Leaving your job
Leaving a job with an employer participating in the plan? Find out what you can do with your plan contributions.
Transfer your pension to a locked-in retirement vehicle
If you leave your job before your earliest retirement age, you can transfer the commuted value of your pension to a locked-in retirement vehicle. The commuted value is the amount of money that needs to be set aside today, using current interest rates, to pay for your future pension when you retire.
A locked-in retirement vehicle is an investment product that can provide a lifetime retirement income. It could include a locked-in retirement account, registered pension plan, life income fund or a deferred annuity provided by a life insurance company.
Are you eligible?
You are eligible to transfer your pension’s commuted value if you are younger than the earliest retirement age of 55 (50 for police and firefighters) when you leave your job.
- You cannot reinstate a commuted value transfer if you return to work for an employer that participates in BC's Municipal Pension Plan and you rejoin the plan.
- If you are appealing the termination of long-term disability benefits or your dismissal from employment, please call us before you choose the commuted value payment option. We will explain how this option may have irreversible consequences. You should also ask us about possible disability benefits from the plan, if applicable.
- If the commuted value of your pension amount is less than 20 per cent of the year's maximum pensionable earnings (YMPE) in the year you leave your job, you will receive a lump-sum payment. This is known as a small benefit refund.
- for example, if you left your job in 2016 (YMPE was $54,900) and the commuted value of your pension was less than 20 per cent of the YMPE ($10,980 or lower), you would have been eligible to receive the commuted value as a lump-sum cash payment, instead of having to transfer it to a locked-in retirement vehicle (note: the YMPE changes each year, so the threshold amount will change annually).
- If you have applied to buy service, we will not finalize the fund transfer until the purchase is complete.
- If you leave your job, you may consider transferring the commuted value of your pension out of the plan, but first be aware of the many advantages you enjoy as a plan member. For more on this, see Defer you pension and keep your benefit in the plan until you retire.