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Public Service Superannuation Plan

This pension plan provides a benefit based on the average of your best five consecutive years of salary and number of years of pensionable service. Participation in this plan is compulsory.

Pension benefits are calculated as follows:

(Total Pensionable Service) x (Average of Best 5 Consecutive Years Salary) x 2%

For example:

Retirement at age 60 with 22 years of service: Over the last five years, your salary has ranged from $39,662 to $46,315 with an average salary of $42,879. The Superannuation pension will be 2% x 22 X $42,879 = $18,867 per year. At age 65, you will become eligible to receive benefits from the Canada Pension Plan and your pension will be reduced by the amount of CPP benefit you would receive for your pensionable service.

Benefits payable are indexed to increases in the Consumer Price Index.

If you have a minimum of two years of pensionable service, you may take your pension in any one of a number of ways:

  • Immediate Annuity
    • -payable at age 60, or
    • -payable at age 55 with a minimum of 30 years service.
  • Deferred Annuity
    • -payable at age 60 if you terminate employment before attaining that age.
  • Annual Allowance
    • -early payment of a deferred annuity which is subject to a 5% reduction for each year under the age of 60, or under the age of 55 or under 30 years of pensionable service if terminating after age 50 with at least 25 years of pensionable service.
    • -payable at age 50 or at any later time before the deferred annuity begins.
  • Transfer Value Payment (if under age 50 at termination)
    • -a lump sum payment representing the actuarial value of a contributor’s pension entitlement. A Transfer Value Payment must be transferred directly into a locked-in vehicle such as a locked-in RRSP, another Registered Pension Plan or to a financial institution for the purchase of a life annuity. The Transfer Value option is irrevocable.

Payroll deductions for your pension contributions are made on a bi-weekly basis. The Government also contributes to the plan. Canada Pension Plan contributions are made on salary up to the yearly maximum pensionable earnings. Contact the Human Resource Service Centre in your region for annual contribution rates.

Return of Contributions

A return of contributions made to the Plan, plus interest, will normally be payable to terminating employees with less than two years of pensionable service.

Transferring Service from Other Plans

There are pension transfer agreements (PTAs) with some other employers who have compatible pension plans. They permit the transfer of all pensionable service to the Superannuation Plan.

To qualify for such a transfer, you must satisfy the conditions of the specific agreement, which are usually:

  • You have ceased or cease to be employed with another employer and be or become employed with the GNWT;
  • You have not received or will not received a refund of contributions or other benefits from the pension plan of your previous employer;
  • You must complete and deliver the appropriate authorizing documents within the specified time limit; usually the later of one year from the date of signature of the agreement or within one year of the date you become subject to the pension plan.
  • Time limits may be extended in certain circumstances. Before requesting a transfer of funds, it is vital that you carefully compare the benefits payable under each plan. All transfers are irrevocable.

The amount of funds available from your former employer may not be sufficient to credit you, under the Public Service Superannuation Act (PSSA), with all of the pensionable service accumulated with your former employer. There may be differences between the pension benefits provided by each plan and also differences in the actuarial assumptions each plan uses in the pension transfer calculation.

A PTA is not always the most cost effective way to have your pensionable service credits from your former employer's pension plan recognized under the PSSA. You may be eligible through Service Buyback to purchase the pensionable service with your former employer through the elective service provision of the PSSA.

Election for Prior Service

You may elect to purchase prior service to increase your pensionable employment with the Public Service Pension Plan where your contributions to an approved pension plan have been refunded.

The purchase of prior service with employers who participate in the Pension Plan can be made at any time while you are a contributor to the Pension Plan. Some of these employers include:

  • the Public Service of the Northwest Territories;
  • the Public Service of the Yukon;
  • the Public Service of Canada;
  • the Canadian Armed Forces;
  • the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

Your service with other employers may also qualify if the service occurred within two years of joining the Government.

Once made, the purchase of prior service is irrevocable except in specific and unusual circumstances.