Make a decision on buying service

Explore the factors involved when buying service and what you should consider. Buying service can potentially increase your future pension.

Cost considerations

The cost to buy most service types is based on:

  • The number of months of service you want to buy
  • Your current full-time-equivalent pensionable salary
  • The current employee and employer contribution rates

Find out how much it will cost for you

The cost is calculated by multiplying the length of your gap in service by the employee and employer contribution rates and your full-time equivalent salary.

You don’t need to calculate the cost yourself. Sign in to My Account and use the purchase cost estimator to get an estimate of your cost.

Save money by buying sooner

The cost to buy service is based on your salary and contribution rates at the time you apply to buy service (not the salary and rates when you took your leave). For example, if you get a raise after you return to work, and you wait until then to apply to buy service, your cost will be higher. This means it may be a good idea to buy service as soon as possible rather than waiting until the deadline.

Example: Lucas is returning from one year of general leave and considering buying service for that leave.

Profile image of Lucas  

Lucas is currently at step 6 on his district’s salary grid ($64,472 a year). Each year, his salary will increase by one step until he reaches step 10. As his salary increases, his cost to buy service will also increase.

If Lucas buys service now, it will cost just under $14,500. If he waits until he reaches step 10 of the salary grid ($76,807 a year), his cost to buy service will increase to just over $17,250.

Here's how the cost to buy service increases for Lucas:

Graphic of buying service for Lucas

Example: Kiran is also considering buying service for one year of general leave.

Profile image of Kiran  

Kiran currently works as a teacher and earns $76,807 a year. They are thinking about applying for a vice-principal position with a salary of $88,787.

If Kiran buys service at their current salary, it will cost just over $17,250. If Kiran waits until after accepting the vice-principal position to buy service, the cost will increase to about $19,950.

Here's what the difference in cost looks like for Kiran:

Graphic of buying service for Kiran

Sharing the cost with your employer

Your employer will cover a portion of the purchase cost for leaves covered by the Employment Standards Act (ESA). That includes service for a maternity, parental/adoption or compassionate care leave.

Buying partial leaves

You must buy service for the entire leave period if the leave is less than one year. If the leave is greater than one year, you can:

  • Buy service for the entire leave
  • Buy service for the leave in annual portions

Planning for your purchase

For longer leaves, the cost to buy service can be a lot to pay in one lump sum. You might wish to put some money aside every month during your leave to make this easier.

For leaves covered by the ESA, you can choose to make continuous contributions during your leave instead of buying service as a lump sum. This includes service for a maternity, parental/adoption or compassionate care leave.

You can also pay for your service by transfer from an existing RRSP.