Disability - Pension
The following information is intended to help you understand your options in the event that you become disabled or suffer from a long-term illness.
You may want to know…
If you are away on sick leave without pay, can this time be counted as pensionable?
Yes. The first three months of your leave without pay is automatically counted as pensionable. You will be required to pay pension contributions for those first three months when you resume your regular scheduled hours of work. You may, however, choose to not count the leave without pay that extends beyond the first three months as pensionable service by completing the Election not to Count Leave Without Pay as Pensionable Service (PWGSC-TPSGC 2480) form.
Further information on the pension implications of taking a leave of absence from the federal public service can be found in the Leave Without Pay Information Package. General information regarding leave without pay can also be found in Taking a Leave of Absence.
Are you still covered under the Supplementary Death Benefit while you are away on sick leave without pay?
Yes. You continue to remain covered under the Supplementary Death Benefit (SDB) for the entire period of leave without pay and you will be required to pay SDB contributions to cover the entire period of leave without pay. Further information can be found in the Leave Without Pay Information Package.
What pension options do you have if you retire on grounds of disability?
If you retire because of a disability and you have more than two years of pensionable service, you will receive an immediate annuity, regardless of your age.
Who determines if you qualify for retirement on grounds of disability?
In order to qualify, Health Canada must certify that your situation corresponds to the definition of disability:
Disability, under the public service pension plan, is a physical or mental impairment that prevents you from engaging in any employment for which you are reasonably suited by virtue of your education, training, or experience and that can reasonably be expected to last for the rest of your life.
What if you regain your health and are able to return to work?
If you are entitled to an immediate annuity due to disability and later regain your health, your immediate annuity is terminated and converted to a deferred annuity. If you then wish to convert the deferred annuity to an annual allowance, you may do so assuming you have not become re-employed as a contributor to the public service pension plan.
If you have granted someone a general Power of Attorney, can that person manage your pension affairs?
If you wish for another person to manage some of your pension affairs, an original, notarized, or a certified true copy of the general Power Of Attorney (POA) document bearing the original signature of the lawyer, notary, commissioner of oaths or justice of the peace must be sent to the Government of Canada Pension Centre (Pension Centre). The person you name can then request address changes, direct deposit and choose a benefit on your behalf. However, a POA does not provide that person with the authority to change the recipient of a pension benefit or to change a beneficiary under the Supplementary Death Benefit Plan.
In order to protect our plan members, the Pension Centre cannot accept photocopies, faxes or scans of legal documents. Original POA documents will be returned to you by mail.
If you simply wish to allow someone to make enquiries and receive information about your pension matters, but not make decisions on your behalf, you can provide the Pension Centre with a written consent to that effect.
What if you begin receiving a Canada Pension Plan (CPP) or Quebec Pension Plan (QPP) disability pension?
If you are receiving a pension under the public service pension plan and you become entitled to a disability pension under the CPP or QPP before you reach age 65, your bridge benefit under the public service pension plan will stop immediately. It is your responsibility to inform the Government of Canada Pension Centre immediately if you start to receive a disability benefit under the CPP/QPP, otherwise you will be required to repay any overpayments.
Visit Public service group insurance benefit plans for information on benefits.
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