How long do you have to work for the government to get a pension

The following information is intended to draw your attention to parts of Your public service pension and benefits that are important for you to know, as a new or re-employed member

How long do you have to work for the government to get a pension

The following information is intended to draw your attention to parts of Your public service pension and benefits that are important for you to know, as a new or re-employed member. Some aspects of the plan are time sensitive, so please review this document as soon as possible.

Orientation information kit

What is the public service pension plan?

The public service pension plan is designed to provide you with a retirement income payable during your lifetime. Pension benefits are based on your salary, pensionable service, age and reason for termination. The date 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 December31,2012: You are eligible to receive an unreduced pension benefit if you leave the public service at age60 or over with at least twoyears of pensionable service (or age55 or over with at least 30years of pensionable service).
  • If you became a plan member on or after January1,2013: You are eligible to receive an unreduced pension benefit if you leave the public service at age65 or over with at least twoyears of pensionable service (or age60 or over with at least 30years of pensionable service).

Other benefits include:

  • Survivor benefits: provides an income for your eligible spouse and children in the event of your death.
  • Disability benefits: immediate annuity paid regardless of age when approved for retirement on grounds of disability.
  • Annual indexing: provides protection from inflation.
  • Portability: you may be eligible to transfer your pension credits if you join or leave the public service.

Is there a limit to the amount of service that may count toward my public service pension?

Yes, the maximum amount of service that may count for a person under the public service pension plan is 35years, which includes:

  • Service as a member of the public service pension plan.
  • Service that you buy back.
  • Service that you transfer from another pension plan.
  • Service which entitles you to a benefit with another Government of Canada pension plan, even though the service has not been transferred and does not increase the value of your public service pension (i.e. Canadian Forces or RCMP pension plan).

How can I increase the amount of service that my pension is based on?

Employees who became plan members on or before December31,2012 can obtain a cost estimate for buying back prior service by using the service buyback estimator, located in the Compensation Web Applications (CWA) (page available on Government of Canada network only) Active Member Pension Applications. For those who became plan members on or after January1,2013, changes are being made to the personalized pension tools, which include the service buyback estimator, to reflect the current pension plan rules.

If you have worked for the public service in the past, you may be eligible to:

  • Buy back prior service that is not currently to your credit under this plan.
  • Reinstate prior service for which you received a transfer value payment upon leaving the public service.

If you were a member of the Canadian Forces or Royal Canadian Mounted Police, you may be eligible to transfer or buy back that service in order to count it as pensionable under the public service pension plan.

If you were subject to a pension plan with a former employer, you may be eligible to:

  • Buy back prior service or
  • Opt for a pension transfer, if you still have pension credits with your former employer.

Important points to consider

  • Transfer value reinstatements may only be requested in your first year as a plan member.
  • Pension transfers from outside of the public service may only be requested in your first year as a plan member or within one year from the date a pension transfer agreement (PTA) is signed; whichever is later.
  • Service buybacks may be made at any time, as long as you are an active member of the public service pension plan. However, there may be significant cost increases if your buyback is made after your first year as a plan member.
  • A medical examination may be required when buying back prior service and is required for a transfer value reinstatement.

There are tax implications (benefits and consequences) associated with requesting a buyback of prior service, a transfer value reinstatement or a pension transfer.

Your obligations

  • Your Notification of Plan Membership (PWGSC - TPSGC2018) should be kept for your records. It confirms the effective date that you became a plan member, eligibility under the Supplementary Death Benefit plan and provides your pension number. This number should be used for any future communications with the Pension Centre.
  • As a plan member, you are required to acknowledge enrolment in the public service pension plan. If your organization has access to the Compensation Web Applications (CWA) (page available on Government of Canada network only), you can acknowledge receipt of your Notification of Plan Membership using the Personalized Pension Tools located within the CWAs Active Member Pension Applications, under Member Information. If you do not have access to the CWA you must complete and sign the Enrolment Information and Acknowledgement of Plan Membership form (PWGSC - TPSGC571) and return it to the Pension Centre in order to acknowledge your pension plan membership. Completion of the form indicates you have read and understood the accompanying documentation. You are required to provide the Pension Centre with your contact information (e.g. telephone numbers, mailing address, email address). You should always inform the Pension Centre of any changes to this information. If you have access to the CWA, please update your contact information using the Personalized Pension Tools located within the CWAs Active Member Pension Applications, under Member Information. Otherwise, you can update this information by calling or writing to the Pension Centre.
  • As a plan member, you are required to provide proof of age for yourself and any children under the age of 25. A photocopy of a birth certificate is normally sufficient. A copy of your marriage certificate and/or divorce decree is also required, if applicable. You should forward these documents as soon as possible. For mailing instructions visit our Pension Centre page.

What is the Supplementary Death Benefit?

The Supplementary Death Benefit plan is similar to decreasing term life insurance, which is designed to protect members of the public service pension plan.

Membership in the Supplementary Death Benefit plan is indicated on the "Notification of Plan Membership" in this package.

If you are eligible, coverage commences when you become a member of the public service pension plan.

If the "Notification of Plan Membership" indicates you are not eligible, it is because your employer is excluded from the Supplementary Death Benefit plan. You may wish to contact your employers Human Resources office to find out if you are entitled under an alternate death benefit plan.

Who can I designate as a beneficiary of the Supplementary Death Benefit plan?

Your beneficiary can be one of the following:

  • A person 18years of age or older at the time of designation.
  • Your estate or succession.
  • A registered charitable or benevolent organization or institution.
  • A religious or educational organization or institution that is supported by donations.

If you are re-employed in the public service, a previous designation of beneficiary is no longer valid and a new "Naming or Substitution of a beneficiary" form should be completed once you become a plan member again.

To designate your beneficiary, you must complete the Naming or Substitution of a Beneficiary form, and mail it to the Pension Centre.

Your public service pension and benefits web portal

We invite you to take the time to discover what Your public service pension and benefits Web portal has to offer, including the information, forms and online tools. With the knowledge you gain, you will be able to make more informed decisions with respect to life events that may affect your pension and benefits.

As a new or re-employed member of the public service pension plan , there is a section specifically designed for you: Active member, New to the public service.

Disclaimer

This information is provided for orientation purposes only and does not constitute a legal document on your rights and obligations. Should there be any conflict between the information in this document and that contained in the Public Service Superannuation Act (PSSA) and the Public Service Superannuation Regulations (PSSR), or other applicable laws, the Act and Regulations apply.

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