How to buy arrears

Find out how to buy arrears if there was a period when you and your employer should have contributed to the plan but didn't.

How to buy enrolment arrears

You may have enrolment arrears if:

  • Your enrolment in BC's Public Service Pension Plan was mandatory, but you didn’t start contributing when first required to do so
  • Your enrolment was optional and you joined the plan but didn’t start contributing from your date of eligibility
  • Your enrolment in the plan (on or after April 1, 2000) was optional, but you didn’t sign the waiver to opt out of the plan
  • You signed the waiver to opt out of the plan, but then decided to enrol in the plan and did not start contributing on the date you enrolled
  • You were employed at the same time by more than one employer participating in the plan but did not contribute to the plan through all your employers

How much will it cost?

The cost of buying enrolment arrears is based on:

  • The length of the arrears period
  • Your current full-time-equivalent salary
  • The current employee and employer contribution rates

To find out how much it will cost, complete and submit the Purchase of service application form. We will send both you and your employer a statement showing how much you each need to pay.

Your employer must immediately pay its share to the plan. You can decide if you want to pay your share. You have 90 days from our written notice to pay.

If you pay your share, you will get credit for:

  • The full pensionable service  
  • The full contributory service  

If you do not pay your share, you will get credit for:

  • Half the pensionable service
  • The full contributory service

The statement we send can help you estimate how much your monthly pension benefit may increase if you purchase the enrolment arrears period.

What is the process?

  1. Download the Purchase of service application form and complete part A
  2. Print and sign the form
  3. Attach any required documents
  4. If you worked for a former employer that participated in the plan during the employment arrears period you are buying, send the form to that employer to complete part C and return it to you
  5. Send the completed form and documents to your current employer, who will complete part B and send the form to the plan

When we have processed your application to buy enrolment arrears, we will send you a statement showing your cost and the payment due date. We will also send a statement to your employer showing its cost and due date.

What is the deadline?

The payment amount quoted in your statement is guaranteed for 90 days. If you miss the payment deadline, you must reapply to make the purchase within five years of the original statement or before you leave your job, whichever comes first.

How do I pay for my purchase?

If you decide to pay your share, you must pay the full amount by the due date shown on the statement of cost. You can pay by:

  • Cash (cheque, money order or bank draft payable to the Public Service Pension Plan)
  • Direct transfer from an existing registered retirement savings plan (RRSP) or locked-in retirement vehicle in your name
  • A combination of cash, RRSP transfer and locked-in   retirement vehicle transfer

You are responsible for ensuring the correct payment amount reaches the plan by the due date shown on the statement.

If you are paying by transferring funds from an RRSP or locked-in retirement vehicle, you need to confirm that the exact amount owed has been transferred to the plan by the due date. You also need to ensure that your financial institution has not deducted service fees from your purchase of enrolment arrears payment, as this will result in an incomplete payment.

If you miss the payment deadline, you must continue to meet eligibility requirements (including the original five-year time limit) and reapply to make the purchase before you leave your job.

You will only receive a tax receipt if you pay by cash (cheque, money order or bank draft).

Related content for buying arrears

Enrolling in the pension plan

Applying for your pension