Physician Retention Program

The Physician Retention Program has been another success of Doctors Manitoba’s. In times of difficulty retaining physicians, its purposes is to encourage retention and to continue to incentivize and recognize those physicians who have provided long service in the care of Manitobans.

Through negotiations with Manitoba Health provincial funding of this program has grown to $10 million annually. These funds are administered by Doctors Manitoba with over $55 million paid out to Manitoba’s physicians.

Payments from this Program are paid out to physicians after each 5 consecutive years of practice in Manitoba. The actual amount received by each physician is dependent on their total years of service and income earned.

In general, physicians who earn income either directly or indirectly from Manitoba Health are eligible for a bonus payment once every five years, for up to 30 years of active, continuous practice in Manitoba.  All physicians in active practice are eligible for the same potential benefit.  Type of practice and geographic location of practice are not factors in determining a physician’s eligibility or benefit level.

Program Details

How does it work?

A physician earns “shares” based on the number of consecutive program years spent in Manitoba practice. After service in five consecutive program years – a service “milestone” payment is made based on the shares earned during that period.

The number of shares is based on a physician’s gross income (regardless of income modality) during each Retention Program year (which runs from April 1 to March 31):

  • $80,000 or more – one share
  • $25,000 to $79,999 – one-half share
  • Under $25,000 – no share, but credited with one year of service toward the requirement for five consecutive years

There are six classes of shares, each covering a five-year milestone period as follows:

Share Class Consecutive Years of Manitoba Practice
A 1st – 5th
B 6th – 10th
C 11th – 15th
D 16th – 20th
E 21st – 25th
F 26th – 30th

How much is it worth?

The current share values are:

Share Class Relative Value Projected Value of Shares per Year
A 1.0 $2,600
B 1.2 $3,120
C 1.4 $3,640
D 1.6 $4,160
E 1.8 $4,680
F 2.0 $5,200

Share values are set every 5 years. The next Fund valuation will occur in 2022.

Share Class Relative Value Projected Value of Shares per Year
A 1.0 $2,600
B 1.2 $3,120
C 1.4 $3,640
D 1.6 $4,160
E 1.8 $4,680
F 2.0 $5,200

What if you leave the province?

If you choose to leave Manitoba practice before completion of a five-year milestone, you automatically lose entitlement to all shares accrued during that period.  Should you later return to Manitoba practice, shares will start accumulating as if in the first year of Manitoba practice.  In other words, you start over from the beginning.

What about temporary breaks?

Temporary breaks in consecutive service are permissible for up to 12 consecutive months,

The year of such a break will be counted as one of the five consecutive years needed to complete a milestone. However, no share will be earned that year (unless you earn sufficient income during the program year despite the temporary period of absence).

When do benefits start accumulating?

Physicians start accumulating credit towards the Retention Program on the day they become licensed with the College of Physicians and Surgeons. Each physician who earns $80,000 or more in a fiscal year (April 1st to March 31st) accrues one share.

For example, if you began practicing in Manitoba anytime between April 1, 2014 and March 31, 2015 and earned $80,000, you will accrue one Class A share as of March 31, 2015. You will continue to be eligible to accrue a Class A share for every program year thereafter until March 31, 2019, the end of your first five-year service milestone. At that point you are eligible for a payout of up to five Class A shares. Over the following five program years, you would be eligible to accrue Class B shares.

When is your first payout?

The first payment of benefits to an eligible physician occurs after the physician has accrued five shares in the program.  For any given program year, payouts will typically be made in December or January following a physician reaching a milestone on March 31.

Are there any exceptions?

Normally, physicians are paid a benefit only upon completion of each five-year milestone. However, accrued shares will be paid in the circumstances of the death or permanent disability of a physician in active practice prior to completion of the milestone. Those who choose to retire or relocate from Manitoba before completion of a milestone will lose all accrued shares

Tax Reporting Requirements

Why is the T4A slip reflecting payment under the Physician Retention Program issued in my name, and not in the name of my medical corporation?

A physician is unable to validly transfer the rights to payment under the Physician Retention Program to a corporation, and the Income Tax Act requires the payment to be taxed to the physician. Accordingly, T4A slips reflecting payments under the Physician Retention Program are made out in the name of the physician.

If you have received legal/accounting advice contrary to that which has been provided to Doctors Manitoba, there is nothing to prevent you from depositing your Physician Retention Program cheque into your corporation and reporting the payment as corporate income, regardless of the fact that your T4A slip was issued in your name, as opposed to in the name of the corporation. However, it is imperative that you obtain a written opinion from your own tax lawyer/accountant so that, in the event of an audit by the Canada Revenue Agency, it can be established that your decision as to how to report his payment was based on professional advice. This may eliminate any potential penalty being assessed against you.

For further information, contact:

Barry Hallman
Benefit Programs Coordinator