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  Home > Life events > Absences > Absences for the birth or adoption of a child > Parental leave


You are a member of the RREGOP and your maternity, paternity or adoption leave was in progress on 1 January 1991 or began after that date

Plan concerned: The RREGOP

 

Here are answers to frequently asked questions by people who took a parental leave following a maternity, paternity or adoption leave.

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How a parental leave affects your public-sector retirement pension

A few years ago, I took a parental leave following my maternity leave. Will this affect my public-sector retirement pension when I retire?

It depends on the period and the length of your leave.

If, since 1 January 2002, your parental leave lasted 30 consecutive calendar days or less, or if you took a part-time parental leave equal to 20% or less of the regular working time of a full-time employee, then you contributed to your public-sector pension plan the same as if you had been working. Your leave of absence will therefore not affect your pension when you retire and the period will automatically be credited as service to your pension plan.

However, if you took your parental leave before 1 January 2002, or if, after 31 December 2001, your leave lasted more than 30 consecutive calendar days or was taken part-time at a rate of over 20% of the regular working time of a full-time employee, you did not contribute to your public-sector pension plan during your leave. The days you were absent will therefore not be included in the calculation of your retirement pension, except if you apply for what is called a buy-back.

 

Advantage of a buy-back

Is it to my advantage to buy back my parental leave?

Yes. Your public-sector retirement pension is calculated on the basis of the number of years of service credited at the time of your retirement. Therefore, if you are entitled to buy back your parental leave, you could have it credited to your pension plan. This would increase the amount of your retirement pension. It is important for you to know that this buy back will not allow you to retire earlier.

Note: If you have accrued almost 40 years of credited service as at 31 December 2018, you should verify whether it would be to your advantage to buy back service. For further information in this regard, contact the public-sector pension plan administrator at your current workplace, generally in the human resources department.

Are the days of parental leave I have bought back considered days of membership in my public-sector pension plan?

Yes. The days of parental leave that you bought back are used both to determine your eligibility for  benefits and to calculate the amount of those benefits.

Can an incomplete year of service for calculation purposes be credited as a full year of service for eligibility purposes?

Yes. This is a provision that applies only to individuals who were members of the RREGOP or the PPMP on 1 January 2000, or who have become members since that date.

Within certain limits provided for under the Income Tax Act, you will automatically be credited at no cost a full year of service under your pension plan for eligibility purposes if, during the year:

  • you worked part-time;
  • you worked only part of the year;
  • you were absent without pay for all or part of the year.

Note: As a rule, this provision applies to years of service accrued since 1 January 1987. However, for casual employees in the public-service sector, the education sector and the health and social services sector who are not on a recall list, the provision applies only to years of service accrued since 1 January 1988.

Example:

Mary has a full-time job. In 2007, she took 6 months of parental leave following her maternity leave, the latter of which was credited to her pension plan at no cost. At the end of 2007, Mary’s pension plan credited her with a full year of service for eligibility purposes and half a year of service for calculation purposes.

In 2010, I took 8 months of parental leave. Why do I have to buy back this period of absence when my public-sector pension plan automatically credited me with a full year for eligibility in 2010 at no cost?

It is important to note that your public-sector pension plan credited you with a full year of service for  eligibility purposes, not for calculation purposes. Therefore, if you want 2010 to be credited as a full year of service for calculation purposes, it is to your advantage to buy back your parental leave.

To find out more about the way your retirement pension will be calculated, click on the following link:

 

How to buy back service

What do I have to do to buy back my parental leave?

You must send the form entitled Application for a buy-back of one or more periods of absence This link will open in a new window. (RSP-727A-ABS) to Retraite Québec, along with the required supporting documents, if any, while you are still a member of your pension plan.

If you have questions regarding your situation, you can contact:

  • the pension plan administrator in your human resources department
  • your union, or your professional or managers’ association
  • Retraite Québec’s Centre des relations avec la clientèle.

Once Retraite Québec receives your buy-back application, we will contact your current employer and the employer or employers concerned by the periods to be bought back in order to obtain the information required to process your application.

