Becoming a member of a DC pension plan

Many employers require full-time employees to join their defined contributionContribution Money that you put into a savings or investment plan.+ read full definition (DC) plan, either immediately upon hire or after a certain length of time. 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:

  • have worked at least 700 hours a year for the 2 previous consecutive calendar years, or
  • have earningsEarnings For companies, it’s the money they make and share with their shareholders. For investors, it’s the money they make from their investments.+ read full definition in each of the 2 previous consecutive calendars years of about $18,000 or more.
Join if you can

Because your employer contributes to your DC plan accountAccount An agreement you make with a financial institution to handle your money. You can set up an account for depositing and withdrawing, earning interest, borrowing, investing, etc.+ read full definition, 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.

Key point

Ask about plan eligibility rules if you work part time – and join if you can.

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