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The City of Richmond provides a defined benefit pension plan for its employees through the Pension Corporation of BC. The pension amount is based on the number of years an employee made contributions to the plan and the average of their highest five years of salary. It is not dependent on the contribution amount or on the performance of the plan’s assets. This ensures that the pension is predictable and is not based entirely on the economic conditions that existed during the employee’s working lifetime, nor at their time of retirement.
The Municipal Pension Board of Trustees is fully responsible for the management of the pension fund, including the investment of the assets and plan administration. The Board may amend the pension plan rules as long as changes can be funded by pension fund surpluses. Contribution rate changes require partner approval.
Partners in the Municipal Pension Plan include the Government of BC, the Municipal Pension Employees Committee, the Union of British Columbia Municipalities, and other stakeholders. These partners are responsible for appointing trustees and directing amendments to the plan. The Municipal Pension Plan Joint Trust Agreement outlines the governance of the plan and is available at: www.mpp.pensionsbc.ca.
A pension plan member (other than a firefighter) is eligible for an immediate pension when he or she:
- Terminates employment at age 55 or older with at least two years of contributory service, or
- Terminates employment at age 60 or older with any amount of contributory service, or
- Reaches age 55 without taking benefit from the plan after terminating employment before age 55 with at least two years of contributory service.
A member who is a firefighter is eligible for an immediate pension when he or she:
- Terminates employment at age 50 or older with at least two years of contributory service, or
- Terminates employment at age 55 or older with any amount of contributory service, or
- Reaches age 50 without taking benefit from the plan after terminating employment before age 50 with at least two years of contributory service
Transferring Service from Other Pension Plans
More than 600 BC employers are part of the Municipal Pension Plan including municipalities, school districts, colleges, health care, police and fire. If you are considering a move from an employer currently participating in the MPP to the City of Richmond and you are currently an active member of the plan, your membership with the pension plan will continue.
Transfer agreements (also referred to as reciprocal transfer agreements) allow pension plan members to carry pension rights from one plan to another. The MPP has transfer agreements with a number of pension plans across Canada. There are no agreements with plans outside of Canada. Visit www.pensionsbc.ca for more information on transfer agreements.
To find out if your current or former employer has a transfer agreement with MPP, contact their pension office or the Municipal Pension Plan office directly.
To check with MPP directly. Read the MPP’s transfer agreement Fact Sheet for more information.
Purchase of Service refers to the process of paying for a period of employment that has not been counted as service with the Municipal Pension Plan, which may increase a plan member’s pension benefit. Examples of service that a member may be eligible to purchase include: probationary periods (not otherwise included in pensionable service); service with an employer prior to their inclusion in the plan; and leave of absence periods including parental or maternity leaves.
Special Agreement for Firefighters
Richmond firefighters participate in a Special Agreement Pension administered by the Municipal Pension Plan, which is in addition to their participation in the normal pension plan and is due to their requirements to retire earlier than other employees because of bona fide occupational requirements. This agreement requires both the City and the employee to contribute a percentage of the employee’s salary. Retirement benefits are paid out as a monthly annuity or as a lump sum.