Guide for plan members

Teachers' Pension Plan is committed to helping you make the most of your pension. This guide is a provincial legislative requirement. Please use the links at right to explore the topics most relevant to you.

Your pension and your job

What happens if you start a new job with the same employer

If you take a new job (as a teacher or senior administrator) with the same employer, you will continue to be an active member of BC’s Teachers' Pension Plan. You and your employer will continue to contribute to the plan.

What happens if you take a job in another school district in BC

If you take a job in a different school district in BC, your contributions will remain with the plan. Your new employer will automatically re-enrol you in the plan, and you and your new employer will contribute to your pension.

What happens if you leave your job with a plan employer

If you leave your job and do not take a new job with a plan employer, you will no longer be an active member of the plan, and you will stop making pension contributions.

Note: If you are laid off and are on a seniority or recall list, you are considered to have left your job once you have not worked for your employer or contributed to the plan for one full year.

When you leave your job, you will need to decide what to do with your pension.

Your options depend on:

  • Your age
  • If you are retiring
  • If you are beginning a new job with an employer that has a transfer agreement with the Teachers' Pension Plan

Your options could include:

  • Deferring your pension (leaving your money in the plan and taking a monthly pension when you retire)
  • Transferring the commuted value of your pension to a locked-in retirement vehicle
  • Applying for your pension
  • Transferring your service in the Teachers' Pension Plan to your new employer’s pension plan

Depending on your age when you leave your job, we will send you either a Termination selection statement form or a pension estimate outlining your options.

What happens if you want to retire

Contact your employer(s) in writing to arrange your last day of paid employment. If you are working for multiple employers in the same plan, you must terminate all employment under the Teachers' Pension Plan in order to start receiving your pension.

What are the contributions?

Both you and your employer make contributions to BC's Teachers' Pension Plan.

Your contributions are automatically deducted from each paycheque and paid directly to the plan with your employer's contributions. Both your contributions and your employer’s contributions are based on a percentage of your salary.

Current contribution rates (as of January 1, 2019):

  • You contribute 11.17 per cent of your salary
  • Your employer contributes 11.30 per cent of your salary

A portion of the pension contributions (2.00 per cent of salary from you and 2.13 per cent of salary from your employer) is transferred to the inflation adjustment account. This account is used to pay for annual cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) that may be added to monthly pension payments. COLAs are not guaranteed, but once granted, become part of your lifetime pension.

Another portion of the pension contributions (1.00 per cent of salary from you and 1.00 per cent of salary from your employer) is transferred to the rate stabilization account. The Teachers’ Pension Board of Trustees will draw from this account to help offset any future contribution rate increases needed in the case of a funding shortfall.

When you stop contributing to the plan

Once you start contributing to the plan, you'll remain an active plan member until you leave your job or retire.

If you are on long-term disability, you do not make contributions to the plan; however, you will continue to earn contributory and pensionable service as though you had continued to work.

Will my contribution rate increase?

It is possible that the contribution rates may increase.

At least once every three years, an independent actuary (a specialist in financial modelling, the laws of probability and risk management) assesses the financial position of BC's Teachers' Pension Plan.

This assessment examines the plan’s ability to pay all current and future pensions based on a series of economic and demographic assumptions (such as interest rates and life expectancy of members). It also reviews the current contribution rates to see if they are sufficient to fund the plan.

If the actuary’s assessment determines there is a funding shortfall, both your contribution rate and your employer's contribution rate may increase to meet the plan’s funding requirements. Contribution rate increases are shared equally by members and employers.

Employer rights and obligations

Each plan employer has certain rights and obligations to employees:

  • Provide complete, accurate and sufficient personal information and records required to administer the plan for all members
  • Collect your pension contributions and their employer contributions and provide them to us
  • Provide you with any information or records supplied by us or otherwise required by the Pension Benefits Standards Act
  • Enrol new employees
  • Pay for any costs or damages from not meeting commitments such as reporting information on time or accurately

Nothing in the plan affects the employer’s right to dismiss an individual.