Your pension and your job

Learn what happens to your pension if you change jobs with the same employer, leave your job or are laid off.

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.