How to appeal a decision about your pension
Learn how to submit an appeal if you disagree with how the plan rules have been applied.
This information is a summary of the appeals process. For more details about the Public Service Pension Board of Trustees Appeals Process, contact the appeals registrar.
Before starting an appeal to the Public Service Pension Board of Trustees, ensure you have first exhausted the administrative review process through BC Pension Corporation, the administrative agent for BC's Public Service Pension Plan. This action can often resolve concerns and avoid an appeal.
What is the appeals process?
The appeals process allows a person or organization to appeal a decision made by the corporation in applying the Public Service Pension Plan Rules. The process provides an impartial review by the board.
What is the Public Service Pension Board of Trustees?
It is the board that administers the pension plan and manages the pension fund. The board consists of 14 trustees, most appointed by plan member partner organizations and plan employer partner organizations. One trustee is directly appointed by the British Columbia Government Retired Employees’ Association.
Who can appeal?
Any person or organization directly affected by a decision made by the corporation in applying the plan rules can appeal.
When can I appeal?
You must start an appeal within six months of the date you receive a written decision from the corporation.
What can I appeal?
You can appeal any decision made by the corporation that directly affects you regarding the application of the pension plan rules. Some examples include decisions about enrolment, purchase of service, pension benefits, application of arrears and survivor benefits.
Are there issues I cannot appeal?
You cannot appeal on the grounds that the actual pension plan rule applied in the decision should be changed. Also, you cannot appeal something that happened to someone else (however, you may represent someone else in their appeal).
Can I appeal to the board about a decision made by a group benefit provider regarding my group benefits (extended health care, dental or group life insurance)?
No. The group benefit provider has its own process for addressing members’ concerns about claims. Please contact the group benefit provider directly:
- Pacific Blue Cross for extended health care and dental claims incurred before April 1, 2017
- Green Shield Canada for extended health care and dental claims incurred on and after April 1, 2017
- Great-West Life for group life insurance
However, decisions about enrolment in the extended health care or dental plans are made by Pension Corporation and may be appealed to the board.
What if I disagree with the principle of the plan rule?
You can write to the board about your concern. Although the board cannot act immediately on the issues you raise, your experience may help identify the need for future changes to the plan.
Can someone else act on my behalf?
Yes, although the process is designed to use on your own, you may choose to have someone act on your behalf. The board will not reimburse any costs you incur by having another person act on your behalf.
Note: The board does not provide legal advice, guidance or recommendations about appeals. You may seek the advice of legal counsel at your own expense.
I’m thinking of filing an appeal. What should I do first?
Contact Pension Corporation. Before you start an appeal, the corporation director of pension operations must review your concerns. This administrative review is an additional opportunity for considering whether the plan rules were applied correctly when making the decision and helps ensure the corporation applies the plan rules consistently. Following the review, the director will send you a written decision.
To obtain the director’s written confirmation of the decision, write or email the corporation through the plan:
Public Service Pension Plan
PO Box 9460
Victoria, BC V8W 9V8
Phone toll-free in Canada and U.S.: 1-800-665-3554
Online: Sign in to My Account and click the envelope for Message Centre
If you are still not satisfied after reviewing the director’s response, you may appeal the matter to the board.