What is the public service pension plan

Pension plans are designed to provide employees with a retirement income during their lifetime. In the event of death, the plans also provide an income for survivors and eligible children.

There are three main federal public sector pension plans:

  • Public Service Pension Plan
  • Canadian Forces-Regular Force Pension Plan; and
  • Royal Canadian Mounted Police Pension Plan

This website provides information about the public service pension plan.

What is the Public Service Pension Plan

The public service pension plan, which is governed by the Public Service Superannuation Act, is a defined benefit pension plan in which employees of the federal public service may be entitled to participate.

A defined benefit plan is designed to provide a retirement income. In a defined benefit plan, benefits are based on a member's average salary and years of pensionable service, that is, complete or partial years credited to the member at retirement.

To ensure the long-term sustainability of the public service pension plan, several initiatives have been put in place:

  • Since 2006, employee contribution rates have gradually increased to reach a more balanced cost-sharing ratio with the Government of Canada. Effective January 1, 2013, a plan to phase in additional employee contribution rate increases for the public service pension plan will result in an employee-employer cost-sharing ratio of 50:50 in 2017.
  • For new employees who joined the federal public service pension plan on or after January 1, 2013, the normal age of retirement is raised from 60 to 65. These changes were included in the Jobs and Growth Act 2012.

What Information is Available

Information concerning many aspects of the public service pension plan is available below:

  • Public Service Pension Plan History: outlines important milestones of the pension plan since its inception.
  • Pensionable Service: explains who is eligible to receive benefits under the public service pension plan. Learn about pension increases through service buyback, Pension Transfer Agreement and counting periods of leave without pay.
  • Pension Plan Funding, Investments, Accounting and Reporting: includes information about how the pension plan is managed.
  • Retirement Income Sources: provides a detailed description of the retirement income plan members receive and how pension entitlements are calculated.
  • Pension Options: explains the different pension options under the public service pension plan such as an immediate annuity, deferred annuity, annual allowance, transfer value or a return of contributions.
  • Survivor Benefits: describes the benefits available to eligible survivors and children in the event of a plan member's death.
  • Operational Service Provisions: explains the special retirement benefits that may be payable to plan members who have actual or deemed operational service with Correctional Services Canada.
  • Guides to Your Pension and Insurance Benefits Statement: These guides will help you understand your annual Pension and Insurance Benefits Statement.

The description of the public service pension plan is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute a legal document on plan members' rights and obligations. If there is a discrepancy between the information in this website and that contained in the Public Service Superannuation Act and Regulations, or other applicable laws, the legislation shall prevail at all times.

What is Treasury Board Secretariat's Role

The Treasury Board is responsible for the overall management of the public service pension plan as the plan sponsor. In support of the Treasury Board's role as employer for the public service, Treasury Board Secretariat (TBS) is responsible for the policy development in respect of the funding, design and governance of the public service pension plan. TBS also coordinates the stewardship duties of the Government with respect to the other major public sector pension plans (Canadian Forces-Regular Force Pension Plan and Royal Canadian Mounted Police Pension Plan) and other retirement programs and arrangements.

In addition, TBS performs the following core activities with respect to the public service pension plan:

  • Provides strategic direction, legislative interpretation and program advice.
  • Develops, implements, maintains and monitors pension policy in support of regulatory and legislative changes.
  • Oversees administration of the public service pension plan and performs management/oversight responsibilities for other federal pension programs and arrangements.
  • Manages stakeholder relations and provides information to plan members on entitlements and communicates changes to the public service pension plan.
  • Provides analytical and secretariat support to the Public Service Pension Advisory Committee and the nominating committee of the Public Sector Pension Investment Board.

Related Resources

For assistance or further information on the public service pension plan or group benefit plans, refer to the Your Public Service Pension and Benefits Web Portal.

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