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.

Buying service for a leave

You can buy service for the time you were away from work on an approved leave to increase the number of years that count toward your pension. This could get you closer to an unreduced pension and increase the amount of your benefit at retirement.

To buy service for a leave, you must:

  • Have been on an approved leave
  • Have been an active plan member when you took the leave
  • Be an active plan member when you apply to buy service
  • Apply within five years of the end of your leave or before your employment ends at WorkSafeBC, whichever comes first

If you decide not to return to work after a maternity or parental leave and want to buy the service, you must apply while still on leave. We will calculate the cost for you to buy this service once we receive confirmation of your last day of work.

Maternity and parental leaves are the only leave types you can buy without returning to work. You must return to work to buy other leave types.

Under Income Tax Act rules, you are allowed to buy a lifetime maximum of:

  • Five cumulative years of general leaves
  • Three cumulative years of maternity, parental or adoption leaves

Transferring service between public sector plans

The WorkSafeBC Pension Plan has transfer agreements with many public sector pension plans in Canada under the National Public Service Transfer Agreement (NTA). The NTA allows pension plan members to transfer their service from one plan to another.

This means that if you leave your job at WorkSafeBC and begin working for another employer that is also an NTA member, you may be able to transfer your eligible service from WorkSafeBC to the new plan.

Similarly, if you were working for an employer that is an NTA member and you begin working for WorkSafeBC, you may be able to transfer your eligible service from your previous plan to the WorkSafeBC Pension Plan.

It can be to your advantage to transfer your service to your new employer's pension plan, as you may be able to:

  • Increase your pensionable service   and in turn increase your pension
  • Increase your contributory service   , which may allow you to qualify for an unreduced pension   earlier

However, it's not always to your financial advantage to transfer service. You may want to collect two separate pensions if either:

  • The total of the two separate pensions is more than a single pension after a transfer 
  • You can collect a pension earlier under your former plan

It is a good idea to talk with an independent financial adviser to learn about your options before transferring service.

Disability and your pension

If you become disabled and are unable to work due to illness or injury, you may be eligible to receive benefits from WorkSafeBC’s LTD plan. These benefits generally pay you a monthly income based on a percentage of your regular salary while you are unable to work.

For information about how to apply for an LTD leave, contact WorkSafeBC People Services.

While you are receiving benefits from WorkSafeBC’s LTD plan, you will continue to accumulate contributory and pensionable  

service as if you were still working. You are not required to pay your monthly pension contributions to the plan.

You may also be eligible to receive a disability benefit from the Canada Pension Plan.

For information about the Canada Pension Plan disability benefit, call 1-800-277-9914 or visit the Canada Pension Plan disability benefit website.