Newly retired - Pension
The following information is intended to provide you with an understanding of your pension entitlements as a member of the public service pension plan.
You may want to know…
If I have retired and I have a pay issue that is unresolved, where do I turn?
If you have retired from the public service, but have an unresolved pay issue, you should immediately contact either your former supervisor or departmental human resources team (if you were formerly employed with a department or agency that is not served by the Public Service Pay Centre) or the Public Service Pay Centre (if you were formerly employed with a Department or Agency that is served by the Public Service Pay Centre).
What happens if a pay error is discovered after I have begun receiving pension benefits?
The Government remains committed to ensuring plan members receive accurate and timely pension benefits even when outstanding pay issues are on file. Should revised pay information be received after pension benefits have been put into pay, the pension benefit will be adjusted accordingly.
If a pension is overpaid because of an error in the pay system, how long will I have to reimburse that amount?
The Pension Centre will work with you to find the repayment option that best suits your needs.
My salary was increased with the last collective agreement. Will my pension be increased to reflect the change?
The Government of Canada Pension Centre will recalculate your pension based on the new collective agreement salaries, once your revised salaries have been sent to them; this process may take some time.
If you have not yet chosen a benefit, what are your pension benefit options now that you are retired from the public service?
Your benefit options vary depending on your age and your years of pensionable service when you leave the public service. If you have at least 2 years of pensionable service, you may be entitled to the following options:
If you have less than 2 years of pensionable service, generally you are entitled to:
You may also be eligible to transfer all or part of your accrued pension credits to another pension plan through a pension transfer agreement regardless of the number of years of pensionable service that you have to your credit.
How do you make a benefit option if you have not already done so?
To make your option, you must complete your retirement documents and forward them to the Government of Canada Pension Centre (Pension Centre). If you have not received your retirement documents or have misplaced them, contact the Pension Centre.
You should remember that you have one year from the day you leave the public service to choose your benefit option. If you do not choose your option during this period, you are considered to have chosen a deferred annuity. Subsequently, you may choose to receive an annual allowance.
Additional information can be found under A Deferred Annuity, an Annual Allowance or a Transfer Value… How to Choose.
What should you consider if you plan to return to the public service?
If you leave the public service and have chosen one of the following pension benefit options: a return of contributions, a transfer value payment or transferred your accrued pension credits to another pension plan, you will be covered under the post-2013 pension plan rules if you are re-employed as a plan member on or after . For more information, refer to the Re-employment section.
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. 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 is the formula for calculating your pension benefit from the public service pension plan?
The public service pension plan provides a lifetime pension payable until your death and a temporary bridge benefit payable until age 65.
Generally, the formula for calculating your pension is as follows:
Your annual lifetime pension is based on your average salary of your five consecutive years of highest paid service and your years of pensionable service, as follows:
2% × Your average salary in excess of the AMPEFootnote 2 × Your years of pensionable service (maximum 35 years)
Note: If your pension includes part-time service, the benefits are adjusted to reflect the part-time assigned hours of work compared to the full-time hours of the position.
If you retire before age 65, you may also receive a bridge benefit payable until age 65 or until you become entitled to a Canada Pension Plan (CPP) or Quebec Pension Plan (QPP) disability benefits, whichever occurs first. The bridge benefit is calculated as follows:
Your total pension (lifetime pension and bridge benefit) will be equal to 2 per cent of your average salary of your five consecutive years of highest paid service multiplied by the number of years of your pensionable service (maximum 35 years).
Why does your bridge benefit under the public service pension plan stop at age 65?
The bridge benefit portion of your public service pension stops when you reach 65, or earlier if you begin to receive Canada or Quebec Pension Plan disability benefits. This is due to the coordination of contributions and benefits between the public service pension plan and the Canada Pension Plan/Quebec Pension Plan Coordination.
Is your pension benefit protected from inflation?
Yes. Indexation ensures that your pension will be protected from losing its value as a result of inflation or increases in the cost of living. However, if you become re-employed in the public service and begin contributing to the public service pension plan, your monthly pension (including indexing) will cease. This is because you cannot receive a pension and accumulate pensionable service under the public service pension plan simultaneously. For more information on the effects of re-employment, refer to Re-employment After Retirement.
What happens if you have not finished paying for a period of prior service (service buyback) when you retire?
If you retire on pension before paying all your installments for prior service, your pension will be calculated to include all your service buyback, but the unpaid installments will be deducted monthly from your pension benefit.
What happens if you have not finished paying your pension contributions for your period of leave without pay when you retire?
Any pension and Supplementary Death Benefit contributions still owing for a period of leave without pay must be paid when you retire. Information on payment options for these contributions can be found in the Deficiencies in contributions section of the Pension Entitlement Information Package - Two or More Years of Pensionable Service.
Does your Supplementary Death Benefit coverage continue now that you are retired?
Your Supplementary Death Benefit (SDB) coverage continues if you are eligible to receive an immediate pension within 30 days of your departure. If you do not receive an immediate pension, you must elect to continue your SDB coverage. The deadline to elect to continue as a participant is 30 days after ceasing to be employed.
Note: Some federal agencies, Crown corporations and territorial governments do not participate in the Supplementary Death Benefit Plan and as such, former employees of those agencies or corporations cannot participate in that plan as retired members.
When can you expect to receive your first pension payment?
The Pension Centre normally issues your first pension payment by direct deposit within 45 calendar days after the date of retirement, provided that you and the Public Service Pay Centre or your departmental compensation services have submitted the required information prior to your retirement.
How is your pension benefit paid?
The benefit is deposited in your bank account on the third last banking day of the month.
Where can you find information about the deductions taken from your pension payment?
You can find a list of deductions that are or can be taken from your monthly pension in the Deductions information kit. Once on the deductions page, you may select any deduction to obtain a more detailed explanation.
How can you receive pension documents electronically?
You can receive your tax slips, Direct Deposit Statements, and future editions of the Annual Pensioners' Statement and Your Pension and Benefits Liaison newsletter online through epost - Canada Post's secure online delivery service. For more information on how to register, visit Register for epost.
Where can retired members find information on post-retirement living?
Government of Canada
Government of Canada/Programs and Services for Seniors
The ESDC website includes information on the Canada Pension Plan, Old Age Security, Guaranteed Income Supplement and benefits for caregivers, as well as detailed information on health, safety, finances and other issues of interest to seniors.
Government of Canada/Seniors’ Health
The Health Canada/Public Health Agency of Canada website includes information and advice on seniors’ health issues including nutrition, fall prevention, disability, mental health, oral health, vision care and work-life balance.
Association of Public Service Alliance Retirees
ASPAR provides information and advocacy relating to public service pensions for retired Public Service Alliance Canada members and active members over 50.
Canadian Association of Professional Employees
Canada’s third-largest public service union has a focus on advocacy and provides benefits such as preferential insurance rates, discounts on several services such as airfare, hotels, mobile phone plans, and rental cars to active and retired (“associate”) members.
National Association of Federal Retirees
The National Association of Federal Retirees provides information on financial security, health and well-being for active and retired members of the federal public service, Canadian Armed Forces, Royal Canadian Mounted Police and retired federally appointed judges, as well as their partners and survivors.
Visit Public service group insurance benefit plans for information on benefits.
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