During your career, you may have periods of time when you did not contribute to the PSSP, such as approved leaves. If so, you may have gaps in your pensionable service which can impact your pension and retirement date.
PSSP members may be permitted to buy back service with a current or previous PSSP employer to increase their pension amount and/or to retire sooner. All purchases are subject to the rules of the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).
Purchases of prior service must be completed within 20 years from the end of the period of service.
Eligible prior service purchases include:
Prior refunded/paid out service with a participating PSSP employer:
A PSSP member may re-establish a prior period of pensionable service that was previously credited under the PSSP by repaying the previous refund or transfer received, plus interest.
A member may re-establish a prior period of pensionable service that was previously credited under the PSSP by repaying the previous refund or transfer received from the PSSP.
Costing – this is the total amount of the refund/transfer plus interest from the date of removal from the plan to the date the costing is calculated, and is wholly payable by the member.
Periods of service during which the member was not contributing to the PSSP:
A member can purchase non-contributory service (that was not more than 20 years ago) as long as they were working at least 4 consecutive months and were working at least 40% of full-time hours.
Non-contributory service includes:
Leave Without Pay (any authorized leave of absence from the employer)
If you are purchasing non-contributory service that is less than 10 years ago, costing is based on your contributions plus interest. Payment is shared 50/50 by the employee and the employer. The employer for whom you worked during the period of service in question will be required to pay the employer matching contributions
If you are purchasing non-contributory service that is within 10 to 20 years ago. You will have to pay 100% of the actuarial cost of the prior service.
You are not allowed to purchase prior service older than 20 years.
Service with other pension plans:
Prior contributory service with a recognized public authority may be purchased based on Income Tax Act (ITA) rules. Such a purchase can only be made if you had contributed to a registered pension plan during the period in question. You must pay 100% of the actuarial cost.
How do I purchase prior service?
To purchase prior service, go to our Forms page and download:
Public Authority Service – Purchase Questionnaire Form (FORM.0047)
Purchase of Prior Service Form
and return them to our office.
Methods of payment:
Payment may be made by one of these methods:
Transfer funds from a registered source, i.e. RRSP or former Registered Plan; or
Lump sum cash payment (subject to income tax rules).
Service post-1989: Elections to purchase post-1989 service may require the Nova Scotia Pension Services Corporation to prepare a Past Service Pension Adjustment (PSPA), which has to be approved by Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).
Statements of cost are valid for two (2) months only from the date on the statement. After the two months, either additional interest is applicable, or in the case of an actuarial calculation, a new calculation must be prepared.