Members who are or were employed in a public safety and a non-public safety job may be eligible for separate pensions. This means we will calculate a separate pension for your public safety and non-public safety service.
Separate pensions apply to members who have worked for an employer that participates in BC’s Municipal Pension Plan in a public safety occupation (in employee groups 2 or 5 as a police officer or firefighter) and in a non-public safety occupation. The retirement ages are different for public safety and non-public safety employment and group 5 contribution rates are higher, and this affects how your pension is calculated and paid.
If this applies to you, a separate pension will be calculated for your public safety and non-public safety service. Each pension will be based on the normal retirement age that applies and payable at the applicable retirement date.
When this applies
You are affected depending on the effective date of each separate pension. This date is the earlier of:
- January 1, 2014
- If you are a group 5 member, the date you joined Group 5
If this applies to you, we will calculate and pay your pension as two separate pensions: one for your public safety service and one for your non-public safety service. Each pension will be calculated using the appropriate service, salary and formulas, and each at the applicable retirement date. The changes apply only to the pensionable service you earn on and after your separate pensions effective date. There are no changes to your pension for service earned before that date.
How separate pensions work
You will continue to earn pensionable service in each member group you contribute to.
You can earn up to 12 months of pensionable service per year in each of your public safety and non-public safety jobs for a combined maximum of 24 months.
You can earn a maximum of 35 years of total pensionable service in the plan.
For service before your separate pensions effective date
Your combined service will still be used to calculate the pension you earned before your separate pensions effective date. This will become part of your public safety pension.
For service on and after your separate pensions effective date
Your public safety and non-public safety service and salary are tracked separately.
We will calculate separate pensions for your public safety and non-public safety service. Each will be based on the normal retirement age that applies and payable at the applicable retirement date.
How your pension is paid
You can choose different dates to start your public safety (groups 2 and 5) and non-public safety (group 1) pensions and different pension options for how you want these two pensions to be paid.
To start receiving either pension, you must stop contributing to both benefit groups. You cannot collect from one while contributing to the other. For example, if you want to start collecting your public safety pension, you can continue working in your non-public safety job, but you must stop contributing to the plan.
If you have questions about how significant life events, such as divorce, disability or death, may affect your separate pensions, please contact the plan.