How to buy service for a leave

Find out how to buy service for a leave of absence to potentially increase your future pension.

You may be able to increase your future pension by buying service for your leave of absence. When you buy service for an approved leave of absence, you increase the pensionable 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 buy service for an approved leave if:

  • You were an active plan member when you took the leave
  • You buy service for the entire leave period, unless it makes your service exceed 35 years in total or 12 months in a calendar year

If you decide not to return to work after a leave and want to buy the service, you must apply within 30 days of ending your employment.

There are some restrictions if you want to buy a leave of absence   for a period when you contributed to a registered pension plan with another employer. Contact us for more information.

How much will it cost?

The cost to buy service for a leave 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 of how much it will cost.

What is the deadline?

You must apply to buy service within five years from the end of your leave or within 30 days of leaving the employer with whom the leave occurred, whichever comes first.

What is the process?

  1. Sign in to My Account to use the personalized purchase cost estimator to run 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 and send Part B to BC's 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

What are the payment options?

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

  • Cash (cheque, money order or bank draft payable to 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). Note: you are responsible for ensuring the correct payment amount reaches the plan by the due date indicated on the statement.

If you are paying by transferring funds from an RRSP or locked-in retirement vehicle, you 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 eligibility requirements, including the original five-year time limit, and reapply to make the purchase.