I only have a very old copy of Paint Shop Pro (before Corel bought them out) but in my help menu I found this which is probably pertinent to working with your .gif template:
""A background layer is not the same as a background.
When you create a new image and choose transparent as the background colour, the new image contains a transparent layer floating above the background, which appears chequered. This transparent layer, which is always labelled “Layer 1,” can be moved in the layer stack. It is a layer, not a background. The background cannot be moved.""
So to me that means ignore the chequered transparent background, it doesn't show/print in the finished .gif
I would presume with your template what you have/see is the new transparent layer on top of a transparent background waiting for you to paste something on it.