Leave of Absence


Service that is credited to you under SHEPP is used for the purpose of determining both your eligibility for, and the amount of, your SHEPP benefits. Your membership in the Plan continues during an unpaid leave of absence. However, since you will not receive pensionable earnings, and member and employer required contributions will not be remitted, no benefit will accrue. If you are on an unpaid leave of absence for more than one calendar month, you may wish to purchase the unpaid leave of absence.

What does purchasing a Leave of Absence on a current service basis mean?

Purchasing an LOA on a current service basis means you may make the purchase while on leave rather than making the purchase after returning to work by making monthly contributions equal to the amounts that you and the employer would have contributed had you not been on a leave. To purchase an LOA on a current service basis, you are responsible for contributing both the member and the employer required contributions through pre-authorised debit payments payable each month during your leave.

Are purchased LOA's included in your pension calculation?

Yes, LOA's purchased on a current service basis are recognised for the purpose of credited service and full-time equivalent service. Pensionable earnings are attributable to LOA's purchased on a current service basis and are included for the purpose of determining contributory earnings.

On this basis purchasing an LOA without pay on a current service basis ensures that your contributory earnings, credited service and full-time equivalent service accumulate and are recognised as if you were actively at work.

Under what conditions can you purchase periods of LOA on a current service basis?

All active Plan members can voluntarily purchase periods of LOA on a current service basis with the following conditions:

  • You must have honest and reasonable intentions to return to work;
  • Leave must be an approved unpaid LOA;
  • Leave must be within the lifetime maximum of 60 months (5 years) of credited service and 36 months (3 years) of parental leave;
  • You must request a cost estimate prior to beginning your leave and return the application to purchase your LOA within 60 days from the date your leave begins; and
  • You must not be actively contributing into the Plan during a current service purchase.

What are the tax implications for purchasing a LOA on a current service basis?

Purchase of a LOA on a current service basis will create a pension adjustment (PA) that will be reported by the employer on your T4 slip. The PA is your total pension credits for the year and reduces the available RRSP room you have for the next year.

For more information refer to the Current Service Purchase (Leave of Absence) Information Sheet.