An overview of the pension application process

Ready to apply for your pension? You can apply 90 days before your pension effective date. 

Your retirement is just around the corner! Now that you've done some retirement planning and considered your pension options, it's time to apply for your pension.

When you're ready to retire, you'll need to apply for your pension – you won’t receive it automatically when you stop working.

When you can apply

The earliest you can apply for your pension is 90 days before your pension effective date, which is the month you want to begin receiving your pension. Note that your pension effective date is not the same as your pension payment date. It's a good idea to apply as soon as you're eligible to do so, and no later than 30 days before your pension effective date.

Pension effective date Apply on or after
January 1 October 3 (previous year)
February 1 November 3 (previous year)
March 1 December 1 (previous year) (December 2, if a leap year)
April 1 January 1 (January 2, if a leap year)
May 1 January 31 (February 1, if a leap year)
June 1 March 3
July 1 April 2
August 1 May 3
September 1 June 3
October 1 July 3
November 1 August 3
December 1 September 2

Tell the plan and your employer that you are retiring

Contact BC's College Pension Plan to let us know your pension effective date. You must tell your employer that you intend to retire. Under plan rules, your employment is considered terminated (and you can begin receiving your pension) as soon as you stop working, unless you have a pre-arranged agreement that would allow you to return to work with your employer. If you have such an agreement (or you have established a right with your employer to return to work), you have not terminated your employment under the plan rules and are not eligible to receive a pension. In that case, you are not considered to have terminated employment until one year from the date you stopped working.

If you are working for another employer in the same plan you must terminate all employment under the College Pension Plan in order to start receiving your pension.

How to apply for your pension

You can apply for your pension online by signing in to My Account and completing a seven-step application. On the Dashboard page in My Account, start by choosing your pension effective date. When you are within 90 days of your pension effective date, you can start your application:

  1. Review your personal profile information and make any required changes
  2. Confirm information about your spouse (if you are married or in a common-law relationship)
  3. Choose a pension option
  4. Name your primary and alternate beneficiaries
  5. Review and apply for (or waive) the retirement health coverage available to you
  6. Provide your banking information so we can directly deposit your monthly pension payment into your bank account
  7. Review your pension application and submit it

You do not need to complete all 7 steps in one sitting. You can save your application and go back to it at any time before submitting it to the plan. However, please note that delaying your application may also delay the date of your first pension payment.

What happens next

We will review your application and contact you through My Account Message Centre if we require further information. Please be advised these requests may be time-sensitive and could impact your pension.

You can expect your first pension payment to arrive on the last day of the month your pension is effective. However, we require your final service and salary information to calculate your actual pension amount. Your employer is responsible for sending this to us after your last day on payroll. We will process your pension within 14 days of receiving this information.

If you need to cancel or change your application, please contact us through the Message Centre.

If you have any questions about the pension application process or timelines, please contact us – we’re here to help.


Related content for an overview of the pension application process

Retirement health coverage

Pension payments

Choose your pension option

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