Guide to Retirement from the Federal Public Service*

 

This document was developed by APEX in summer 2018. In situations where there is a difference between the information contained in it and the official information you receive from the Government of Canada Pension Centre, the latter will take precedence. Even though APEX updates the document regularly, it is important to always verify with the Government of Canada Pension Centre before making any decisions.

The information contained in this guide is provided for orientation purposes only and does not constitute a legal document on your rights and obligations. Should there be any conflict between the information in this document and that contained in the Public Service Superannuation Act (PSSA) and the Public Service Superannuation Regulations (PSSR), or other applicable laws, the Act and Regulations apply.

[ * ] Content is restricted to APEX Members. 

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Table of Contents

Introduction

Important Terminology and Definitions*

Making Sense of Retirement*

The Changing Value of My Pension*

Marriage or a Common-law Relationship*

Separation or Divorce*

How to Retire*

Group Benefits Coverage*

Survivor Benefits*

Other Sources of Retirement Income*

General Information*

Post-Retirement Obligations*

Additional Retirement Resources that May Be of Interest*

 


 

Introduction

On behalf of the Government of Canada, the President of the Treasury Board is responsible for the Public Service Pension Plan, and is supported by the Secretariat as the administrative arm of the Treasury Board and Public Works and Government Services Canada as the day-to-day administrator.

The President of the Treasury Board is also responsible for ensuring that the Public Service Pension Plan is adequately funded to fully meet plan member benefits. To determine the plan’s funding requirements, the President enlists the help of the Office of the Chief Actuary, to provide advice and a range of actuarial services, and the Public Sector Pension Investment Board to manage the pension assets for the public sector pension plans. The Public Service Pension Advisory Committee advises the President on the administration, design and funding of the benefits and on other pension-related matters referred to it by the President.

The roles and responsibilities of each organization are as follows:

  • Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat
    The President of the Treasury Board is responsible for the overall management of the Public Service Pension Plan on behalf of the Government of Canada, the plan sponsor. In support of the Treasury Board’s role as employer for the public service, the Secretariat is responsible for policy development in respect of the funding, design and governance of the Public Service Pension Plan and other retirement programs and arrangements. In addition, the Secretariat is responsible for providing strategic direction, program advice and interpretation; developing legislation; communicating to plan members; and liaising with stakeholders.
  • Public Services and Procurement Canada
    Public Services and Procurement Canada is responsible for the day-to-day administration of the Public Service Pension Plan. This includes developing and maintaining the public service pension systems, books of accounts, records, and internal controls, as well as preparing the Account Transaction Statements for reporting in the Public Accounts.In addition, Public Services and Procurement Canada processes payments and carries out all accounting and financial administrative functions. Through its pay and pension services, Public Services and Procurement Canada’s Pay and Pension Services for Government Employees ensures that federal government employees and retired pension plan members receive their pay and pension benefit payments accurately and on time. In total, this involves payments of approximately $29 billion annually.
  • Public Sector Pension Investment Board
    The Public Sector Pension Investment Board is a Canadian Crown corporation established by the Public Sector Pension Investment Board Act and is governed by an 11-member board of directors, accountable to Parliament through the President of the Treasury Board. Its legislative mandate is to maximize returns without undue risk of loss, having regard to the funding, policies and requirements of the Public Service Pension Plan, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police pension plan, and the Canadian Forces Regular Force and Reserve Force pension plans. The Public Sector Pension Investment Board has been investing on behalf of the pension plans the amounts transferred by the Government of Canada since April 1, 2000.
  • Office of the Chief Actuary
    The Office of the Chief Actuary, an independent unit within the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions Canada, provides a range of actuarial services and advice to the Government of Canada that includes the Public Service Pension Plan. The Office of the Chief Actuary is responsible for conducting an annual actuarial valuation of the pension plan for accounting purposes as well as a triennial (i.e., once every three years) funding valuation.
  • Public Service Pension Advisory Committee
    The Public Service Pension Advisory Committee, established under the Public Service Superannuation Act, provides advice to the President of the Treasury Board on matters relating to the Public Service Pension Plan’s administration, benefit design, and funding.The committee is composed of 13 members: 1 pensioner, appointed from pensioners nominated by the public servant pensioner association; 6 members representing employees, appointed from the employees nominated by the National Joint Council of the Public Service of Canada; and 6 members nominated by the President of the Treasury Board, who are traditionally chosen from the executive ranks of the public service. All members are appointed by the Governor in Council to hold office for a term not exceeding three years and are eligible for reappointment for one or more additional terms.