UBC Faculty Pension Plan FAQs

Joining the Faculty Pension Plan

Am I eligible to join the UBC Faculty Pension Plan?

  • All faculty and administrative executive personnel and staff high earners who are appointed for one year or more, and whose appointment is 50% or more of the full time equivalent (FTE) may be eligible to join the pension plan effective the date of their appointment.
  • Sessional lecturers appointed for four months or more who meet the 50% appointment requirements are also eligible for Plan membership.
  • Post-Doctoral positions are not eligible.

Visit the Faculty Benefit Eligibility page on the UBC HR website for Plan eligibility information.

What happens after I have been enrolled?

After the first contributions have been deposited to your FPP account, you will receive a Welcome email from Sun Life.

How can I learn more about the Plan?

Review the Plan’s website for comprehensive information about the Plan. We also offer in-depth pension seminars to help you learn more about the Plan. You can also contact the UBC Pensions Member Services team Monday to Friday to answer specific questions regarding the Plan.

Building Your Pension

How will my contributions to the Plan affect my taxes?

  • Your taxable income is reduced by the amount of your employee contributions.
  • Any voluntary contributions you make are also deductible from taxable income.
  • The University’s contributions to the Plan are reported as a non-taxable benefit to you.

Am I able to contribute to the Plan and an RRSP at the same time?

Yes. However, contributions are limited by the Income Tax Act (Canada). For more information, please refer to Voluntary Contributions.

Can I leave the Plan while still employed at UBC?

Once you enrol in the Plan, you cannot cease participating in the Plan until you terminate employment or retire.

Do I have to participate in the Plan if I am on a leave of absence?

While on a leave of absence, you will continue to be an active member of the Plan. Your options to maintain pension contributions to the Plan depend on the type of leave you are taking. For further details, see Leave of Absence.

Can I use my pension contributions as collateral on a loan or as a down payment on a mortgage?

No. Contributions to the Plan cannot be used for these purposes.

Can I transfer funds from other Registered Plans?

We accept funds from registered retirement savings plans (RRSP) or other registered pension plans within Canada, held in your name. Please note the Income Tax Act does not allow us to accept funds from registered retirement plans outside Canada. Any locked-in restrictions already attached to the funds will remain.  The Transfer-In From Other Registered Plans page has details on transfer eligibility and instructions.


Who can I name as my beneficiary?

If you have a spouse, you must name your spouse as your primary beneficiary under British Columbia Pension Legislation. Should your spouse wish to waive their right to the death benefits, they must complete a Form 4 – Spouse’s Waiver of Beneficiary Right to Benefits in a Pension Plan, Locked-In Retirement Account, Life Income Fund or Annuity Before Payments Start.

If you do not have a spouse, a beneficiary may be an individual(s), an institution(s), a trustee, or your estate. You may also name a contingent beneficiary, where upon your death, if the primary beneficiary has pre-deceased you, the contingent beneficiary will receive the death benefit.

What happens if my beneficiary dies?

In the event that one of your beneficiaries dies, you should review and update your beneficiary information, if required. If your primary beneficiary dies, contact the Pension Administration Office.

What if my beneficiary is a minor?

A minor cannot directly receive a death benefit under the Plan until he/she reaches the age of majority. If you name a minor as your beneficiary(ies), you must name a trustee to receive the death benefit while your beneficiary(ies) is a minor. Otherwise, legislation may require the death benefit be paid to the court or to the Public Guardian and Trustee.

Leaving UBC

Do I need to let the Pension Administration Office know that I am leaving UBC?

No. Finance/Payroll will provide us with your termination information when your final contributions are deposited.

If I leave UBC and go to work at another employer, can I leave my pension with UBC?

Yes. You may elect to defer you decision and leave your funds in the Plan until December 1st of the calendar year in which you reach age 71.

Retiring from UBC

I’m thinking about retiring. What do I need to do?

If you are considering retiring, we recommend that you review the following links:

To learn about your UBC FPP retirement income options, the Member Services team is available to assist you with understanding your pension benefit options. We also offer group information pension seminars for faculty members nearing retirement.

If I retire, do I have to elect a retirement income option immediately?

No. You may elect to defer you decision and leave your funds in the Plan until December 1st of the calendar year in which you reach age 71.

What is the latest retirement date under the Plan?

You must choose a retirement option before December 1st of the year that you turn age 71. The income, however, is not required to start until the following year.  For example, the first monthly payment for your age 71 December 1st retirement date will be made in January of the following year.

How soon can my pension payments start after I retire?

Your pension payments can start as early as the following month after your final contributions are deposited.

Death Benefits

What happens if I die?

Any benefits payable from the Plan on your death after retirement are determined by the retirement income option you elected when you retired and started your pension. Refer to In the Event of Your Death for more information.

Managing Your Account

How can I keep informed of the UBC FPP investment funds performance?

Investment fund performance, market commentaries and other investment education resources are available on our website.

Do I have to update my personal information?

Yes. Keeping us informed whenever you have life events that change your personal circumstance and information is important.

What if I no longer live in Canada?

If you move outside of Canada and/or are considered by the Canada Revenue Agency to no longer be a resident of Canada, see Living Outside Canada.