Small benefit refunds
You may be eligible to receive a small benefit refund instead of a lifetime monthly pension if the commuted value of your pension benefit is less than a specific amount.
You are eligible for a small benefit refund if the commuted value of your pension benefit is less than 20 per cent of the year’s maximum pensionable earnings in the year you apply for your pension.
For example, in 2016 the YMPE was $54,900. If you retired in 2016 and the commuted value of your pension benefit was under 20 per cent of the YMPE ($10,980 or lower), you would have been eligible to receive the commuted value of your pension benefit as a lump-sum cash payment, rather than as a monthly pension over your lifetime. The YMPE changes each year, so the threshold amount will change annually.
When you are applying for your pension, let us know if you would like to receive a small benefit refund estimate.
We cannot provide you with your small benefit refund estimate until WorkSafeBC sends us your Employee Information at Termination/Retirement data. For most active members, this will not be until after your pension effective date. Once we have the data and if you requested a small benefit refund estimate when applying to retire, we will let you know if you are eligible for the refund and, if so, its amount.
You must then choose between receiving the small benefit refund in cash or receiving a monthly pension payment.
If you choose to receive the small benefit refund in cash, we will send you a lump-sum payment.
If you choose to receive a monthly pension payment, there may be a delay before you receive your first pension payment as we may not be able to process your pension payment as quickly as for other pension options.