How to buy non-contributory service

Find out how to buy non-contributory service to potentially increase your future pension.

You may be able to increase your future pension by buying non-contributory service for a period when you worked for an employer participating in BC's Municipal Pension Plan but were not making pension contributions.

For example, this could be when you were on probation or did casual work before joining the pension plan.

Buying non-contributory service   increases the service that counts toward your pension. This may increase the monthly pension payment amount you would receive when you retire.

Are you eligible?

You can apply to buy non-contributory service previously worked with an employer that participates in BC's Municipal Pension Plan. You must be an active member   in the plan to purchase this service.

You are not eligible to buy non-contributory service if you waived your enrolment in the plan under the enrolment guidelines on or after April 1, 2000.

How much will it cost?

The cost to buy non-contributory service is based on:

  • The number of months of service you want to buy
  • Your current full-time salary
  • The current employee and employer contribution rates

Sign in to My Account to use the personalized purchase cost estimator and get an estimate.

You are responsible for paying the entire cost, unless your employer has an agreement to pay a portion of it. Ask your employer if this type of agreement applies to you.

What is the deadline?

You must apply within five years from when you first contributed to the plan or within 30 days of leaving the employer with whom the service occurred, whichever comes first.

What is the process?

  1. Sign in to My Account to use the personalized purchase cost estimator to get an estimate and generate a pre-populated application form or open and save the Purchase of Service application package online
  2. Complete Part A of the form online
  3. Print and sign it
  4. Attach any required documents to the form
  5. Send the completed form and documents to your current employer to complete
    Part B and send the form to the Municipal Pension Plan

When we have processed your application to buy service, we will send you a statement showing:

  • The total cost
  • The payment due date
If your employment records are missing, inaccessible or incomplete, you and your employer can agree to a default pensionable service   option. With this option, your employer will certify 50 per cent pensionable service and 100 per cent contributory service   on the Purchase of service application form for the period of eligible time you want to purchase.

Talk to your employer for more information about the default option.

What are the payment options?

You must pay the full amount by the due date shown on the statement. You can pay by:

  • Cash (cheque, money order or bank draft payable to the Municipal Pension Plan)
  • Direct transfer from an existing RRSP or locked-in retirement vehicle in your name
  • A combination of cash, RRSP transfer or locked-in retirement vehicle

You will only receive a tax receipt if you pay by cash (cheque, money order or bank draft). You are responsible for ensuring the correct payment amount reaches the plan by the due date shown on the statement.

If you are paying by transferring funds from an RRSP or locked-in retirement vehicle, you will need to confirm with your financial institution that the exact amount owed is transferred to the plan by the due date. You also need to ensure that your financial institution has not deducted service fees from your purchase of service payment, as this will result in an incomplete payment.

If you miss the payment deadline, you must continue to meet the eligibility requirements, including the original five-year time limit, and reapply to make the purchase.