Your Pension and Benefits Liaison: Information for retired members of the federal public service pension plan, issue 15
Issue 15: 2021
Your Pension and Benefits Liaison newsletter is provided for information purposes only and is not a legal document on your rights and obligations. Should there be any discrepancy between the information in this document and that contained in the Public Service Superannuation Act and related regulations or other applicable laws, the legislative provisions will apply. Similarly, should there be any discrepancy between information in this document and that contained in the group insurance benefits plan provisions or insurance contracts, the plan provisions or insurance contracts will apply.
On this page
- How retroactive salary changes affect pension payments
- COVID 19 temporary measures
- Reminder: Common-law documentation
- Your bridge benefit
- Online services and information
- Your Public Service Compensation Email Notification System
- Update: epost
- Direct deposit
- Update: British Columbia health coverage
- Join the National Association of Federal Retirees
- Keep us informed
- Contact information for the Government of Canada Pension Centre
How retroactive salary changes affect pension payments
If your collective agreement is renewed after you’ve retired, it may result in a retroactive change to your salary. If your salary is updated:
- The Government of Canada Pension Centre (Pension Centre) will recalculate your pension to reflect any change to your highest average salary.
- You may receive retroactive payments for the corresponding period.
Rest assured, the Pension Centre is working diligently to manually review your account and ensure any retroactive pension payments are issued.
The indexation rate is adjusted annually based on the amount calculated in the Consumer Price Index, which considers the increase in the cost of living, and is applied to your public service pension to ensure that you can keep up with life’s necessities. The 1.0% indexation rate for 2021 was applied to your pension in January 2021. If you retired the preceding year, your increase will be a prorated amount based on the number of months you were retired in that calendar year.
The indexation rate applied to your Canada Pension Plan (CPP) or Quebec Pension Plan (QPP) is different than the one applied to your public service pension plan. Consult the CPP or QPP website for more details.
For more information on the public service pension plan indexation rate, including how it’s calculated, visit the Indexing rate page.
COVID 19 temporary measures
The PSHCP flexibilities include a temporary change to the accepted mental health practitioners you can visit. Psychological services are reimbursed at 80% for a maximum of $2,000 per calendar year. Engaging in an open dialogue about our emotional well‑being can help improve and maintain mental health during these challenging times.
The PDSP flexibilities include a temporary extension of dependant children’s eligibility for receiving required dental services or treatments. For a dependant to be eligible for the temporary extension, you must complete and submit a paper claim form to Sun Life. Consult the Information notice to see what additional information is required with your paper claim form.
Reminder: Common-law documentation
Upon your death, to ease the process of your common‑law partner receiving survivor benefits, be sure to collect documents throughout your relationship as proof that a conjugal relationship was established. For example:
- proof of shared residency prior to retirement, between your retirement and date of death, and at date of death,
- Supplementary Death Benefit applications declaring your relationship in the Relationship field of the benefit designation, if you have designated your common‑law partner as your beneficiary,
- proof that your common‑law partner is your dependant under the Public Service Health Care Plan,
- a joint lease or mortgage agreement, or
- joint utility bills.
Note! Upon your passing, to establish their eligibility for survivor benefits, your common-law partner, as your survivor, must provide the Pension Centre:
- A Statutory Declaration obtained from the Pension Centre that verifies your common-law relationship.
- Supporting documents.
Your bridge benefit
Your public service pension plan is coordinated with the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) or Quebec Pension Plan (QPP) to help provide you with a stable retirement income. If you retire before age 65, your public service pension plan includes a temporary bridge benefit that is added to your public service pension and is paid until you reach age 65, at which point you are eligible to receive your unreduced CPP/QPP benefit. Your bridge benefit will not be impacted if you apply for an early (reduced) CPP/QPP benefit before age 65 or delay your CPP/QPP benefit past age 65. The bridge benefit ends at age 65, or prior to age 65 only if you become entitled to CPP/QPP disability benefits.
Reminder! To avoid an overpayment, notify the Pension Centre right away if you become entitled to disability benefits under the CPP/QPP.
Online services and information
General information about your public service pension and group insurance benefit plans is available on Canada.ca/pension‑benefits. Choose either Public service pension plan or Public service group insurance benefits plans for general information and the latest news. You’ll find:
- enrollment information
- coverage information
- plan booklets
- contribution rates
- relevant forms
- contact information
Tip! Stay up to date with important pension payment information by bookmarking the Public service pension calendar page.
Your Public Service Compensation Email Notification System
The Public Service Pension and Benefits Email Notification System is now the Public Service Compensation Email Notification System.
The Public Service Compensation Email Notification System provides you with direct and timely general information on your public service pay, pension and benefits.
