Take control: your pension, your future
It’s the 80th year of BC’s Municipal Pension Plan. To celebrate, here are eight ways to get to know your pension plan better, from understanding your annual statement to planning your retirement.
1. Get to know your Member’s Benefit Statement
As an active contributor to the plan, you receive an annual statement with information about your pension. It includes personal information and shows your estimated monthly pension, your pensionable earnings and service, your contributions, and beneficiaries you have named. Learn more about your statement and how to read it on the plan website under Pension basics. Your statement is available to you anytime in My Account. You should also receive it in the mail or from your employer by the end of June each year.
2. Register for My Account
You have secure online access to your pension information anytime through My Account. Registering is easy. To get started, you’ll need the last three digits of your social insurance number and your plan identification number, called your Person ID number (found on your Member’s Benefit Statement or enrolment confirmation statement).
While you’re working, you can sign in to My Account and update your personal information. You can also calculate the cost of buying back service after taking a leave and estimate your future pension.
3. Read the plan’s Report to Members
This annual report for active members includes key facts, updates on initiatives and easy-to-read nuggets about the plan’s annual investment performance. It also communicates how your plan works and where you can find more information. The latest five reports are posted on the plan website.
4. Learn the basics in the Guide for new members
Even if you’ve been a member for years, the Guide for new members offers a helpful recap of how the plan works and answers common questions on subjects like when you can retire and how your pension is calculated. The guide also explains how a pension can fit into your retirement savings plan and ways to learn more about your pension.
5. Make a list of your questions
As you can see, we love lists. Making a list is a great start to taking control of your retirement planning. Your pension is accumulating with every paycheque deduction, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore it until you’re ready to retire. Certain life events and decisions you make along the way can affect your pension. You can find answers to your questions on the website, in the plan’s online learning or at one of the in-person workshops.
6. Learn your way – online or in person, it’s your choice
The plan has two online learnings and two in-person workshops to help you learn more about your pension and answer your questions. All are free to members.
Learn at your own pace, anytime. The 15-minute online learning Getting to Know Your Pension is a great introduction to the plan. The 45-minute online learning Making the Most of Your Pension digs deeper into how decisions you make can affect your pension.
Join others in our interactive sessions. Making the Most of Your Pension is also offered as a two-hour, in-person workshop. Approaching Retirement is a two-hour, in-person workshop for plan members nearing retirement. It will help you think about your income needs through retirement, your best pension option and how to apply for your pension.
7. Explore the Planning for retirement guide
Thinking about retirement? The plan’s online Planning for retirement guide has you covered. The guide helps you learn about your pension options, think about other sources of income and organize information to discuss with your advisors, such as an independent financial advisor.
8. Run personalized pension estimates and retire online
You can get an idea of what amount your pension could be based on your salary and years of service. The personalized pension estimator is online, and you’ll get immediate results anytime you run a calculation. (Don’t worry if you’d rather not use it; you can always request a written estimate from the plan.) Enter a retirement date to see estimates of your monthly pension payments based on various options you could choose. You can save your estimates in My Account. And, when you’re ready to retire, you can submit your application in My Account.