The University of British Columbia (UBC) Faculty Pension Plan (FPP) is an independent trust and has served UBC faculty and administrative executive staff since the first contributions were received in 1967. The Plan is among the most valued benefits offered by the University and is designed to help you save and invest for your future.
About the Plan
The UBC FPP is a Defined Contribution Pension Plan and is also known as a capital accumulation plan or money purchase plan. The income you receive at retirement is not pre-determined and is based on the assets within your account at the time of retirement. Contributions that you and the University make to the Plan are invested in one or more of the Plan’s investment options. The focus of your working years is to grow your account balance to help you achieve your retirement goals.
The Plan is co-administered by the UBC Pension Administration Office and Sun Life.
- 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 for Plan eligibility information.
Your contributions are made by payroll deduction on a semi-monthly basis as follows:
- 5% of your basic salary up to the Year’s Basic Exemption (YBE), plus
- 3.2% of your basic salary between the YBE and Year’s Maximum Pensionable Earnings (YMPE), plus
- 5% of your salary above the YMPE
Our Contributions Estimator can help you determine your required contributions.
The University, or a participating employer, contributes to your account on a semi-monthly basis as follows:
- 10% of your basic salary up to the YBE, plus
- 8.2% of your basic salary between the YBE and YMPE, plus
- 10% of your salary above the YMPE
As the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) limits the amount of total contributions to a pension plan, there is a Supplemental Arrangement available to accommodate excess contributions for members who have reached the CRA limits.
As a member of the Plan, you are immediately vested in both your and the University’s contributions and your full account balance is transferable on termination of employment, retirement, or death.
Locked-In & Non-Locked In Funds
All post-1992 contributions and income are locked-in, subject to BC Pension legislation. Locked-in funds are not refundable as cash and must be used to provide a retirement income stream such as a life annuity or Life Income Fund.
Under certain circumstances, if you terminate your employment with UBC and your benefit falls under a small amount rule or you become a non-resident, your funds may qualify to be unlocked and the restrictions may be removed.
Only pre-1993 contributions and income are considered non-locked in funds, which can be withdrawn after termination or retirement without restrictions.
The FPP is an integral part of saving for your retirement. Below are some of the benefits of Plan membership.
Diverse Investment Options
The Plan’s seven investment options offer you a variety of asset classes enabling you to create your own portfolio from a list of specially constructed funds. The UBC FPP Balanced Fund is the default investment option. Review the Investment Options page to learn more about the Plan’s investment options.
Flexible Retirement Income Options
Retirement income options are offered within the Plan such as a Variable Payment Life Annuities and Registered Retirement Income Fund (RRIF) and Life Income Fund (LIF)-Type Payments. You can use all or part of your account balance for any combination of the options, providing flexibility in structuring your retirement income and tailoring it to your individual needs. You also have the option to transfer your assets out of the Plan at retirement. Visit the Retiring page for more information on the Plan’s retirement options.
Reduced tax deduction at source – you receive immediate tax savings when you contribute to the Plan. Your pension contributions are deducted from your gross income, which reduces your taxable income and the University’s contributions to the Plan are reported as a non-taxable benefit. Also, investment earnings earned in the Plan accumulate on a tax-deferred basis.
Low Management Fees
The FPP Trustees have negotiated fees that are typically lower than what you would pay if you invested in these funds at a Canadian retail financial institution or investment dealer. Fees have a significant impact on the value of your investments over time. Lower fees mean that more of your money stays invested and continues to grow.
Fund management fees include, but are not limited to, fund operating expenses and investment management fees plus applicable sales tax, and the UBC FPP administration/operating fee. The UBC FPP administration/operating fee covers administrative and consulting costs, and is reviewed on a calendar basis. You can view your fee information by visiting mysunlife.ca/ubcfpp and selecting my financial centre > Accounts > Account fees.
Consolidation Options to Simplify Your Investing
Consolidating your registered plans can help you save time and money. You will reduce the number of accounts to monitor and manage, and potentially reduce the amount of fees charged. The Transfer-In From Other Registered Plans page has details on transfer eligibility and instructions.
You may make contributions above the required contributions. Although they do not attract University matching contributions, there are many benefits to making them if you have the contribution room available. For more information, visit the Voluntary Contributions page.
When you are hired or rehired by the University, you will receive an offer letter containing a benefit enrolment code to complete the online enrolment session for benefits, pension and payroll. If you did not receive an offer letter, please contact your Faculty Administrator or Faculty Relations. The following enrolment codes apply to the UBC FPP:
FEP001 indicates that pension enrolment is a mandatory benefit on date of hire. If your pension enrolment is mandatory, you will be automatically enrolled in the Plan and your contributions will be deducted by payroll on a semi-monthly basis. Upon deposit of your first contribution to the Plan, Sun Life will mail you a welcome letter and a checklist detailing the steps to finalize the enrolment process within the next month. This will include your account number to register for online access at mysunlife.ca/ubcfpp. If you already have an access ID and password for the UBC group health and dental benefits plan, you do not need to register again. You can also review the New Members page for further information.
FEP002, FEP003 indicate that pension enrolment is optional. If you wish to enrol, you must complete the enrolment form in the online benefits enrolment session and submit it with the rest of the online enrolment package.
If you have changed your position, or recently become eligible to join the FPP, you will not use the online enrolment process, as you are not a new UBC employee.
- If you qualify under mandatory enrolment, you will be automatically enrolled in the Plan as described in the mandatory enrolment process above.
- If you qualify under optional enrolment, please contact the UBC Pension Administration Office to obtain an enrolment form.
Leaving UBC & Retirement
If you leave UBC prior to retirement age, several options will be available to you. For further information, please refer to the Leaving UBC page.
When you retire, you have several retirement income options. See Retiring for more information.