Preparing for retirement—Regular Force enrolled on or after March 1, 2007

Learn about your pension benefits available to you upon your retirement.

You may want to know

What is a defined benefit pension plan?

The Regular Force Pension Plan is a defined benefit pension plan. This means that your pension from the plan is defined by set formulas. In the Regular Force Pension Plan, these formulas use your pensionable earnings and years of pensionable service to calculate your pension.

How is a defined benefit pension plan different from a personal Registered Retirement Savings Plan?

The following table identifies the differences between a defined benefit pension plan and a personal registered retirement savings plan (RRSP):

Defined benefit pension plan Registered retirement savings plan (RRSP)

You know in advance how much you will get at retirement (pre-determined pension formulas)

You do not know in advance how much you will get at retirement

You have no control over investment decisions

You control all investment decisions

You do not bear most of the investment risk – the employer does

You bear the investment risk

You do not bear the risk of outliving your savings or of spending all your savings before you die

You bear the risk of outliving your savings or spending all your savings before you die

You earn a lifetime pension payable at retirement

Your retirement income may be higher or lower depending on the investment performance of the funds and on the level of contributions you are willing to make

You have some flexibility in how you wish to withdraw your investment

What pension benefits do I receive if I release?

The benefits you receive at release depend on your pensionable service and/or Canadian Forces (CF) service, and on your age at release. These benefits are shown in the table below:

With 2 or more years of pensionable service

You are entitled to… If you…
an unreduced pension
  • have 25 years (9,131 days) of CF service
  • are age 60
  • are age 55 with 30 years of pensionable service
  • have 10 years of pensionable service and are disabled on release
  • are released involuntarily as a result of a reduction in the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) and:
    • have 20 years of pensionable service
    • are age 55 or older with 10 years of pensionable service
a reduced pension
  • are not eligible for an unreduced pension and are age 50 or older
a deferred pension
  • are not eligible for an unreduced pension

Instead of a deferred pension, payable at age 60, you can choose:

  • a reduced pension, anytime after age 50
  • if you are younger than age 50, to transfer the value of your deferred pension to a locked-in retirement plan, to an insurance company to purchase an annuity, or to another registered pension plan (see Transfer Value)

With fewer than 2 years of pensionable service

You are entitled to a refund of your contributions plus interest.

Refer to the Scenarios to see examples of different situations at release.

You may also be entitled to severance pay at release.

For more information, please refer to the Release life event.

How much will my pension be?

Your most recent personal Pension Benefits Statement provides you with a summary of your entitlements and their approximate value. This can be found on the Web Application, which can help you estimate your yearly and monthly pension based on the information you enter.

What is the bridge benefit?

For information on the bridge benefit and how it impacts your pension, please visit the Bridge benefit page.

Is my pension protected from inflation?

Yes. Indexing is inflation protection which is applicable to all Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) pensions and is administered in accordance with the provisions set out in Part III of the Canadian Forces Superannuation Act (CFSA) - Supplementary Benefits - and the Supplementary Retirement Benefits Act (SRBA).

For information on indexing, please visit the Indexing page.

As a Canadian Armed Forces annuitant, will I be able to participate in the Public Service Health Care Plan and the Pensioners' Dental Services Plan?

Visit the Insurance benefits page to find out what plans you may be eligible to participate in.

If I have granted someone a general Power of Attorney, can that person manage my pension affairs?

If you wish for another person to manage some of your pension affairs, an original, notarized, or a certified true copy of the general power of attorney (POA) document bearing the original signature of the lawyer, notary, commissioner of oaths or justice of the peace must be sent to the Government of Canada Pension Centre. The person you name can then request address changes, direct deposit and choose a benefit on your behalf. However, a POA does not provide that person with the authority to change the recipient of a pension benefit or to change a beneficiary under the Supplementary Death Benefit (SDB) plan.

In order to protect plan members, the Government of Canada Pension Centre cannot accept photocopies, faxes or scans of legal documents. Original POA documents will be returned to you by mail.

If you simply wish to allow someone to make enquiries and receive information about your pension matters, but not make decisions on your behalf, you can provide the Government of Canada Pension Centre with a written consent to that effect.

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