How to transfer service between public sector plans

If you are joining or leaving the plan, you may be able to transfer your eligible service.

Decide whether to transfer service

Differences in pension service value between plans

The service you transfer from another plan may not have equal value in BC's Municipal Pension Plan and vice versa. There are a number of reasons for this, including different pension benefit formulas in each plan and salary differences between your old and new jobs. This means the service you are credited for when transferring service between plans may not equal the service you accumulated while you were working.

If the value of the service you transfer from your former plan is less than the cost to buy the same service in your new plan, there is a service shortfall.

If you are transferring service to the Municipal Pension Plan, you can pay for this service shortfall and be credited with full service. You must pay for a service shortfall in one lump sum and within a specific period.

If you decide to transfer your service but you do not want to pay for the service shortfall, you will be credited with pro-rated pensionable and contributory service based on the service that can be purchased with the amount actually transferred.

How transferring service affects your pension

If you transfer your service from your former pension plan to BC's Municipal Pension Plan, your eventual pension will be calculated using these three factors:

  • The combined eligible service from all plans (this may be adjusted if there is a shortfall)
  • Your highest average salary from the Municipal Pension Plan
  • The retirement age specified by the Municipal Pension Plan

Deciding not to transfer service

If you decide not to transfer your service between pension plans, when you retire you may receive a separate pension from each plan in which you accumulated pensionable service.

The pension you earn in any other plan will not affect the pension you earn with BC's Municipal Pension Plan.

Other considerations

If you have a former spouse with an entitlement to your pension, the pension will need to be divided before the transfer. Contact the plan.

There may be tax implications associated with transferring service. We suggest you talk with an independent financial adviser before making your final decision to transfer eligible service between plans.