ARCHIVED SAM - Special Bulletin 2009-002

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Note This document has been modified. The changes are identified by a vertical line "|". Revision (|)

| February 16, 2009 (revised October 31, 2011)

SUBJECT: Service Purchase (Elective Service)


1.1. The purpose of this bulletin is to inform compensation advisors and pay offices of the new process delivery model for Service Purchase.

1.2. In accordance with the new process, the "Your Public Service Pension and Benefits" Web Portal, the Superannuation Administration Manual (SAM), the Superannuation Procedures Manual - Public Service Corporations (Pension Centre), superannuation bulletins, compensation directives, national training courses, Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat's (TBS) standard benefit letters, Virtual Pay checklists and procedure guides and various forms have been amended. Organizations not using the TBS's standard benefit letters will need to amend their letters to reflect the changes.

1.3. This bulletin includes the Contact Information Sheet (also available on the "Your Public Service Pension and Benefits" Web portal), the new Work Procedures for compensation advisors and pay offices and the new Roles and Responsibilities for the Public Service Pension Centre (Pension Centre), compensation advisors, pay offices and plan members.

1.4. Throughout the Centralization project, it is crucial that client focus is maintained and plan members receive uninterrupted service during the implementation of the modified service offerings.


2.1. On June 13, 2007, the TBS granted approval to proceed with two transformations of pension administration initiatives namely the Pension Modernization Project and the Centralization of Pension Services Delivery Project. The objective of these initiatives is to renew Public Works and Government Services Canada's (PWGSC) nearly 40-year old pension administration system, transform business processes and centralize the delivery of pension services to a Centre of Expertise (COE) within PWGSC, namely the Pension Centre, in Shediac, New Brunswick.

2.2. Accordingly, the Centralization of Pension Services Delivery Project team has been established to develop and progressively implement pension services and business processes in accordance with the new model which allows for self-service options and access to pension expertise through various channels. The project, which will take place over the next few years, will bring about significant changes in the way pension services are delivered.


3.1. Effective February 16, 2009, the Pension Centre will be responsible for the complete service purchase process and the provision of information to plan members for all departments, Crown corporations and agencies.


4.1. Service Purchase also referred to as "service buyback", "election", and "elective service", is defined as the provision of information to plan members covering all aspects of the service purchase process, including the types of service available for buyback, the provision of cost estimates, impact of additional service on future pension benefits, accepting payments for service buyback, calculating balances owing and service paid to date on elections, and general information on income tax implications.

Service Purchase includes the buying back of prior contributory and non-contributory federal Public Service, service with an outside employer, transfers, surrenders and buybacks within the Canadian Forces (CF) and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) pension plans, and transfer value reinstatements.


5.1. A COE has been established in Shediac, New Brunswick. This centre will be responsible for providing Service Purchase individualized or general information for inquiries received from both plan members and prospective plan members.

5.2. When asked about Service Purchase information, compensation advisors will refer plan members and prospective plan members to the Service BuybackPackage and/or provide them with the Pension Centre contact information located on the "Your Public Service Pension and Benefits" Web portal, under "Contact Us". The contact information page includes the Pension Centre Web portal address, an email address, a toll free telephone number, a facsimile number and a mailing address.

5.3. Compensation advisors will remain responsible to start elective service deductions, upon notification from the Pension Centre, and to certify salary, service and leave without pay upon request from the Pension Centre. Regional pay offices will continue to amend, stop and refund elective service deductions. Non-regional pay offices (offices providing pay services to employers not serviced by the Regional Pay System) will be responsible to start, amend, stop and refund elective service deductions.

5.4. It is expected that organizations complete all Service Purchase work received (requests for information and estimates of costs) prior to their respective implementation date, i.e. on December 15, 2008, January 19, 2009 or February 16, 2009. Only new requests for information or estimates received and election forms signed on or after December 15, 2008, January 19, 2009 or February 16, 2009 dependent upon each organization's implementation date, must be forwarded to the Pension Centre.

To ensure that current work received prior to the implementation date is completed, the "Estimate of cost" Application of the Estimate and Election System (ESTEL) System and the Personal Computer (PC) Application "Estimate of Service Paid to Date" tool will be available until April 19, 2009.

5.5. Please refer to the new Roles and Responsibilities and the new Work Procedures for compensation advisors and pay offices for additional details.


6.1. The project team will monitor the progress following implementation and will keep you apprised of the results.


7.1. The Superannuation Administration Manual (SAM) will be updated to incorporate the relevant information contained in this bulletin.


8.1. Any request on the information contained in this document should be addressed to your PWGSC Compensation Services Office.

Original Signed by
Brigitte Fortin

Brigitte Fortin
Director General
Compensation Sector
Accounting, Banking and Compensation