How to buy service for a leave

Find out how to buy service for a leave of absence to potentially increase your future pension.

You may be able to increase your future pension by buying service for your leave of absence. When you buy service for an approved leave of absence, you increase the pensionable service that counts toward your pension. This may increase the monthly pension you receive when you retire.

Are you eligible?

You can buy service for an approved leave if:

  • You were an active member   when you took the leave
  • You buy service for the entire leave period, unless it makes your service exceed 35 years in total or 12 months in a calendar year

If you decide not to return to work after a leave and want to buy service, you must apply while you are still on leave and before you end your job.

There are some restrictions if you want to buy a leave of absence for a period when you contributed to a registered pension plan with another employer. Contact us for more information.

How much will it cost?

The cost of buying service for a leave is based on:

  • The number of months of service you want to buy
  • Your current full-time-equivalent salary
  • The current employee and employer contribution rates

Sign in to My Account to use the personalized purchase cost estimator and get an estimate of the cost.

What is the deadline?

You must apply to buy service within five years of the end of your leave or before you end your job with your employer, whichever comes first.

What is the process?

  1. Download the Purchase of service application form
    • To generate a form pre-populated with your personal information, sign in to My Account and run an estimate in the personalized purchase cost estimator
    • To generate a blank form, go to the Submit the Purchase of service application form page and download the Purchase of service application package; you will need to complete part A
  2. Print and sign the form
  3. Attach any required documents
  4. Send the completed form and documents to your current employer, who will complete part B and send the form to BC's Public Service Pension Plan

When we have processed your application to buy service, we will send you a statement showing:

  • Total cost
  • Payment due date

What are the payment options?

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 with your financial institution 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 service payment, as this will result in an incomplete payment.

If you miss the payment deadline, you must continue to meet the 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).