Welcome to the Reserve Force Pension Plan
The following information is intended to draw your attention to parts of the Reserve Force Pension Plan, Part I.1 under the Canadian Forces Superannuation Act (CFSA), that are important for you to know, as a new or re-enrolled member. Some aspects of the plan are time sensitive, so please review this document as soon as possible.
Orientation information kit
- What is the Reserve Force Pension Plan?
- Is there a limit to the amount of service that may be counted toward my Reserve Force pension?
- How can I increase the amount of service that my pension is based on?
- What is the Supplementary Death Benefit plan?
- Who can I designate as a beneficiary for the Supplementary Death Benefit?
- Your Canadian Armed Forces Pension and Benefits Web Portal
What is the Reserve Force Pension Plan?
The rules governing the Reserve Force Pension Plan are set out under Part I.1 of the Canadian Forces Superannuation Act (CFSA) and the plan is designed to provide qualified members with a retirement income payable upon release from the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF). Benefits are based on pensionable service and Canadian Forces (CF) service, and on your age at release.
Who can join the Reserve Force Pension Plan?
- Reserve Force members join the Reserve Force Pension Plan automatically after earning 10% of the Year's Maximum Pensionable Earnings (YMPE) in two consecutive 12-month periods
Other benefits include:
- Survivor benefits: provides 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 2 years of pensionable service to your credit on release
- Annual indexing: provides protection from inflation
- Buyback: eligible to buyback your previous CAF service to increase your pension at release
Is there a limit to the amount of service that may be counted towards my Reserve Force pension?
Yes, the maximum amount of service that may be counted for a participant under the Reserve Force Pension Plan is 35 years, which includes:
- Service accrued as a participant of the Reserve Force Pension Plan
- Service that you buy back
How can I increase the amount of service that my pension is based on?
Members can obtain a quote of the cost to buy back service by using the Service Buyback Estimator on the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) Pension and Benefits Web portal.
As a participant under the Reserve Force Pension Plan, 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
- service during which you did not contribute to the Reserve Force Pension Plan
You have one year from the date of this notification of participation to elect any prior service in the CAF. If you do not elect to buy back your service within the year time limit, this option will no longer be available to you.
Pensionable service is: the period of service when you contributed as an active member of the Reserve Force Pension Plan and any service you buy back. This determines what type of pension benefit you receive at release, and if you are entitled to a reduced pension on release, how much it will be reduced.
CF Service is: the days of service in the Regular or Reserve Force for which you are paid. This also determines what type of pension benefit you receive at release.
Important points to consider
- Transfer Value Reinstatements may only be requested in your first year as a participant in the plan
- There are tax implications (benefits and consequences) associated with requesting a buyback of prior service, or a Transfer Value Reinstatement
- Your "Notification of Plan Membership" is included in this package and should be retained for your records. It confirms the effective date that you became a plan member, and provides your Pension Number. This number should be used for any future communications with us
- Also included in this package is an "Enrolment Information and Acknowledgment of Plan Membership" form. It is important that you complete the form and return it immediately using the enclosed pre-addressed envelope. Completion of the form indicates you have read and understood the accompanying documentation and have self-identified all other information requested (prior service and eligible dependants)
- As a plan member, it is a good idea to send in relevant documents for processing future benefits as necessary. This includes a copy of your marriage certificate and/or divorce decree, your spouse's birth certificate, and the birth certificate(s) of your child(ren) under the age of 25, if applicable. You should forward these documents as soon as possible to the Government of Canada Pension Centre
What is the Supplementary Death Benefit plan?
The Supplementary Death Benefit (SDB) plan provides a form of decreasing term life insurance protection, which is designed to provide insurance coverage to Regular Force members and members of the Reserve Force on Class "C" service.
Who can I designate as a beneficiary for the Supplementary Death Benefit?
If you are on a Class "C" contract, you will be asked to complete the "Naming or Substitution of a Beneficiary" form. Your beneficiary can be one of the following:
- A person 18 years of age or older at the time of designation
- Your estate or succession
- A registered charitable or benevolent organization or institution or
- A religious or educational organization or institution that is supported by donations
Please note that you must complete a new designation form each time you commence a Class "C" contract.
For detailed information about the SDB plan, please visit the Supplementary Death Benefit page on the Pension and Benefits Web portal.
Your Canadian Armed Forces pension web portal
We invite you to take the time to discover what Your Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) Pension and Benefits Web portal has to offer, including information, forms and online tools. With the knowledge you gain, you will be able to make more informed decisions with respect to life events that may affect your pension and benefits.
As a new or re-enrolled participant of the Reserve Force Pension Plan, there is a section specifically designed for you: Select the "Active member" button, Select the audience that is specific to your plan, and click on the "Increasing your Pension" Life Event.
This information is provided for orientation purposes only and does not constitute a legal document on your rights and obligations. Should there be any discrepancy between the information in this document and that contained in the Canadian Forces Superannuation Act (CFSA), the Canadian Forces Superannuation Regulations (CFSR), and the Reserve Force Pension Plan Regulations (RFPPR)or other applicable laws, the Act and Regulations apply.
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