Facts about the plan

Get to know BC's Teachers' Pension Plan and how it contributes to the economy.


The members of the Teachers' Pension Plan work across the province as educators and school and district administrators, helping students in the public education system reach their full potential. Our members count on the plan to help them provide for their retirement years.

Here are some facts about the plan:

Plan design and governance

  • The plan is the ninth-largest pension plan[1] in Canada, with more than 96,000 members[2] and $28 billion in assets
  • The plan partners share plan governance through a joint trust agreement
  • The plan is pre-funded and designed so each generation pays in advance for its own pension
  • Contributions to the plan are shared by members and employers
  • The plan's sustainability is monitored and managed through a valuation process performed once every three years
  • The plan is subject to legislation, including:
    • Pension Benefits Standards Act
    • Public Sector Pension Plans Act
    • Income Tax Act
    • Family Law Act
    • Wills, Estates and Succession Act

Dollars and good sense[3]

  • The plan's most recent valuation, in 2014, shows that it's fully funded, with a funded ratio of 102 per cent
  • The plan pays out over $1 billion in pensions each year
  • The average annual pension paid by the plan is approximately $30,538
  • The median annual pension paid by the plan is approximately $30,522
  • More than 37,600 retired members receive pensions through the plan
  • Approximately 80 per cent of the funding for pension payments comes from investment returns
  • Plan membership includes more than 46,500 active members

The plan's design and governance model set the bar for excellence

The plan is cost effective, sustainable and well governed. Clear legislation, policies, plan design and governance help the plan meet the challenges of today's investment environment and provide secure retirement income to plan members.

The plan is pre-funded

The plan is designed so each generation pays in advance for its own pension. Investments are managed by professional investment managers using a long-term investment approach, and investment returns pay for most of the pension.

If cost increases occur, they are shared

The plan is managed through a joint trust agreement that requires plan members and employers to share equally in any contribution rate increases that occur because of funding shortfalls.

The plan's large scale and professional management enable it to operate efficiently

The percentage cost of investment management and pension administration for the plan is less than the percentage fee individual investors commonly pay for investment services.

The valuation process monitors and manages plan sustainability

An actuarial valuation is performed once every three years. This process identifies potential shortfalls so action can be taken to keep the plan fully funded to meet its current and future liabilities.

Plan members accumulate more in retirement savings and are financially better prepared for retirement

Through pension contributions and investment earnings, BC public sector pension plan members accumulate $2.2 billion more every year than typical RRSP savers in the province.[4] This means plan members are better prepared for retirement and are less likely to rely on social programs and income assistance.

BC's public sector pension plans are good for the economy

Between 2012 and 2035, the higher savings rate of our public sector pension plan members will result in around $60 billion more in investment, and just over $85 billion more in the federal GDP.[5]

 


[1] Benefits Canada 2017 Top 100 Pension Funds Report

[2] 2016 Teachers' Pension Plan Annual Report

[3] Ibid.

[4] Michael Grant, Matthew Stuart and Erin Butler, Economic Impact of British Columbia's Public Sector Pension Plans, (Ottawa: Conference Board of Canada, 2013)

[5] Ibid.


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