Guide for plan members
WorkSafeBC Pension Plan is committed to helping you make the most of your pension. This guide is a provincial requirement. Please use the links at right to explore the topics most relevant to you.
During retirement, your monthly pension payment may increase because of an annual cost-of-living adjustment (COLA).This adjustment may be added to your pension to help it keep pace with increases in the cost of living. A COLA is based on the Canadian consumer price index and applied to your pension starting in January each year if there are sufficient funds available in the plan’s inflation adjustment account (IAA).
As part of your pension contributions, one per cent of your salary is transferred to the IAA, which is a fund used to help offset the effects of inflation.
The amount of the annual COLA you receive, if any, depends on the amount of money in the IAA available to pay for an increase. Increases can be applied to both the lifetime portion of your pension plan and the bridge benefit.
Although future COLAs are not guaranteed, once you have received an adjustment, it becomes part of your basic lifetime pension for all following years.
If the cost of living goes down, your pension payment will not decrease. You will simply not receive an increase for that year.
The pension statement you receive in January will state the percentage and amount of the COLA, if any, for the coming year.
Health care benefits after you retire
When you retire, your health care coverage as a WorkSafeBC employee will end. However, as a retired employee of WorkSafeBC, you are still covered for some health care costs, which provides health care benefits to employees who retire directly from active employment to a pension.
If you meet the eligibility requirements at retirement, WorkSafeBC pays the full coverage cost of your:
- BC Medical Services Plan (MSP)
- Pacific Blue Cross extended health care
You can also apply for optional dental coverage; however, you are responsible for paying the monthly premiums.
You can apply for these health care benefits when you apply for your pension.
Retiree health benefits are contingent; that is, they are not guaranteed and coverage may be changed.
You are eligible for extended health care and MSP benefits immediately after you retire if you:
- Were covered by WorkSafeBC’s group benefit plans as an active plan member before you began receiving your WorkSafeBC pension
- Retired directly from active employment (including long-term disability) to a pension
- Meet MSP's eligibililty criteria
- Have medical coverage under the government plan in your province of residence
If you deferred your pension, you are not eligible for MSP coverage or extended health care benefits. However, you can apply for dental coverage.
Dependants and your health benefits
Coverage for your dependant is the same whether you are retired or an active employee. However, after you retire, you cannot add new dependants for benefit coverage.
Depending on the pension option you chose at retirement, your dependant may need to seek benefit coverage from another provider when you die.
The MSP premiums paid by WorkSafeBC on your behalf are a taxable benefit; the extended health care premiums are not.
How to enrol for retirement health benefits
Apply directly with WorkSafeBC when you apply for your pension.
Returning to work after retirement
You may decide to return to work after you retire and have been receiving a pension from the WorkSafeBC Pension Plan.
Working for a new employer
If you begin working for an employer other than WorkSafeBC, you will continue to receive your WorkSafeBC pension.
Although you are no longer eligible to contribute to the WorkSafeBC Pension Plan, you may be eligible to contribute to your new employer’s pension plan, if they have one. Talk to your new employer for details.
Working for WorkSafeBC
If you begin working for WorkSafeBC as a retired member, you will continue to receive your WorkSafeBC pension. Contact WorkSafeBC People Services to confirm you are a retired member so that WorkSafeBC does not deduct pension contributions from your pay.
Death and your pension
When you die, your pension can provide financial support for your family and other people or organizations that are important to you. The WorkSafeBC Pension Plan may pay a death benefit – a monthly amount or lump-sum payment, depending on the situation – to your spouse or other beneficiaries you have named.
The amount may be paid as either a monthly pension or single lump-sum payment, depending on:
- Your age at death
- If you die before you have retired
- Whom you have named as your beneficiary
Looking for more detail? These links will help you