Facts about the plan

Get to know BC's College Pension Plan and how it contributes to the economy.

The members of the College Pension Plan contribute significantly to the success of BC's post-secondary students and the economic prosperity of our province. Our members count on the plan to help them provide for their retirement years.

Here are some facts about the plan:

Plan design and governance

  • The plan is the fourth-largest public sector pension plan in BC, with about 35,000 members and approximately $6.6 billion in assets[1]
  • The four plan partners share plan governance through a joint trust agreement
  • The plan is pre-funded and designed so each generation pays in advance for its own basic pension benefits
  • Contributions to the plan are shared by members and employers
  • The plan's sustainability is monitored and managed through a valuation process performed at least once every three years
  • The plan is subject to legislation, including:
    • Pension Benefits Standards Act
    • Public Sector Pension Plans Act
    • Income Tax Act
    • Family Law Act
    • Wills, Estates and Succession Act

Dollars and good sense[2]

  • The plan's most recent valuation, in 2021, shows that it's fully funded, with a funded ratio of 103.1 per cent
  • The plan pays out about $225 million in pensions, benefits and expenses each year
  • The average new (2022) annual lifetime pension paid by the plan is approximately $20,200
  • The median new (2022) annual lifetime pension paid by the plan is approximately $17,300
  • About 10,100 retired members are receiving pensions through the plan
  • Approximately 75 per cent of the funding for pension payments comes from investment returns
  • Plan membership includes over 16,600 active members who work for 24 public post-secondary institutions in the province

The plan's design and governance model sets the bar for excellence

The plan is cost effective, sustainable and well governed. Clear legislation, policies, plan design and governance help the plan meet the challenges of today's investment environment and provide secure retirement income to plan members.

The plan is pre-funded

The plan is designed so each generation pays in advance for its own pension benefits. Investments are managed by professional investment managers using a long-term investment approach, and investment returns pay for most of the pension benefits.

If cost increases occur, they are shared

The plan is managed through a joint trust agreement that requires plan members and employers to share equally in any contribution rate increases that occur because of funding shortfalls.

The plan's large scale and professional management enable it to operate efficiently

The percentage cost of investment management and pension administration for the plan is less than the percentage fee individual investors commonly pay for investment services.

The valuation process monitors and manages plan sustainability

An actuarial valuation is performed at least once every three years. This process identifies potential shortfalls so action can be taken to keep the plan fully funded to meet its current and future liabilities.

Plan members accumulate more in retirement savings and are financially better prepared for retirement

Through pension contributions and investment earnings, BC public sector pension plan members accumulate $2.2 billion more every year than typical RRSP savers in the province.[3] This means plan members are better prepared for retirement and are less likely to rely on social programs and income assistance.

BC's public sector pension plans are good for the economy

Between 2012 and 2035, the higher savings rate of our public sector pension plan members will result in around $60 billion more in investment, and just over $85 billion more in the federal GDP.[4]

[1] 2022 College Pension Plan Annual Report.

[2] Ibid.

[3] Michael Grant, Matthew Stuart and Erin Butler, Economic Impact of British Columbia’s Public Sector Pension Plans. (Ottawa: Conference Board of Canada, 2013).

[4] Ibid.

Related content for facts about the plan

Joint trust agreement

Federal and provincial legislation