You may leave the benefits in your employer’s pension plan, and start receiving the pension once you get to the age at which you are eligible to commence receiving payments. This option is valuable as it may allow you to participate in future benefit improvements under the plan.
If you quit or lose your job before your pension is vested, you can get back any money you paid into the plan, with interest. You may not be entitled to money your employer has paid into the plan on your behalf.
If, however, you quit or lose your job after your pension is vested you have the option to transfer the value of your vested entitlement out of the pension plan. If you opt to transfer your benefits out of the plan, you can transfer them to your new employer’s plan, as long as your new employer’s plan will accept the transfer. You also have the option to transfer the value of your benefits to a locked-in RRSP, to a life income fund (a “LIF”), or to an insurance company to buy an annuity.
The portion of the benefits resulting from employment before 1993 may be received in a lump sum, by a terminating plan member, if the pension plan does not require that these be locked-in.