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Defined benefit pension plans

How to become a member of a defined benefit pension plan Add to ...

Many employers require full-time employees to join their defined benefit (DB) plan, either immediately upon hire or after a certain length of time, sometimes up to 2 years. Other employers leave the decision to join up to you.

If you’re a part-time employee

You may be eligible to join as well. Check with your plan administrator. In Ontario, the minimum requirement is that plans must let you join if you have worked for your employer for 24 consecutive months and you:

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  • have worked at least 700 hours a year for the 2 previous consecutive calendar years, or
  • have earnings in each of the 2 previous consecutive calendars years of about $17,000 or more.

Join if you can: Because DB plans provide a pension funded at least in part by your employer, it’s almost always to your advantage to join the plan as soon as you’re allowed – even if you are required to contribute, too.

Content in this section is provided in partnership with Investor Education Fund, a non-profit organization founded and supported by the Ontario Securities Commission that provides unbiased and independent financial tools to help Canadians make better money decisions. To find out more, go to: GetSmarterAboutMoney.ca

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