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Variable Pension Benefit Option

What is the VPB?

A Variable Benefit is a retirement option paid directly from a defined contribution pension plan. It is similar to prescribed Registered Retirement Income Funds (pRRIFs), which are available at most financial institutions.

The PEPP Variable Pension Benefit (VPB) provides members with flexibility and control over when and how much retirement income to withdraw and choice over how the money is invested within the Plan.

Investment earnings grow on a tax-sheltered basis. By applying for the VPB at retirement, you can begin to draw on your money as retirement income.

PEPP’s VPB offers members the option to stay in PEPP and take advantage of the low fees, PEPP’s investment options and the dedicated service. It’s easy, convenient and familiar.

Are you eligible?

As a current or former PEPP member, you can apply for the VPB if you:

  • are not currently contributing and have terminated employment with a PEPP participating employer;
  • are 50 years of age or older;
  • have a PEPP account balance or are able to show prior PEPP membership (previous PEPP member statement, paystub, or T4); and
  • have a minimum PEPP account balance of approximately $10,000.

Spousal waiver/consent required

If you have a spouse, your spouse must complete the Spouse's Consent and Waiver Post-Retirement Survivor Benefits at the time of your application for VPB.

According to The Pension Benefits Act, 1992, a surviving spouse is entitled to a minimum 60% survivor benefit from a pension. A VPB cannot provide that guarantee to your spouse.

By signing the spousal waiver, your spouse confirms to PEPP that they are aware that you may withdraw all money in your pension account and could leave $0.00 in the event of your death.

The waiver must be signed by the spouse outside the immediate presence of the member. The spouse’s signature must be witnessed by an adult who is not the member. The waiver must also be completed no more than 90 days prior to the application for the VPB.

VPB payment options

The VPB has flexible payment options to suit your financial needs:

  • You can receive monthly, annual or lump-sum payments.
  • All cash withdrawals from your VPB account are paid directly to your Canadian bank account through Electronic Fund Transfer.
  • You can withdraw any amount (less tax) at any time.
  • You can transfer all or a portion of your money from the VPB account (tax-deferred) at any time to another eligible registered retirement account.
  • Payments are made by redeeming units from your investment option(s). The number of units redeemed at payout or transfer is calculated using the unit value in effect the day of payment.

To learn more about your options, read PEPP Talk - Variable Pension Benefit.

To apply for the Variable Pension Benefit, go to Apply for Variable Pension Benefit.

Also, once you retire, you can still reach out to PEPP. We have a workshop you can attend as a retiree called Enjoy.