New to the public service - Pension
The public service pension plan provides you, as a member, with peace of mind today and for years to come. The following information is intended to provide you with an understanding of your pension options.
The printable brochure Welcome to the Public Service Pension Plan is available for new or re-employed members. Some aspects of the plan are time-sensitive, therefore it is suggested that you review this document as soon as possible.
You may want to know…
Are you eligible to join the public service pension plan?
As a full-time or part-time public service employee (minimum 12 hours per week), you are eligible to participate in the public service pension plan:
- from your first day at work, if you are appointed on an indeterminate basis; or
- from your first day at work, if you are hired for a period of more than six months; or
- after six months of continuous employment, if you were originally hired for a period of six months or less.
Generally, the date when you became a member of the public service pension plan determines when you will be eligible to receive an unreduced pension benefit:
- If you became a plan member on or before , you are eligible to receive an unreduced pension benefit if you leave the public service at age 60 or over with at least two years of pensionable service (or age 55 or over with at least 30 years of pensionable service); or,
- If you became a plan member on or after , you are eligible to draw an unreduced pension benefit if you leave the public service at age 65 or over with at least two years of pensionable service (or age 60 or over with at least 30 years of pensionable service).
Note: If you are a re-employed plan member, please refer to Re-employment and Eligibility to participate in the public service pension plan for more information.
How is your public service pension plan governed?
The public service pension plan is a legislated pension plan. The main provisions of the pension plan are governed by the Public Service Superannuation Act and the Public Service Superannuation Regulations. Further authority is provided under other statutes which can be found on the Acts and Regulations page.
Can you increase your public service pension if you have worked for the federal public service in the past?
You may be eligible to increase your pensionable service by purchasing past periods of employment. Increasing your pensionable service may allow you to retire at an earlier date, as well as offering other advantages. Please refer to the Service Buyback Package to see if you are eligible to buy back prior service.
If you are eligible to buy back prior service, use the Compensation Web Applications (CWA) - Service Buyback Estimator tool to estimate the cost of purchasing past service.
Can you increase your public service pension for service obtained outside the federal public service in the past?
You may be eligible to transfer your pensionable service from your former employer to the public service pension plan through a Pension Transfer Agreement (PTA). You may also be able to purchase your service and have it counted as pensionable under the public service pension plan (refer to the Service Buyback Package).
Is there a limit to the amount of pensionable service you may accrue?
Yes. You may only accrue up to a maximum of 35 years of pensionable service. This 35-year maximum includes the following types of service:
- service for which you contributed to the public service pension plan through deductions from your salary;
- past service you have purchased;
- past service you have transferred from another pension plan;
- pensionable service with certain other federal government pension plans, such as the Canadian Forces pension plan or the Royal Canadian Mounted Police pension plan.
When you reach the maximum of 35 years of pensionable service, your contribution rates reduces to one percent of your salary. This lower contribution amount ensures full protection from inflation of your future pension. Although you will not accrue additional years of pensionable service after reaching 35 years, the salary paid to you during this period will be used in the calculation of the average salary of your five consecutive years of highest paid service on which your pension under the public service pension plan will be based.
Under the Supplementary Death Benefit, whom can you designate as your beneficiary?
You may choose one of the following as your beneficiary:
- any one person 18 or more years of age at the time of designation;
- your estate;
- any charitable or benevolent organization or institution;
- any educational or religious organization or institution that is supported by donations.
To designate your beneficiary, you must complete the Naming or Substitution of a Beneficiary form.
You should notify the Government of Canada Pension Centre when your beneficiary moves. A current address on file will enable the Pension Centre to pay the benefit without delay.
In the absence of a named beneficiary, the benefit is paid to your estate.
Does your Will affect who receives your Supplementary Death Benefit?
Wills, Agreements and Court Orders do not affect who receives your Supplementary Death Benefit (SDB). The person you named as your beneficiary for the Supplementary Death Benefit Plan receives your death benefit.
You can only name one beneficiary under this plan. If you wish to divide your death benefit among two or more people, you must name your estate as your beneficiary. You may then specify in your Will how the benefit should be divided.
If you wish to cancel a previous designation without naming a person or an organization (religious, educational, charitable or benevolent), you must also name your estate as your beneficiary.
Visit Public service group insurance benefit plans for information on benefits.
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