Preparing for retirement - Public service group insurance benefit plans
Congratulations! Planning for retirement is an exciting event in your life; however, it is also a time to make some important decisions. The following information is intended to help you understand the group insurance benefits that may be available to you in retirement.
You may want to know…
Does your Public Service Health Care Plan coverage continue after retirement?
Your Public Service Health Care Plan (PSHCP) coverage can continue after you retire if you are entitled to receive an immediate public service pension based on a minimum of six years of cumulative pensionable service. The minimum six years of pensionable service requirement will not apply if:
- You are a retired member of the PSHCP before
- You are entitled to a deferred pension benefit immediately before
- You receive an ongoing pension benefit as a result of disability
- You are the survivor of a plan member or of an individual who was eligible to be a member of the Plan at the time of death, and you are in receipt of a survivor pension (even if the plan member did not have six years of service)
- You are eligible for an ongoing pension benefit but you are no longer employed by the federal public service as a result of Work Force Adjustment
- You are a member of the Veterans Affairs Canada Client Group, or a survivor of such a member
- You are eligible for a pension (as a pensioner or survivor) under the Judges Act, the Governor General's Act or the Lieutenant Governors Superannuation Act
How do you apply for Public Service Health Care Plan coverage on retirement?
The Public Service Health Care Plan (PSHCP) is a voluntary plan. Members must apply. There are two steps in applying for coverage.
- Registration with the Government of Canada Pension Centre:
If you are currently a Public Service Health Care Plan (PSHCP) member, when you retire you will be asked to sign a PWGSC-TPSGC 1422 - Deductions From Annuity or Annual Allowance form, to confirm whether you want to continue the same level of PSHCP coverage and to authorize deductions from your monthly pension cheque. If you want to amend your level of PSHCP coverage, you will need to complete and submit a PSHCP Pensioner Application form to the Government of Canada Pension Centre.
Your PSHCP certificate number will not change when you retire.
There may be an administrative delay while your pension and PSHCP files are updated. This means that you may not be able to use your PSHCP benefit card temporarily and your paper claims may be rejected during this period. Keep your receipts and submit them to Sun Life once your PSHCP deductions are confirmed.
- If you are not currently a retired PSHCP member, you can apply for PSHCP coverage at any time. If you meet the eligibility criteria, your coverage will start the first day of the fourth month following the date your PSHCP Pensioner Application form is received by the Government of Canada Pension Centre.
- Positive enrolment with Sun Life:
- You will have to complete your positive enrolment with Sun Life if you hadn't already done so as an active employee or you wish to update your positive enrolment information.
- To complete positive enrolment you must complete and submit either an electronic positive enrolment form through the Sun Life Member Services website, (you must create an account), or a paper form. You can obtain a paper form by calling Sun Life. You will be asked to provide information about yourself, your spouse/common-law partner and each eligible child.
- Registration with the Government of Canada Pension Centre:
When does Public Service Health Care Plan coverage start after retirement?
If you retire with an immediate public service pension with at least six or more years of pensionable service and you confirmed your ongoing participation and authorized deductions from your pension, your Public Service Health Care Plan (PSHCP) coverage as a retired member will start on your retirement date.
If you retire with an option for a deferred annuity based on six or more years of pensionable service, you can apply for PSHCP coverage once your pension becomes payable. If you apply for coverage within 60 days of the date your pension becomes payable, and if you were a PSHCP member while employed, PSHCP coverage will start the first of the month following the date your PSHCP Pensioner Application form is received by the Government of Canada Pension Centre. If you were not a member while employed, or if you apply for PSHCP coverage more than 60 days after your pension becomes payable, coverage will start the first of the fourth month following the date your application is received by the Government of Canada Pension Centre.
Does the cost of Public Service Health Care Plan coverage change on retirement?
Yes. Public Service Health Care Plan (PSHCP) contribution rates for retired members are different from those for active employees.
As a retired member of the federal public service, you and the Government of Canada share the cost of the Extended Health Provision and Hospital Level I coverage under the Hospital Provision for both Supplementary and Comprehensive coverage. If you choose Hospital Level II or III coverage, you are responsible for 100% of the additional expense for this coverage.
Information on contributions for retired members, the cost-sharing ratio with the employer, and the PSHCP Relief Provision can be found in Schedule V of the PSHCP Directive.
Does your Public Service Dental Care Plan coverage continue as a retired member?
No. If you retire from the public service, coverage under your Public Service Dental Care Plan (PSDCP) stops on your last day of employment. However, if you retire with an immediate public service pension, you may have the option to enrol in the Pensioners' Dental Services Plan (PDSP).
How do you apply for the Pensioners' Dental Services Plan on retirement?
To apply for the Pensioners' Dental Services Plan you must complete and submit the Pensioners' Dental Services Plan Enrolment Form to the Government of Canada Pension Centre. This form is part of the documentation provided to you by the Government of Canada Pension Centre in your retirement package. If your completed Enrolment form is received within 60 days of when your pension becomes payable, coverage will begin on the date of your retirement.
If your completed Enrolment form is received later than 60 days from the date your pension becomes payable, coverage will begin on the first day of the second month following the date of receipt.
For additional information on enrolment and benefits, please refer to the PDSP Enrolment Information and Plan Summary Booklet.
What is the cost of the Pensioners' Dental Services Plan?
You and the Government of Canada share the cost of PDSP coverage equally. The cost varies depending on the category of coverage you select. Refer to PDSP contribution rates for detailed information.
Does your Disability Insurance Plan coverage continue as a retired member?
No. Your Disability Insurance (DI) Plan coverage stops on your last day of employment.
If you are in receipt of benefits under the DI plan when you retire, benefits will continue to age 65 as long as you remain totally disabled.
Does your Public Service Management Insurance Plan coverage continue as a retired member?
Under the Public Service Management Insurance Plan Basic life, Supplementary life and Dependants' life, coverage will continue for a 31 day extension period. During that period, you will have the opportunity to convert your coverage to a private life insurance policy without being required to provide evidence of insurability (i.e. no medical requirements regardless of the state of your health). You must make your own arrangements directly with Industrial Alliance.
Accidental Death and Dismemberment and Long-Term Disability (LTD) insurance under the PSMIP cannot be converted to private policies, and coverage stops on your last day of employment.
If you are in receipt of benefits under the PSMIP-LTD when you retire, benefits will continue to age 65 as long as you remain totally disabled.
Note: It is important to report your public service pension income to Industrial Alliance as soon as possible to avoid disability insurance benefit overpayments.
If you are an executive, please see Becoming an executive for post-retirement life insurance information specific to you.
Visit Public service pension plan for information on pension.
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