Guide for plan members

Public Service Pension Plan is committed to helping you make the most of your pension. This guide is a provincial requirement. Please use the links at right to explore the topics most relevant to you.

Your pension and your job

What happens if you start a new job with the same employer

If you change jobs with the same employer without a break in service, you will continue to be an active member of BC’s Public Service Pension Plan. Your contributions (and your employer’s contributions) will be adjusted to reflect any changes to your salary.

Your employer will advise you whether your participation in the plan is mandatory or optional. If you are eligible to opt out of the plan and choose to do so, you will need to sign a waiver. Being able to opt out of the pension plan would depend on how long the break in service is between leaving your old position and starting your new one.

What happens if you change jobs within the public service

Each employer participating in the plan is considered a separate employer. When your job ends with your current employer, you stop contributing to the plan. Depending on enrolment rules, you may be able to immediately re-enrol in the plan when you start your new job.

Regular service versus public safety service

Most members in the plan are designated as regular members. Other members have a public safety designation. These include regular part-time and full-time ambulance paramedics in CUPE Local 873 and correctional officers, probation officers and youth probation officers employed in a correctional centre with BC Corrections.

If changing jobs means you will have a combination of regular and public safety service, note that these service types have different plan designs and early/unreduced retirement ages.

What happens if you leave your job with a public service employer

If you leave your job and are not working (or if you start working for an employer that does not participate in the plan), you will need to decide what to do with your pension.

Your options depend on:

  • Your age
  • If you are retiring
  • If your new employer’s pension plan has a transfer agreement with the Public Service Pension Plan

Your options could include:

  • Deferring your pension (leaving your money in the plan and taking a monthly pension when you retire)
  • Transferring the commuted value of your pension to a locked-in retirement vehicle
  • Applying for your pension
  • Transferring your service in the Public Service Pension Plan to your new employer’s pension plan

Depending on your age when you leave your job, we will send you either a Termination selection statement form or a pension estimate outlining your options.

What happens if you are laid off

You are no longer an active member of the plan if you:

  • Are not working
  • Have not contributed to the plan for one year

What happens if you are laid off but on a seniority or recall list

If you've been on a seniority or recall list for a year without contributing to the plan, you will no longer be enrolled in the plan. If you are recalled back to work, you will have to meet the enrolment rules to rejoin the plan.

What happens if you want to retire

Contact your employer(s) in writing to arrange your last day of paid employment. If you are working for multiple employers in the same plan, you must terminate all employment under the Public Service Pension Plan in order to start receiving your pension.

How much do I contribute?

As an active member, you contribute to your pension through automatic deductions from your pay. If you have reached 35 years of pensionable service, you will no longer contribute to the plan; if you are on a long-term disability leave, you may no longer be contributing. However, you are an active plan member until you leave your job or retire.

Contribution rates for regular members and ambulance paramedics are calculated using a single flat rate. Effective April 1, 2022, the contribution rate for correctional members is integrated with the year’s maximum pensionable earnings (YMPE).

Type of membership Member contributions
Regular members
(on or after April 1, 2018)


Correctional members
(on or after April 1, 2022)
8.25% for earnings up to YMPE
8.95% for earnings above YMPE
Ambulance paramedics
(on or after August 1, 2018)

Your contribution includes a portion (1.25 per cent) that is transferred to a fund called the inflation adjustment account. This account is used to pay for annual inflation adjustments that may be added to monthly pension benefits. Inflation adjustments are not guaranteed, but once granted, they become part of your basic pension benefit.

Will my contribution rate increase?

It is possible that your contribution rate may increase.

At least once every three years, an independent actuary (a specialist in financial modelling, the laws of probability and risk management) assesses the financial position of BC's Public Service Pension Plan.

This assessment examines the plan’s ability to pay all current and future pensions. It also reviews the current contribution rates to see if they are sufficient to fund the plan.

Under the Public Service Pension Plan Joint Trust Agreement, trustees are required to adjust contribution rates when needed to meet the plan’s funding requirements.

If the actuary’s assessment determines there is a funding shortfall, both your contribution rate and your employer's contribution rate may increase to bring the plan back to full funding. This ensures the Public Service Pension Plan maintains its fully funded status. Contribution rate increases are shared equally by members and employers.

Employer rights and obligations

Each plan employer has certain rights and obligations to employees:

  • Provide complete, accurate and sufficient personal information and records required to administer the plan for all members
  • Collect your pension contributions and their employer contributions and provide them to us
  • Provide you with any information or records supplied by us or otherwise required by the Pension Benefits Standards Act
  • Enrol new employees or get a signed waiver for employees who have the option to waive enrolment
  • Pay for any costs or damages from not meeting commitments such as reporting information on time or accurately

Nothing in the plan affects the employer’s right to dismiss an individual.