Board Communique: December 6, 2019
Members will have a new option for buying service for a leave of absence
Note added April 6, 2020: The new rules are effective May 1, 2020. More information on this option will be available on the plan website on May 11, 2020.
Beginning next spring, members will have the opportunity to continue making monthly contributions while on an Employment Standards Act—approved leave of absence. The Municipal Pension Board of Trustees (board) made this decision in November 2019. The new plan rules will go into effect in spring 2020.
This decision gives members who want to buy service the flexibility to choose the option that best fits them: either pay during a leave under the new rule, or buy service in one payment up to five years after a return from the leave under the current rule.
When members buy service for an Employment Standards Act—approved leave of absence, their employer contributes as well.
Why would members want to contribute while on leave?
Contributing on a monthly basis may suit some members better. Continuing contributions are based on current contribution rates and the member’s salary while on leave. When the member continues contributing, their employer will continue contributing as well.
Post-leave purchases are based on the member’s salary, and member and employer contribution rates, at the time of the purchase. The salary and rates may be higher, which may mean it costs more to buy the service.
What does it mean to buy back service?
Buying service for a leave of absence may increase a member’s future pension. When a member buys service, they increase their amount of pensionable service. Pensionable service counts toward a member’s pension, so more service which may increase the amount of their monthly pension payment when they retire.