Purchase of Service

Active Public Service Pension Plan members can increase their future pension by purchasing service time for periods when contributions were not made.

If you are an active member of the Public Service Pension Plan, you can increase your future pension by purchasing service for periods when they were not made. There are two types of service that may be available for purchase:  

  • When you were on a leave of absence without pay
  • For periods of non-contributory service, such as time limited employment (co-op, articling student or internship programs) or auxiliary employment

Purchasing a Leave of Absence

Types of leave

The following leaves of absence without pay can be purchased. The employer will pay the employer portion of the contributions if the leave was with the current employer and was for

  • Maternity, parental or pre-placement adoption
  • General leave of 30 calendar days or less
  • Compassionate care leave
  • Leave to volunteer for CUSO project

To purchase any other leaves, such as leaves to facilitate reduced work schedules or alternative work arrangements, or leaves of absence without pay that are more than 30 calendar days in duration, you will be required to pay both the employee and employer portion of the contributions.

Purchasing leave & deadlines

You may be able to purchase a leave of absence if you meet all of these qualifications:

  • You were an active member when you took the leave
  • You apply to purchase before you end your employment with the employer with whom the leave occurred
  • The leave ended on or after April 1, 2002
  • You apply to purchase your leave within five years of the end of the leave

Non-contributory Service

Periods of non-contributory service is a period of time when you worked for a Public Service Pension Plan employer but did not make pension contributions.

The employer will pay the employer portion of the contributions if the following criteria are met:

  • The service was with the current employer
  • The service immediately preceded the date you began to contribute to the pension plan
  • There has been no termination between the period being purchased and the date of application

Other time-limited, non-contributory service periods such as co-op work terms, articling or internship programs, or personal service contracts can be purchased, but you will be responsible for both the employee and employer portion of the contributions. 

Purchasing non-contributory service & deadlines

You may be able to purchase non-contributory service if you meet certain criteria:

  • You must be an active plan member which means you must be currently enrolled in the plan and making contributions to the plan or
  • Be on an approved leave of absence or receiving long term disability benefits
  • You can purchase service that was worked with your current Public Service Pension Plan employer; however, you cannot purchase the service if you waived enrolment under the enrolment provisions on or after April 1, 2000

You must apply within five years from the time you began contributing to the plan, or before you terminate your employment, whichever comes first. If you terminate your employment after becoming a member and are subsequently re-hired, you are not eligible to purchase service that occurred prior to that termination.

Transferring to or From Another Plan Employer

If the service you wish to purchase was with another employer in the Public Service Pension Plan, it is the decision of that employer whether or not to pay the employer contributions.

If you terminate your employment with the province to work for another plan employer, you will be responsible for both the employee and employer contributions.

Cost to Purchase Service

The cost is based on your full time equivalent salary and the employee and employer contribution rates in effect on the date that you apply. Estimate your cost and the potential increase to your pension.

How to Apply

Complete a Purchase of Service Application, then scan and submit your application through AskMyHR. You will receive a statement of cost from the Public Service Pension Plan with the cost and options for payment.

Payment

It is your responsibility to ensure the BC Pension Corporation receives full payment by the due date listed on your statement. Payment can be made by

  • Cash (cheque, money order or bank draft)
  • Direct transfer from an existing RRSP in your name* 
  • A combination of the two

* If you transfer RRSP funds from a financial institution, be sure to confirm that the exact amount owed is transferred and that any service fees charged are not deducted from the payment.

Tax Implications

Purchasing a leave increases your pension and affects your tax situation. You may wish to seek advice from a qualified financial planner prior to making the decision to purchase service.