Members on a paid leave of absence (LOA), such as, sick days, Salary Indemnity Plan’s short-term disability, or long-term disability, will receive full pension crediting. That is, there is no pensionable service (PS) to buy-back.
Members on an unpaid LOA, may buy-back PS up to the limit allowed by the collective agreement (CA). This purchase is done as a lump sum payment to Teachers’ Pension Plan after you return to work, or in one-year portions. The buy-backs of PS include periods of reduced assignment, arrears (missing contributions), non-contributory service, or child-rearing credits (as you near the end of your career—this one is free of charge). Unlike other leaves, there are special leaves as categorized by Part 6 of the Employment Standards Act (current to March 25, 2020), whereby the member pays only their portion of the pension contributions. These include, but are not limited to: pregnancy leave, parental or adoptive leave, family responsibility leave, bereavement leave, and compassionate care leave. Details can be found here: tpp.pensionsbc.ca/taking-time-off-work-and-buying-service. Always check in with our local office as there may be top-up provisions in our CA.
Starting May 1, 2020, a new payment option is available. Members may choose to continue making contributions during the leave by direct payment to Teachers’ Pension Plan, and they will invoice your employer separately for their portion of the cost. The details will be published on the Teachers’ Pension Plan website (tpp.pensionsbc.ca) by mid-May.