Facts about the plan

Get to know your pension plan and how it contributes to BC's economy.


The members of BC's Public Service Pension Plan contribute significantly to the well-being of our communities and province. More than 85 employers participate in the plan, and plan members work both on the front lines, as health care workers, environmental protection officers, child protection workers and paramedics, and behind the scenes in policy, law, IT, security, communications and accounting. British Columbians count on our members every day, and our members count on the plan to help them save for their retirement years.

Here are some facts about the plan:

Plan design and governance

  • The plan is the eighth largest in Canada, with 122,620 members1 and $29.2 billion in assets
  • Employer and member representatives share plan governance through a joint trust agreement
  • The plan is pre-funded and designed so each generation pays in advance for its own basic pension benefits
  • For every dollar a member contributes to the plan, the employer also makes a contribution
  • The plan’s sustainability is monitored and managed through a valuation process performed at least once every three years
  • The plan is subject to legislation, including:
    • Pension Benefits Standards Act
    • Public Sector Pension Plans Act
    • Income Tax Act
    • Family Law Act
    • Wills, Estates and Succession Act
    • Judicial Compensation Act
    • Members' Remuneration and Pensions Act

Dollars and good sense2

  • The plan’s most recent valuation (2014) shows it's fully funded, with a funded ratio of 101 per cent
  • The plan pays out over $1,071 million in pensions, benefits and expenses each year
  • The average annual new (2017) lifetime pension paid by the plan is approximately $20,100
  • The median annual new (2017) lifetime pension paid by the plan is approximately $17,300
  • More than 46,200 retired members are receiving pensions through the plan
  • Approximately 75 per cent of the pension benefit comes from investment returns
  • Plan membership includes over 59,400 active members who work for more than 85 employers

The plan's design and governance model sets the bar for excellence

The plan is cost effective, sustainable and well governed. Clear legislation, policies, plan design and governance help the plan meet the challenges of today’s investment environment and provide secure retirement income to plan members.

Public Service Pension Plan is pre-funded

The plan is designed so each generation pays in advance for its own pension benefits. Investments are managed by professional investment managers using a long-term investment approach, and investment returns pay for most of the pension benefits.

If cost increases occur, they are shared

The plan is managed through a joint trust agreement that requires plan members and employers to share equally in any contribution rate increases that occur because of funding shortfalls.

The plan's large scale and professional management enable it to operate efficiently

The total cost of investment management and pension administration for the plan is less than the total fees individual investors commonly pay.

The valuation process monitors and manages plan sustainability

An actuarial valuation is performed at least once every three years. This process identifies potential shortfalls so that action can be taken to keep the plan fully funded to meet its current and future liabilities.

Plan members accumulate more in retirement savings and are financially better prepared for retirement

Through pension contributions and investment earnings, BC public sector pension plan members accumulate $2.2 billion more every year than typical RRSP savers in the province.3 This means plan members are better prepared for retirement and are less likely to rely on social programs and income assistance.

 


1. British Columbia 2017 Public Service Pension Plan Annual Report.

2. Ibid.

3. Michael Grant, Matthew Stuart and Erin Butler, Economic Impact of British Columbia’s Public Sector Pension Plans. (Ottawa: Conference Board of Canada, 2013).


Related content for Facts about the plan

Joint Trust Agreement

Governance documents