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Under a Defined Benefit (DB) pension plan a member’s pension is determined by a formula, and not the dollar amount contributed. The formula to determine the annual pension for HRM Pension Plan members is as follows:

This formula is used to determine your benefit regardless of the Plan's investment performance or interest rates. Each component of this formula is described below.

For each year of Credited Service you have earned, the Plan will provide you with an annual benefit of 2% of your Best Average Earnings.


For example: if your Best Average Earnings (further described below) is $50,000; the HRM Pension Plan will provide you with an annual benefit of $1,000 for each year of Credited Service that you have earned in the Plan (2% × $50,000 = $1,000).

Your Best Average Earnings (BAE) is the average of your earnings over the three (3) consecutive years where your annualized earnings were highest. 


Importantly, this calculation does not include overtime or other non-regular sources of income. However, these additional earnings may be eligible for contributions to the Defined Contribution (DC) provision of the Plan. For more information see the DC Account section of the website.

Your Credited Service is the length of time that you have been continuously employed and contributing as a member of the HRM Pension Plan. If you are employed on a part-time basis, your service for a given year may be adjusted to reflect this. 


Credited Service does not include:

  • Leaves of absences during which you did not contribute to the Plan
  • Time with your employer prior to joining the Plan
  • Prior periods of service for which you have received a refund when your employment ended

If you are affected by such periods of service, you may want to explore your options and eligibility for Purchasing Past Service.

Your Continuous Service is a measure of the number of years since your most recent date of hire with HRM or one of the Plan’s other Participating Employers. This includes any time prior to your joining the HRM Pension Plan.


While your continuous service is not used in the Plan Formula above, it is used to determine your retirement eligibility. For more information on how your continuous service can impact your eligibility for retirement, see our page on Retirement Eligibility Dates.

Contributions to the Plan

Both you and your employer are required to contribute to the Plan. These contributions, along with the proceeds from investment returns, are used to fund the benefit you receive at retirement. The following table summarizes the current contribution rates to the Plan: 

Member Group Member Contribution Rate Employer Contribution Rate
Public Safety Occupations (PSO) 12.56% 12.56%
All other members (Non-PSO) 12.21% 12.21%

*  Note that some PSO members contribute at slightly higher rates than indicated in the table above.

Retirement Provisions

Your Normal Retirement Date is defined as age 65 if you have a Non-Public Safety Occupation and age 60 if you have a Public Safety Occupation. Plan members can retire at their Normal Retirement Date without a reduction applied to their benefit. However, depending on your situation, you may be able to retire from the Plan earlier than this date. To find out more about the Plan's various retirement dates and eligibility for early retirement, click here to visit the Retirement Eligibility Date section of the website.

Maximum Pension Amount

The maximum pension you may earn under the Plan is the defined benefit limit as specified under the Income Tax Act

For members retiring in 2020, this limit is $3,092.22 per year of Credited Service. This would impact members retiring in 2020 with Best Average Earnings of $154,611 or higher in our Plan.

Similarly, the highest level of earnings on which a member would contribute to the pension plan is $154,611 for 2020. Beyond this level of earnings, no further contributions are remitted to the Plan.

Government Benefits

Upon retirement, you may be eligible for government-sponsored pension benefits in addition to your pension payable from the HRM Pension Plan. For information on the Canada Pension Plan (CPP), Old Age Security (OAS), and other government-sponsored programs; please contact Service Canada at 1-800-277-9914 or visit www.canada.ca.

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