Frequently Asked Questions
The Retiree Benefit Program (RBP) is a negotiated entitlement available to qualified retired members covered by the Nurses' Bargaining Association (NBA) collective agreement. It's a unique program that draws on a special Retiree Benefit Fund set up to help provide nurses with better retirement benefits and better inflation protection for their pension.
Between 2009 and 2019, members enrolled in the RBP had been receiving a monthly subsidy covering 50 percent of their Medical Service Plan (MSP) premiums. BCNU has been proud to provide this service to our members.
However, this subsidy ended in January 2020, after the provincial government eliminated MSP premiums for all BC residents.
In the fall of 2022, the Pension Governance Review Process concluded, with no recommended change to the existing pension arrangement for NBA members. Considering the development that the RBP Fund would not be utilized within an existing pension plan to provide inflation protection or other benefits, on November 8, 2022, the Retiree Benefit Program Committee (RBPC) passed the following motion: That the Nurses' Bargaining Association Retiree Benefit Program Committee will commence and prioritize a RBP Plan Design Review Project, which will consider funding and benefit issues and options for the future use of the Fund.
The RBPC has also approved a one-time payment of $500.00 to be paid to eligible members who are currently in the program and all eligible members who retire on or before Dec. 31, 2022. The deadline for BCNU to receive your completed RBP application form for the 2022 $500 one-time payment is Nov. 30, 2023.
The Retiree Benefit Program (RBP) has been administering funds contributed to the Retiree Benefit Program Fund in accordance with a provision in the collective agreement negotiated by the Nurses’ Bargaining Association (NBA) in 2006. The contract language remains effective and states that 1 percent of market adjustment is contributed to the fund to “provide funding for inflation protection and benefits for retirees”.
To date, the RBP distributed funds to retired members in the form of MSP premium subsidies, and that is one reason why the NBA negotiated the creation of the Pension Review Committee (PRC) which is separate from the RBP. The PRC mandate was to review potential changes to the governance of nurses’ pensions that would allow for the Retiree Benefit Fund to be integrated into the existing pension plan to provide inflation protection and group benefits which are superior to that which is available through the pension plan. If a pension plan governance change had happened, the RBP committee recognized that members could possibly enjoy better inflation protection and group benefits. The possibility of using the Retiree Benefit Fund within the existing pension plan is why the RBP committee was asked to allow the PRC to complete its work before a RBP committee decision on any future payments to members.
The Pension Governance Review suffered delays during the first 30 months (time frame reference is March 2020 to September 2022) of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. In consideration of the length of time needed for the review, the RBP committee has passed a motion to direct that a one-time payment of $500.00 CAD be made to eligible retirees who are retired by or on Dec. 31, 2022.
To qualify for RBP benefits, nurses who are members of the NBA Provincial Collective Agreement at the time of retirement may be eligible. An “Eligible Retiree” meets all the following criteria:
(a) has been a member of one of the NBA’s constituent unions for at least two (2) consecutive years as at the member’s date of retirement and retired under the Provincial Collective Agreement. For purposes of determining whether a person is an Eligible Retiree, “retirement” shall mean the date at which the Eligible Retiree is in receipt of a pension payment from the MPP (Municipal Pension Plan), PSPP (Public Service Pension Plan), or CBSPP (Canadian Blood Services Pension Plan);
(b) is in receipt of a pension from either the MPP, the PSPP or the CBSPP; and
(c) at the date of retirement, the member had worked a minimum of four hundred (400) hours in an approved status under the Provincial Collective Agreement (ie. regular or casual status) in each of the two (2) years prior to retirement.
Examples of Ineligibility
Some members may not be eligible to receive RBP benefits. Former members under the NBA are not eligible in the following examples:
- Currently, LPNs do not participate in the program.
- If you terminated employment prior to retirement and retired when you were not a member of one of the NBA unions. For example, if you terminated employment as a Registered Nurse and member under the Nurses' Bargaining Association at a hospital in BC and went to work at a doctor's office or private health care setting prior to retirement.
- If you were a BCNU/HSA member but were employed at a site covered by the Nurses Master and Component Agreement with the provincial government when you retired.
- If you retired as an employee in health care but your union was not under the Nurses' Bargaining Association such as the Hospital Employees Union (HEU).
- If you were not a member of one of the NBA’s constituent unions for at least two (2) consecutive years at your date of retirement.
- If you did not work the required number of hours within the last two (2) consecutive years prior to retirement.
- If you retired from a non-union position, such as an excluded nurse manager.
- Click the Application Form button below to download and complete the application form. If you complete the form in your web browser without downloading it first, the fillable content fields will not save, and an empty form will be submitted.
- Print off your completed form and have it physically signed by a witness of majority age.
- Send your completed application to the RBP Administrator at BCNU (see address on application form).
- Call the BCNU at 604-433-2268 or 1-800-663-9991 to request an application be mailed to you.
- You will automatically receive approved program benefits. There is no need to reapply.
- Benefit subsidy will be reviewed yearly and posted on the BCNU website.
- Any changes to the program will automatically apply to registered and qualified members.
The RBP’s primary goal is to provide retired members with complete information about the requirements and process in place to help ensure payments are received by those already enrolled in the Retiree Benefits Program and, to help ensure that those not yet enrolled are provided access to enroll in order to receive the RPB benefits. Please note that currently, LPNs do not participate in the program.
If you retire on or after Jan. 1, 2023, you will not be eligible for the 2022 $500 one-time payment. Please complete and submit an RBP application form (see button below) after you retire as eligible retirees will receive future benefits as determined by the RBP committee.
Payments will only commence once applications are received and accepted by the RBP. There is no retroactive reimbursement for applications not received by the RBP. It is the member/retiree responsibility to submit forms. RBP benefits are not guaranteed. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you received a payment for which you were not eligible, the RBP Committee is entitled to recover any such payments.
The RBP will actively attempt to communicate with retired members who are not yet registered for the benefit to provide them with awareness of the payment process and to help them apply for a one-time payment of $500.00 CAD.
Please encourage other retired BCNU members to apply for the program, not only for the one-time payment but to ensure they are registered for any future benefits. The goal of the program is to provide ongoing benefits to retirees; however, benefits from the program are not guaranteed.