You can subscribe using the email address of your choice and select the topics you want to receive updates on. The decision to subscribe or not subscribe will not affect your pension or benefits or any personal information you may receive from the Pension Centre.
Subscribe now by visiting Canada.ca/pension‑benefits.
Reminder! If you don’t have an email address or access to the Internet, you can ask someone to subscribe to the email notification system and receive the emails on your behalf. No personal information will be collected or contained in the emails.
Canada Post will officially cease their epost service as of . This will affect the way you receive your personalized pension information electronically. We are currently working on an alternative online solution and will provide details as soon as possible.
If you haven’t already enrolled in direct deposit for your pension payment, we encourage you to do so by calling or sending a written request along with a void cheque to the Pension Centre. Direct deposit is a fast, convenient and secure way to receive your pension payments. You can also enrol in direct deposit with Sun Life for your eligible reimbursements under the PSHCP and PDSP.
Both plans are administered by Sun Life but require separate forms.
Update: British Columbia health coverage
As of , the Province of British Columbia (BC) eliminated the Medical Services Plan (MSP) premiums for BC residents who work for the federal public service. This means the Pension Centre no longer deducts MSP premiums from your pension to remit to the Province of BC.
The elimination of MSP premiums doesn’t impact your medical coverage with BC; however, the Pension Centre no longer manages your MSP coverage on your behalf.
You must contact Health Insurance BC (HIBC) and provide your current address to maintain your current MSP account. To update your address:
- visit Address Change BC or
- contact HIBC at 604‑683‑7151 (Lower Mainland) or 1‑800‑663‑7100 (elsewhere in BC, toll‑free)
If you have any questions about your MSP coverage, visit BC Medical Services Plan or contact HIBC.
Join the National Association of Federal Retirees
This article is brought to you by the National Association of Federal Retirees. The information expressed is solely that of the Association and does not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Government of Canada.
What do 170,000 Canadians from coast to coast to coast have in common? They are all members of the National Association of Federal Retirees (Federal Retirees).
Federal Retirees is an advocacy organization consisting of retired and active members of the federal public service, Canadian Armed Forces, Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and federally appointed judges. Anyone who is eligible to collect a federal pension from these organizations, along with their partners and survivors, is eligible for membership. You don’t have to be retired to join.
With a solid 58‑year tradition of strong and smart campaigns advocating for their members’ pensions and benefits, Federal Retirees works to support good policy that improves the lives of all Canadians in retirement. Membership also offers important savings through our partners, including travel insurance at members‑only rates.
Join today by going to the National Association of Federal Retirees website or call toll‑free at 1‑855‑304‑4700 (in Ottawa at 613‑745‑2559).
Federal Retirees looks forward to serving you.
Keep us informed
The Pension Centre receives thousands of returned letters each year due to outdated member addresses. It is important to notify the Pension Centre as soon as there are changes to the following:
- your mailing address (even if you are enrolled in direct deposit)
- your email address
- your banking information
- your marital status (married, common‑law, widowed, separated, divorced or single)
- your child(ren)’s status (when your child reaches age 21 if not enrolled in full‑time post‑secondary or when your child reaches 25 if enrolled)
- the mailing address of your designated beneficiary
- the name and mailing address of a person to contact in the event of incapacity
Note! If you update your information for your Canada Pension Plan, Old Age Security or Quebec Pension Plan, you must also contact the Pension Centre to inform them of any changes.
Tip! The public service pension plan pays a Supplementary Death Benefit (SDB) to your designated beneficiary. You must fill out a form to designate a beneficiary. Be sure that you review your designated beneficiary information and update their contact information with the Pension Centre. If you don’t have a designated beneficiary, the SDB will be paid to your estate.
Contact information for the Government of Canada Pension Centre
When communicating with the Pension Centre, it’s important that you always provide your:
- pension number
- surname, first name, and initials
- address (with postal code)
- telephone number (with area code)
Call Monday to Friday
8:00 am to 4:00 pm (your local time)
Outside Canada and the United States
506‑533‑5800 (collect calls accepted)
8:00 am to 5:00 pm (Atlantic time)
Telephone Teletype (TTY)
506‑533‑5990 (collect calls accepted)
8:00 am to 5:00 pm (Atlantic time)
Government of Canada Pension Centre
PO Box 8000
Matane QC G4W 4T6
If you have comments or questions about our communication products, email us at PWGSC.PensionCentre‑Centredespensions.TPSGC@pwgsc‑tpsgc.gc.ca.
Note: For security reasons, do not provide personal information by email.
For more information, visit Canada.ca/pension-benefits.
Some federal agencies, Crown corporations and territorial governments do not participate in the public service group benefit plans. Even if your former employer did not participate in all public service group insurance benefit plans, as a retired member you may be eligible to join these plans. To find out if you are eligible, call the Pension Centre.
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