How to buy past service

Find out how to buy past service to potentially increase your future pension.

You may be able to increase your future pension by buying past service for a period when you worked for an employer before it joined BC's Public Service Pension Plan.

Buying past service increases the service that counts toward your pension. This may increase the monthly pension you receive when you retire or allow you to retire earlier.

Are you eligible?

To purchase past service, you must be an active plan member

You cannot purchase past service if:

  • You were eligible to join the plan but signed a waiver choosing not to join, on or after April 1, 2000.
  • You contributed to another registered pension plan during the period of past service you want to buy. If this applies to you, you can buy past service in the Public Service Pension Plan if you end your membership in the other plan and use the funds to buy past service. This does not apply to registered retirement savings plan (RRSP) contributions.

How much will it cost?

The cost of buying past service depends on:

  • Your age
  • Your current full-time-equivalent salary
  • The actuarial value of the increase in your pension benefit

You are responsible for the entire cost – your employer will not pay any portion of the cost.

The cost of buying past service cannot be estimated using the tools in My Account. You need to complete and send us a Purchase of service application form, and we will calculate the cost.

What is the deadline?

You must apply to buy service within five years of the date you first contributed to the plan or before you leave your job, whichever comes first.

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. Send the completed form and documents to your current employer, who will complete part B and send the form to the Public Service Pension Plan

We will send you an estimate of the cost and the potential increase to your pension. If you decide to buy the past service, contact us and request a final cost for buying a portion or all of the past service.

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:

  • Online banking from your personal bank account
  • Cheque, money order or bank draft (payable to Public Service Pension Plan)
  • Transfer from an existing RRSP or locked-in retirement vehicle in your name
  • A combination of the above options

You will only receive a tax receipt if you pay by online banking, cheque, money order or bank draft.

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

How to pay from an existing RRSP or locked-in retirement vehicle

If you wish to pay by transferring funds from an RRSP or locked-in retirement vehicle, your financial institution must make this transfer to the plan on your behalf. You should instruct your financial institution to send the exact amount owed to the plan by the due date. Ensure that your financial institution does not deduct service fees from your purchase of service payment,  as this will result in an incomplete payment.

How to pay through online banking

The following financial institutions are set up for online banking with BC Pension Corporation:

  • BMO
  • CIBC
  • HSBC
  • RBC
  • Scotiabank

To pay an invoice online:

  1. Sign in to your financial institution's online banking service.
  2. Under Add a payee, select BC Pension Corporation.
  3. For your account number, type in your Person ID (PID) number. (You can find your Person ID number on your purchase invoice or statement of cost.)

If you need help making your payment through online banking, contact your financial institution.