Combined Pensionable Service (CPS)

MEPP has a relationship with the Public Service Pension Plan (PSPP), called Combined Pensionable Service (CPS).

You are eligible for CPS if you move from PSPP to MEPP or vice versa:

  • with no break in service; and
  • while with the same employer.

Often, this happens when someone is promoted to a management position with their employer.

It is important to note that under CPS you will receive two separately calculated pensions, each using only the pensionable service earned in that Plan. However, once you have CPS between MEPP and PSPP, service and salary information under both plans will be used in key elements of the calculation of both pensions.

Vesting

Under PSPP, you become vested after two years of pensionable service. Under MEPP, you are vested after five years.

With CPS, your pensionable service from both plans will be used to determine if you are vested under each plan.

For example, if you have two years of pensionable service in PSPP and then move to MEPP with the same employer and no break in service, a CPS relationship is established. This means you will only need three more years of pensionable service to be vested in MEPP.

Please note: If you choose to remove your funds from either plan in the form of a payout, this could result in you no longer being vested. Please contact us for more information.

Unreduced Early Retirement

With CPS, total pensionable service from both plans is used to determine entitlement to an unreduced pension from each plan. If your pension is reduced, CPS also affects how much that reduction will be.

As a MEPP member, you can retire with an unreduced pension when you reach the age of 60 or when:

  • you are at least 55 years of age; and
  • your total years of service in both plans plus your age at retirement equals 80 points or more.

More about Retirement Eligibility

Highest Average Salary

The pensionable salaries from both plans will be considered when determining the highest average salary for both pensions. For instance, this means that your PSPP pension could be calculated using the salaries you earned in MEPP.

35-Year Service Limit

With CPS, your pensionable service from both plans will be used to determine when you will reach the 35-year maximum service limit.

More on CPS

Once a CPS relationship has been established, it will continue if you leave your current employer and later re-enroll with another MEPP or PSPP employer. Any service and salary earned under your new MEPP or PSPP employer will count towards your CPS relationship. Your new employer does not need to participate in both MEPP and PSPP.

Retiring With CPS

With CPS, you are not required to start both pensions at the same time. If you decide to start your pension from one plan earlier than the other plan, the CPS relationship will be considered in calculating both pension benefits. This is true, even though the pensions under each plan will start to be paid at different times.

Please note: Once you have started to receive a pension under MEPP or PSPP where a CPS relationship is in place, you will no longer be able to contribute to the other plan, nor accrue additional salary and service.

CPS is not a transfer of benefits or pensionable service. At retirement you will receive two separately calculated pensions, using only the service you earned in each plan. You can read more about how your MEPP pension is calculated at How Is My Pension Calculated?

Transferring With CPS

Your CPS relationship will be broken if you choose to take a termination payout from one plan and not the other before the age of 55. The CPS relationship will also be considered in calculating the pension or termination benefit that you will eventually take from the second plan.

Termination Payout and CPS

If your employment or pension plan membership ends (so you are no longer active in either plan) before you are 55 years of age and you choose to remove your funds from one plan and not the other, the CPS relationship will no longer exist. The pension benefit from the first plan from which you are taking a payout will be calculated with the CPS relationship intact.

In addition, CPS will not apply to the later payout, which may result in the second pension benefit no longer being treated as being vested or having a smaller pension amount. Please contact us for more information.

Buybacks, Leaves and CPS

A CPS relationship does not impact the timelines applicable to applying or electing to purchase a leave of absence or period of prior service.

If you were already making payments toward a buyback with MEPP immediately before moving to PSPP (or vice versa), you can continue to do so after moving to the second plan.

Under both MEPP and PSPP, an employer is liable for making the employer's share of contributions towards the first year of a leave of absence you may purchase with either plan. This is true even where a CPS relationship has been established.