Early retirement

Retiring before the normal retirement age will affect your pension. Here are the key points to consider.

Introduction to early retirement

Different members of BC’s Public Service Pension Plan have different normal and earliest retirement ages. Most members in the plan are designated as regular members. Other members have a public safety designation. These include regular part-time and full-time ambulance paramedics in CUPE Local 873 and correctional officers, probation officers and youth probation officers employed in a correctional centre with BC Corrections.

If you have a combination of regular and public safety service, note that these service types have different unreduced retirement ages. You must meet the requirements for an unreduced pension for both types of services to have a fully unreduced pension.

Depending on when you started your service, your pension may be affected by different plan designs. The rules in effect at the time you earn service will apply.

The personalized Pension Estimator in My Account calculates your pension estimates with all the applicable rules.

If you are thinking about retiring before your normal retirement age, please keep in mind the following:

  • You must fully terminate all employment within the Public Service Pension Plan in order to start collecting your pension
  • You will receive a reduced pension if you do not meet the minimum age and service criteria for an unreduced pension
  • You can buy a temporary annuity (full or half) to supplement your retirement income until you turn 65 or die, whichever happens first
  • You are responsible for choosing the date your pension will start and you must apply to start your pension
  • You may be eligible for an unreduced pension before you reach normal retirement age
  • If you do not apply to start your unreduced pension when you are eligible, you will not be entitled to have your pension backdated to a previous date
  • You may want to talk to an independent financial advisor about which start date is best for you and your situation
  • When you retire, any extended health care and dental coverage you were receiving through your employer will stop. However, you can apply for extended health care and dental coverage through the Public Service Pension Plan when you apply for your pension.