Introduction to retirement

Learn about the factors affecting the amount of your lifetime monthly pension from the plan.

There are many things to consider when planning your retirement – from when to retire to which pension option is best for you and your family.

Learning about your choices will help you make these important decisions with more confidence. Talking with an independent financial adviser can also help you determine your financial needs in retirement and identify other potential sources of retirement income. These include your own personal savings and Canada Pension Plan and/or old age security benefits.

When you can retire

The normal retirement age for WorkSafeBC Pension Plan members is 65 and the earliest you can retire is 55.

Your pension will be reduced if you retire before age 60 and do not meet minimum age plus contributory service requirements. If you retire before age 65 and have less than two years of service, your pension will be reduced.

As required by the Income Tax Act, you must apply for your pension no later than the end of the year you turn 71.

A monthly pension for your lifetime

You will receive a lifetime monthly pension when you retire.

Your actual monthly pension payments are based on your years of pensionable service, age at retirement and the average of your five highest salary years. The amount of your monthly pension payment is also determined by which pension plan option you choose at retirement.

No matter what pension option you choose, you will receive a lifetime monthly pension payment. This is the amount of money the pension plan pays you every month for the rest of your life.

You can also choose a pension option that provides your spouse or any other beneficiary with a pension. This could be for a defined period, such as with a single life guaranteed 15-year option, or for the spouse's lifetime, such as with a joint life 100 per cent option. These pension options will reduce the amount of your monthly pension payment to reflect the likelihood that the pension will be paid for a longer period.

What happens after you die

Depending on the pension option you chose at retirement, after your death the plan may continue to pay:

  • Pension benefits to your spouse (if you have one) for their lifetime
  • Pension benefits to a beneficiary or beneficiaries for a set period
  • A lump-sum payment to your estate or an organization you have designated as your beneficiary