If the study of your file shows that the periods can indeed be bought back, we will send you a buy-back proposal, which you are free to accept, in whole or in part, or reject. The proposal will indicate the cost and payment terms of the buy-back, and will be valid for 60 days.

Please note that if we do not receive your acceptance of the buy-back proposal within 60 days from the date of the proposal, your buy-back application will be considered to never have been made.

Do I have to buy back all of my periods of parental leave?

No. Under the provisions of your pension plan, up to 90 days (called 90-day bank) can be automatically added at no cost to your years of service to offset certain periods of absence free of charge. The days in your 90-day bank are automatically credited when Retraite Québec determines whether you are entitled to a retirement pension. It provides the same advantages as a buy-back.


Periods of absence  completed at no cost by the 90-day bank

Before 1 January 2011

After 31 December 2010

Every period of absence without pay

Every period of absence without pay related to a parental leave

Note: The 90-day bank is covered by the following plans: the RREGOP, PPMP, RPSO, PPPOCS and PPCT.

When Retraite Québec processes your buy-back application, it will deduct the number of your days of absence that can be offset at no cost by the 90-day bank from the number of days of service corresponding to the period concerned by your application. It will prevent you from paying to buy back the days of absence that could be credited to you at no cost. However, if you would rather buy back all your days of absence, which means you would like that the 90-day bank not apply while processing your application, it must be specified in the space provided for that purpose in the form entitled Application for a buy-back of one or more periods of absence This link will open in a new window. (RSP-727A-ABS).

The days credited from the 90-day bank will be fully credited and included in the calculation of your pension.The days of absence that ended before 1987 will also be taken into account to determine your eligibility for benefits. Days of absence since 1987 have already been credited for eligibility purposes.

Furthermore, the parental leave you can buy back must have been taken while you were a member of the RREGOP or the PPMP.

Since I started working, I have taken a total of 120 days of parental leave. As the public-sector pension plan will credit me with 90 days at no cost for the calculation of my retirement pension, can I only buy back the remaining 30 days?

Yes. Under the provisions of your plan, up to 90 days (called 90-day bank) can be automatically added at no cost to your years of service to offset certain periods of absence free of charge. Therefore, if you file your buy-back application and you have 120 days to be bought back, we subtract a maximum of 90 days from those days to avoid buying back days that you do not need to. You can buy back the remaining 30 days that will be indicated in the buy-back proposal that Retraite Québec will send you.

Is there a deadline for filing my buy-back application?

Yes. As a rule, we must receive your application while you are still a member of your public-sector pension plan. However, since the cost of buying back parental leave is determined on the basis of your annual pensionable salary and your age on the date we receive your application, it is to your advantage to file your application as soon as possible after the end of your period of absence, because it could cost less than if you file your application later.

 

 

Cost of a buy-back

How much does it cost to buy back a parental leave?

It is important to note that the cost of buying back a parental leave is calculated differently depending on whether we receive your fully completed buy-back application within 6 months following the end of that period of absence or more than 6 months after the period ended:

  • If we receive your application within 6 months following the end of your parental leave, the cost of your buy-back will be equal to the amount of the contributions you would have paid had you been working during that period.
  • If we receive your application more than 6 months after your parental leave ends, the cost of your buy-back will be established on the basis of your annual pensionable salary on the date your application is received. A percentage will be applied to the salary. This percentage will vary according to your age, the period to be bought back and your pension plan.

    The cost of the buy-back must be at least equal to 100% of the contributions you paid during the period subject to the buy-back, in the case of a parental leave that started after 31 December 2007.

    To estimate the cost of buying back your parental leave should we receive your application more than 6 months after your leave has ended, consult the tariff schedules for certain service buy-backs.

 

You can quickly and easily obtain the approximate cost of the buy-back you are considering using the following calculator:

 

Calculator

 

Useful form

To apply for a buy-back, send us the form entitled Application for a buy-back of one or more periods
of absence This link will open in a new window.
 (RSP-727A-ABS) .

 

Useful Links

 

To Learn More About Your Public-Sector Pension Plan