 office!

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Union Discounts /

Their website has a ton of discounts with a great directory. Sign up and you can access them all!

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Training Reimbursement Program

Members of IATSE Local 849 have access to a training reimbursement program! Please click the link below for more information.

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IATSE Local 849

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Phone: 902-425-2739
Toll-Free: 1-877-425-2741



1-617 Windmill Road, 2nd Floor
Dartmouth, Nova Scotia B3B 1B6

Hours of Operation
Monday-Friday - 9:00am-5:00pm AT
Saturday-Sunday - Closed