How the plan works
Learn everything you need to know about how the plan works and how it provides value to your future.
BC’s Public Service Pension Plan is a defined benefit pension plan.
In a defined benefit pension plan, your pension is based on a formula that uses your years of service and your highest average salary. You can estimate what you’ll get in advance.
Read on to learn more about your pension plan and how it will provide value over your lifetime.
The story of your pension dollar
You get paid
On average, investment returns make up around 75 cents of each dollar of your pension. The remaining 25 cents come from member and employer contributions.
You contribute to the plan
Every pay period, a portion of your pay goes to the pension plan. Your employer also contributes at the same time.
Your contributions are pooled in the pension fund
Your contribution and your employer’s contribution are added to the pension fund, along with the contributions of thousands of other employees.
Professional investment managers invest the pension fund
Professional investment managers at BC Investment Management Corporation (BCI) manage the money in the pension fund. They make investment decisions based on guidelines set by the plan’s board of trustees. These decisions prioritize the long-term growth and stability of the pension plan. The board monitors the plan’s investments and BCI’s investment management services on behalf of the plan.
Regular valuations keep the pension fund on track
Every three years, an independent actuary (a specialist in risk and financial theory) conducts something called a valuation. That means they check to make sure the total amount of money in the pension fund will be enough to pay the lifetime pensions of every plan member. If the valuation shows a shortfall, the plan board may increase contribution rates to protect the plan’s long-term security. If the valuation shows a surplus, the board will determine how to use the surplus funds. The board’s decision will be based on the best financial interests of all plan members.
When you’re ready, the pension fund pays for your pension
When you decide to retire, you receive a lifetime pension based on a formula that uses your service and salary from when you worked and contributed as a plan member. The money to pay your pension comes out of the pension fund.
Learn more about contributions and investments
- How pension contributions work: Learn more about pension contributions, including how much you and your employer contribute.
- Investments: Explore how plan assets are invested to secure your future.
How the plan makes a difference for you
- Retirement security: Your pension is secure, not dependent on investment returns
- Planning ahead: Because your pension is based on a formula, you can use the personalized pension estimator to estimate what you’ll get ahead of time
- We take care of the challenges for you: You don’t need to worry about making investment decisions or remembering to make contributions—our team of professionals do the work for you
- Expert investment management at a low cost: BCI provides professional investment management for less than you would normally pay in investment fees
- Protection for your loved ones: If you die before you retire, your pension can help support your spouse or other beneficiaries
- Inflation adjustments: Once you start receiving your pension, it may be topped up to keep up with increases in the cost of living (inflation adjustments are not guaranteed)
- Options if you change jobs: If you leave your job before your earliest retirement age, you’ll have flexible options like keeping your money in the plan until you’re ready for a pension
- The plan advantage: See how your plan compares with other common sources of retirement income.