Ask the Expert: When Do I Qualify for an Unreduced Pension?
Depending on when you choose to retire, you may receive your unreduced pension benefit, or there may be a reduction applied to your pension (if you retire early). The calculation is based on your age and years of eligibility service. If you want to retire with an unreduced pension, you’ll need to meet one of the following thresholds.
If you don’t meet one of these thresholds, you can still retire as early as age 55, but there would be a reduction applied to your pension. The amount of reduction will vary depending on when your pension was earned. For pension you earned prior to June 30, 2015, the reduction is three percent per year (multiplied by the number of years between your actual retirement date and your unreduced retirement date). For pension earned after June 30, 2015, the reduction is an actuarially equivalent calculation, but will not be more than six percent per year.
There are no rules stating that you have to retire at your unreduced pension date. In fact, you can continue to work and increase your pension until December 1 of the year you turn age 71. At that point, however, the Canada Revenue Agency forces you to begin collecting your pension.
If you are contemplating retirement, a good first step is to log in to MySTF and use the Pension Estimator to determine how much monthly pension you could expect to receive on any given retirement date. Once you decide on a retirement date, ensure you contact the STRP at least six months in advance to request a formal pension estimate and application package. And as always, contact the STRP any time for help with your pension.