How to buy arrears

Find out how to buy arrears if there was a period when you and your employer should have contributed to the plan but didn't.

How to buy enrolment arrears

You may have enrolment arrears if:

  • Your enrolment in BC's College Pension Plan was mandatory, but your employer did not deduct pension contributions from your paycheque when first required to do so
  • Your enrolment was optional, and you chose to join the plan but didn't start contributing from your date of eligibility
  • Your enrolment (on or after September 1, 1999) was optional, but you didn't sign the waiver to opt out; you were automatically enrolled but didn't start contributing
  • You signed the waiver to opt out of the plan and later decided to enrol, but didn't start contributing on the date you enrolled

How much will it cost?

Your cost for buying enrolment arrears is based on:

  • The length of the arrears period
  • Your current full-time-equivalent pensionable salary
  • The current employee contribution rate

When arrears are identified, we will send both you and your employer a statement showing how much you each need to pay.

What is the process?

If you believe you have a period of arrears, speak to your employer. You can:

  • Download the Purchase of service application form and complete part A
  • Print and sign the form
  • Attach any required documents
  • Send the completed form and documents to your current employer, who will complete part B and send the form to the plan

When a period of arrears is identified (by us, your current or former employer, or you), we will send you a statement showing your cost and the payment due date. We will also send a statement to your employer showing its cost and due date.

Your employer must immediately pay its share to the plan. You can decide if you want to pay your share.

If you pay your share, you will get credit for:

  • The full pensionable service
  • The full contributory service

If you do not pay your share, you will get credit for:

  • Half the pensionable service
  • The full contributory service

The statement we send can help you estimate how much your monthly pension benefit may increase if you purchase service for the enrolment arrears period.

What is the payment deadline?

If we or your employer send you a notice stating you have enrolment arrears, and you want to buy the arrears period, you must apply by whichever date comes first:

  • Five years from the date of the notice
  • 30 days after ending your job with a plan employer

The payment amount quoted in your statement is guaranteed for 90 days. If you do not apply within 90 days, you may request a new cost assessment by submitting the Purchase of service application form to your employer.

What are the payment options?

You must pay the full amount by the due date shown on the statement of cost. You can pay by:

  • Online banking from your personal bank account
  • Cheque, money order or bank draft (payable to College Pension Plan)
  • Transfer from an existing RRSP or locked-in retirement vehicle in your name
  • A combination of the above options

You will only receive a tax receipt if you pay by online banking, cheque, money order or bank draft.

You are responsible for ensuring the correct payment amount reaches the plan by the due date indicated on the statement. If you miss the payment deadline, you must continue to meet eligibility requirements, including the original five-year time limit, and reapply to make the purchase.

How to pay from an existing RRSP or locked-in retirement vehicle

If you wish to pay by transferring funds from an RRSP or locked-in retirement vehicle, your financial institution must make this transfer to the plan on your behalf. You should instruct your financial institution to send the exact amount owed to the plan by the due date. Ensure that your financial institution does not deduct service fees from your purchase of service payment, as this will result in an incomplete payment.

How to pay through online banking

The following financial institutions are set up for online banking with BC Pension Corporation:

  • BMO
  • CIBC
  • HSBC
  • RBC
  • Scotiabank

To pay an invoice online:

  1. Sign in to your financial institution's online banking service.
  2. Under Add a payee, select BC Pension Corporation.
  3. For your account number, type in your Person ID (PID) number. (You can find your Person ID number on your purchase invoice or statement of cost.)

If you need help making your payment through online banking, contact your financial institution.