Reserve Force Pension Plan: Know the details

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Your pension plan is among the most advantageous in the country and plays an important role in helping you achieve financial security in retirement. As a Reserve Force member, you can contribute to either the Reserve Force Pension Plan (RFPP) for part-time service or the Canadian Armed Forces’ (CAF) full-time pension plan.

The RFPP is unique as it is the only federal public sector pension plan for part-time employees, and the first new plan introduced in over 40 years. Since 2007, you’ve had this new provision for your retirement years that recognizes your part-time service. If you are a full-time Reservists, you automatically join the CAF’s full-time pension plan after accumulating 55 months of paid service in a 60-month period.

Since July 2014, your pension has been administered by the Government of Canada Pension Centre giving you access to online services including a self-service portal for getting your pension estimate and viewing your statements.

What you get

Your RFPP benefits are based on your pensionable service and CAF service, and on your age at release. For example, if you release at age 60 or older with at least two years of pensionable service, you release with an immediate pension.

Other benefits include:

  • Survivor benefits—to provide an income for your eligible spouse and children in the event of your death;
  • Early access to your pension in the event of disability—an immediate annuity is payable if you are permanently disabled and have not less than two years of pensionable service to your credit on release;
  • Annual indexing— provides protection from inflation; and
  • Buyback— allows you to buy back your previous CAF service to increase your pension at release.

How to Join

You join the RFPP automatically after earning 10 percent of the Year’s Maximum Pensionable Earnings (YMPE) in two consecutive 12-month periods.

How to Buy Back Service

You can elect to buy back service with the Pension Centre by obtaining a quote of the cost using the Service Buyback Estimator on the Web portal. You may be eligible to buy back:

  • Leave without pay (LWOP), such as maternity and parental leave;
  • CAF service for which you received a lump-sum pension benefit; and
  • CAF service during which you did not contribute to the RFPP.

When buying back service, you should be aware that:

  • Transfer Value Reinstatements may only be requested in your first year as a participant in the plan;
  • There are tax implications associated with requesting a buyback of prior service, or a Transfer Value Reinstatement; and
  • If you intend to release and haven’t completed your service buyback, notify the Pension Centre of your intent so your request is processed promptly.

How to Exit

Your participation in the RFPP ceases when you:

  • Join the CAF full-time pension plan after accumulating 55 months of paid service in a 60-month period; or
  • Release from the Reserves and submit your pension termination forms to the Pension Centre during your release process.

For more information

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