A member’s basic pension payment is calculated using a formula based on the member’s highest average salary, years of pensionable service and age at retirement. Pension payments do not depend on the performance of investment markets while the member is working or after the member retires. By contributing to a secure, well‑funded pension plan, members are preparing now for the future.
In 2013, the plan paid out close to $1 billion in pension benefits and much of that money flowed straight into the local economy and the BC economy.
Basic pension (guaranteed)
The basic pension payment is secure, dependable and guaranteed for life. It is paid for as long as the member lives and may continue to the member’s spouse or dependant after the member’s death. The advantage of a pre‑funded plan is that the pension is predictable. The plan also provides survivor and disability benefits.
Cost‑of‑living adjustments (not guaranteed)
Cost‑of‑living adjustments are not guaranteed; however, once granted they become part of the basic, lifetime pension.
Adjustments are based on the annual Canada Consumer Price Index (CPI). If the CPI decreases (deflation), retired members will receive no increase or decrease to their pension. If the board grants a cost‑of‑living adjustment, retired members 56 or older will receive it.
On January 1, 2013, retired members received a 1.1 per cent cost‑of‑living adjustment.
Post‑retirement group health benefits (non-pension, not guaranteed)
The Teachers’ Pension Plan offers voluntary extended health care and dental programs. The plan does not subsidize the premiums for the programs; however, it offers retirees access to group rates. Access to group rates means premiums are typically more affordable than the premiums charged for benefit packages individuals could buy on their own. All retired members may choose to enrol themselves, their spouses and their dependants in the plans.
More information about post‑retirement group health benefits is available on the plan website.
Termination and refund benefits
Plan members who end their employment before reaching age 55 have a number of choices for what they can do with the money they have put into the plan. See the Terminating employment PensionFacts for more information.