IF YOUâ€™RE A PARENT AND/OR GUARDIAN OF A CHILD PERFORMER IN CANADA, HEREâ€™S SOME INFORMATION YOU NEED TO KNOW.
CHILDREN HAVE PROPERTY RIGHTS IN CANADA.
DID YOU KNOW that as a parent and/or guardian who receives money or property on behalf of a minor in Canada, you may have specific obligations under the law?
DID YOU KNOW that itâ€™s up to you to know and understand those obligations and to act in accordance with the law?
ACTRAÂ PRS cannot provide you with legal advice but there may be resources available to you in your province â€“ ACTRAÂ PRS encourages you to seek out those resources.
Saving our kidsâ€™ futures
ACTRA protects the unique interests of minors â€“ a responsibility that your union has always taken seriously. Prior to the establishment of the Minorâ€™s Trust we were hearing too many stories about parents using their childrenâ€™s earnings so that there was nothing left for the child when they reached the age of majority. We decided that these vulnerable members need to be protected and negotiated provisions in our IPA and National Commercial Agreement to ensure that 25% of all minorâ€™s earnings will be held in trust and available to the performer when she or he reaches the age of majority (in B.C. and California, the government administers minorâ€™s trust programs).
ACTRA PRS provides detailed reports to all minors with earnings and mails them out semi-annually. Once a minorâ€™s earnings reach $5,000, 25% are remitted to ACTRA PRS. As of today, PRS administers 779 minorsâ€™ trusts, with a book value of almost $4,000,000.
ACTRA Performersâ€™ Rights Society (ACTRAÂ PRS) has appointed RBC Dominion Securities as the financial account manager for the Trust. Our primary objective in making these changes is to provide a better administrative service and the opportunity to maximize the returns on minorsâ€™ assets.
The Minorsâ€™ Trust provision
The provision first came into effect in the 1999 Independent Production Agreement (IPA), when ACTRA negotiated the following language to secure income earned by a performer who had not reached the age of 18:
A2716 Trust Account After a Minorâ€™s total lifetime remuneration reaches $5,000.00, twenty-five percent (25%) of the Minorâ€™s gross remuneration shall be deducted from the total payment due to the Minor by the Producer and remitted to the ACTRA PRS, which shall hold such monies in trust for the Minor upon terms and conditions consistent with the obligations of the ACTRA PRS to act as a Trustee. The ACTRA PRS shall keep track of the Minorâ€™s earnings to determine whether the $5,000.00 level is reached.
As of June 2002, ACTRAâ€™s National Commercial Agreement also contains the same Minorâ€™s Trust provisions.
ACTRAâ€™s Minors Trust is inspired by the California â€˜Coogan Lawâ€™, enacted in 1939 to protect child performers from financial abuse. Coogan Law ensures that the earnings of a minor are the legal property of the minor and not his parents. The law resulted from the experience of silent picture star Jackie Coogan who earned millions as a child, but was left broke at the age of 18 because his parents had squandered his earnings. Coogan is best remembered for his role as Charlie Chaplinâ€™s sidekick in The Kid, for the title role in Oliver Twist and was the first star to get heavily merchandised.
Weâ€™re Here to Serve You
In review, ACTRAÂ PRSÂ now provides:
- Up-to-date information available from Minorâ€™s Trust Administrator number of units held and unit value
- Bi-annual statements
- Tax forms
Minorâ€™s Trust Forms for Producers
NCA â€“ Engager Remittance report for Minorâ€™s Trust Deductions
IPA â€“ Engager Remittance report for Minorâ€™s Trust Deductions Trust Declarations
If you have any questions about Minorâ€™s Trust please contact our Administrator
Judy Land or 416 489 1311 ext 5004