Early retirement

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


Early retirement for regular members

For most members of BC’s Public Service Pension Plan, the normal retirement age is 65, and the earliest retirement age is 55.

Depending on when you started your service, your pension may be affected by up to three different plan designs. The latest plan design change became effective April 1, 2018, on a go-forward basis.

Note: 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 plan designs.

If you are thinking about retiring before age 65, please note:

  • You will receive a reduced pension if you do not meet the minimum age and service criteria for an unreduced pension
  • You will receive a bridge benefit on service earned before April 1, 2018
  • You can buy a temporary annuity (full or half) to supplement your retirement income until you turn 65 or die, whichever happens first
  • 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.

Calculating your reduced pension

If you decide to retire early but do not meet the criteria for an unreduced pension, your pension will be reduced. For pensionable service before April 1, 2018, the bridge benefit will also be proportionately reduced.

The reduction amount is based on a combination of your:

  • Age when you leave your job
  • Contributory service
  • Age when you start receiving your pension

Reductions are pro-rated by month for partial years.

The easiest way to learn how your pension will be calculated is to use the Personalized Pension Estimator in My Account. You can save up to 10 different estimates, allowing you to see how your monthly pension can be affected by different retirement ages. Sign in to My Account at the top of your screen.

Pensionable service earned before April 1, 2018

3.0 per cent reduction

All your years of contributory service (before, on and after April 1, 2018) are used to calculate your eligibility. For years of contributory service earned before April 1, 2018, however, the rule of 85 applies. That means if your age and years of contributory service equal at least 85, you can retire with an unreduced pension. 

If your age plus years of contributory service is less than 85, your pension will be reduced by 3.0 per cent per year if you meet the following criteria:

  • You are at least age 50 when you leave your job
  • You have at least 10 years of contributory service

Your pension will be reduced by 3.0 per cent for each year that

  • you are under age 60, or
  • the sum of your age plus years of contributory service is less than 85, whichever is less.
5.0 per cent reduction

If you do not meet the age and service criteria for a 3.0 per cent reduction, and you have at least two years of contributory service, your pension will be reduced by 5.0 per cent for each year that

  • you are under age 60, or
  • the sum of your age plus years of contributory service is less than 85, whichever is less.

If you are 55 and have less than two years of service, your pension will be reduced by 5.0 per cent for each year you are under age 65.

Pensionable service earned on and after April 1, 2018

If you have two or more years of contributory service, your pension will be reduced by 6.2 per cent for each year you are under age 60.

If you have less than two years of contributory service, your pension will be reduced by 6.2 per cent for each year you are under age 65.

Calculating your bridge benefit

If you retire before age 65, your pension will include a temporary monthly payment, called a bridge benefit, for pensionable service earned before April 1, 2018. The Personalized Pension Estimator in My Account will calculate your entitlement to a bridge benefit.

Up to April 1, 2006 0.65% x (lesser of previous year’s maximum pensionable earnings [YMPE] or highest average salary) x pensionable service
April 1, 2006 to March 31, 2018 0.35% x (lesser of YMPE or highest average salary) x pensionable service
April 1, 2018 and beyond No bridge benefit—members earn a higher lifetime pension instead

The bridge benefit may increase because of an annual inflation adjustment.


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