Service Purchases

Purchasing eligible periods of missed credited service will increase the amount of your monthly pension payment when you retire.

Service Purchase Types

  1. Current Service Buyback (available only within six months of returning from an unpaid leave of absence) or
  2. Past Service Buyback (available until 60 days before your retirement date or termination of employment.)

Eligible periods of service may be purchased using cash or money transferred from an RRSP.

Tax Information

All pensionable service purchases are subject to the provisions of the Healthcare Employees’ Pension Plan and CRA regulations.

Under the Income Tax Act, the total period of service on and after January 1, 1992, that a member may buy back cannot exceed:

  • Five years, and
  • A combined maximum of 36 months of parental leave with a maximum of 12 months for any one period of parental leave.

Purchasing pensionable service may affect the amount you can contribute to RRSPs. For information on tax implications, contact a tax or financial advisor, or the CRA.

Current Service Buyback

The Current Service Buyback provisions provide you with a one-time option to purchase a missed period of pensionable service within six months of returning to full duties and regular full-time equivalent hours (FTE) from an approved, unpaid leave of absence.

Types of Leave Eligible for Current Service Buybacks

You may purchase missed periods of pensionable service up to 54 weeks on duration (or 52 weeks prior to May 31, 2010) for the following types of approved unpaid leave:

  • Maternity/parental
  • Educational/professional
  • Personal
  • Compassionate care
  • Sick
  • Workers Compensation Board (WCB)
  • Manitoba Public Insurance
  • Layoff

If you are applying for or have been approved for Long Term Disability benefits within the last six months, contact us for more information.

Not Eligible

Any portion of a leave beyond the maximum of 54 or 52 weeks is not eligible for purchase.

If you are (or were previously) on an unpaid leave in excess of 24 months with no contributions remitted to the Plan on your behalf, your Plan membership will be terminated, and no employment service will be granted for the period spent on the unpaid leave. You will not be eligible for a buyback of this period.

Any employment service that was previously granted will be adjusted accordingly and Pension Plan termination options will be sent to you.

Application & Purchase Process

When you return from an approved unpaid leave, we will notify you about any period of service eligible for purchase and provide you with an estimate of the cost and impact to your pension.

You will also be able to see these estimated amounts in the member portal. (Click the Pension tile on your dashboard and look under the Service Purchase tab.)

Before you can purchase the missed service, you must request a calculation of the actual cost.

When we receive your request, we will complete a detailed calculation and provide you with a purchase cost that will be valid for 60 days.

Cost Calculation: Current Service Purchase

The Current Service purchase amount will be based on your pensionable salary, FTE hours of work, and pension contribution rates in effect at the start of your approved unpaid leave.

In most circumstances, you pay both the employee and employer contributions to purchase this service.

If you are receiving WCB benefits and choose to buy back your pensionable service, you pay only your share of the contributions and your employer is invoiced for their share.

Any pension contributions made during the approved unpaid leave will be excluded from the cost.

Deadline/Time Limitations

If you do not complete the Current Service purchase by the deadline, the calculation will expire. You will still have the option to buy that period of missed service as a Past Service purchase.

The calculation for a Past Service purchase is different and the cost may be higher.

Past Service Buybacks

The Past Service Buyback provisions provide you with the flexibility to purchase periods of eligible, missed pensionable service at any time up to 60 days before your retirement date or termination of your employment.

You may purchase either a portion of, or the full period of missed pensionable service.

Types of Leave & Service Eligible for Past Service Buybacks

  • Unpaid leave of absence that does not exceed 54 weeks in duration (or 52 weeks prior to May 31, 2010) and is not eligible for a Current Service Buyback
  • Maternity/parental leave before your most recent date of hire (maximum of six months of maternity/parental leave approved by a participating or predecessor plan employer and continuous with your most recent date of hire)
  • Period of layoff that does not exceed 54 weeks in duration (or 52 prior to May 31, 2010)
  • Period of continuous employment where eligibility requirements were not met
  • Period of continuous employment where you chose not to participate in the Pension Plan until a later date
  • Casual employment prior to 1984 (no break in employment service)
  • Strike period that does not exceed 54 weeks in duration (or 52 weeks prior to May 31, 2010)

Application & Purchase Process

After a Current Service purchase opportunity expires, you will still see the service period and estimated cost in the member portal. (Click the Pension tile on your dashboard and look under the Service Purchase tab.)

You may still purchase that service as a Past Service buyback.

If you do not see a period of past service you believe you are eligible to purchase, contact us.

Before you can purchase the missed service, you must request a calculation of the actual cost.

When we receive your request, we will complete a detailed calculation and provide you with a purchase cost that will be valid for 60 days.

Cost Calculation: Past Service Purchase

The cost of purchasing past pensionable service is actuarially determined based on your salary and age on the date you complete the request for the Past Service Purchase calculation.

If you do not complete the purchase by the due date provided, you may request another calculation later.

Because the calculation is based on your age and annual salary on the date you complete Past Service Buyback Application later calculations may be higher.

If you miss the deadline or do not complete the purchase

  • You may still purchase the missed period of pensionable service at any time up to 60 days before your retirement date or termination of employment.
  • You will need a new calculation and the cost may be higher.
  • If you do not apply at least 60 days before your retirement date or termination of your employment, you will no longer be eligible to apply to purchase missed periods of pensionable service.

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