How to buy service for a leave

Find out how to buy service for a leave of absence to potentially increase your future pension.


You may be able to increase your future pension by buying service for your leave of absence. When you buy service for an approved leave of absence, you increase the pensionable and contributory service that counts toward your pension. This may increase the monthly pension you receive when you retire.

Are you eligible?

You can buy service for an approved leave if:

  • You were an active member   when you took the leave
  • You buy service for the entire leave period (or in annual portions, if the leave is longer than one year)

If you decide not to return to work after a leave and want to buy service, you must apply within 30 days of ending your job with the employer that granted the leave.

Restrictions apply if you want to buy a leave of absence   for a period when you contributed to a registered pension plan with any other employer. Contact us for more information.
 

How much will it cost?

The cost of buying service for a leave depends on the type of leave.

For maternity, parental or adoption, compassionate care, family responsibility, bereavement and jury duty leaves, the cost is based on:

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

For general leaves, the cost is based on:

  • Your current full-time-equivalent salary
  • The length of the leave period
  • The current employee and employer contribution rates

When you buy service for a general leave, you are responsible for paying the entire cost, unless:

  • Your employer is required to pay its portion under the Employment Standards Act
  • Your employer has an agreement with you to pay a portion of the cost

Sign in to My Account to use the personalized purchase cost estimator and get an estimate of the cost.

What is the deadline?

You must apply to buy service within five years of the end of your leave or within 30 days of ending your job with the employer that granted the leave, whichever comes first.

What is the process?

  1. Download the Purchase of service application form
    • To generate a form pre-populated with your personal information, sign in to My Account and run an estimate using the personalized purchase cost estimator
    • To generate a blank form, go to the Submit the Purchase of service application form page; download the Purchase of service application package and complete part A
  2. Print and sign the form
  3. Attach any required documents
  4. Submit the completed form and documents to the employer that granted your leave; the employer will complete part B and send the form to BC's College Pension Plan

Once we have processed your application, we will send you a statement showing:

  • Total cost
  • Payment due date

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:

  • Cheque, money order or bank draft payable to the College Pension Plan
  • Direct transfer from an existing RRSP or locked-in   retirement vehicle in your name
  • A combination of the above options

You are responsible for ensuring the correct payment amount reaches the plan by the due date shown on the statement.

If you are paying by transferring funds from an RRSP or locked-in retirement vehicle, you need to confirm with your financial institution that the exact amount owed will be transferred to the plan by the due date. You also need to ensure that your financial institution will not deduct service fees from your purchase of service payment, as this will result in an incomplete payment.

If you miss the payment deadline, you must reapply to purchase the service. The same eligibility requirements and deadline (within five years of the leave or 30 days of leaving your job, whichever comes first) continue to apply. You will only receive a tax receipt if you pay by cheque, money order or bank draft. 


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