Getting Ready to Retire

There are many things to consider when thinking about retirement. You will need to understand your pension benefits, including when you are eligible to retire, what income you can expect from your pension, and what options are available to protect your survivors. You will also need to resolve any outstanding marriage or Common-law relationship breakdowns. And it is advisable that you think about what other income may be available to you in retirement in addition to your pension.

Understanding Your Pension Benefits

We provide a number of opportunities for you to learn about your pension benefits. The Pension Basics page in the Pension Plan Summary section of this website is a good primer. While you are an active employee or deferred member, we will also send you an Annual Statement of Benefits with personalized information about your benefit entitlement and a summary of Plan provisions.

Pension Estimator

You can also use our Pension Estimator to estimate what your approximate biweekly pension income might be in retirement based on various scenarios.  You will need to refer to information from your most recent Annual Statement of Benefits when using the Pension Estimator.

For more detailed information as your retirement draws near, we recommend you take the following steps:

  1. Attend a Pre-retirement Seminar

    If you are within five years of retirement and are a City of Winnipeg employee, you may take the Pre-Retirement Planning course offered by the City of Winnipeg Employee Development Branch.

    If you are employed by one of our other Participating Employers, please contact us to find out more about our Pre-Retirement Seminar program.

  2. Request a Pension Estimate

    When you are a year or two from retiring, contact us to request a personal pension estimate.

  3. Book an Appointment

    Contact us to book an appointment for you and your Spouse or Common-law Partner to meet with one of our staff to discuss your options and get the retirement process started. We recommend you contact us two to three months in advance of your anticipated retirement date to give yourself sufficient time to make decisions and resolve any outstanding issues, and also to give us time to process your application and set you up on the pension payroll.

    Appointments are generally scheduled during regular office hours, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday. It usually takes one hour or more to thoroughly discuss all of your options and answer any questions you may have. If you are unable to meet at our office due to special circumstances, you may arrange an off-site meeting.

Resolving Relationship Breakdowns

It is important to notify our office as soon as possible if changes in your marital status occur. If a relationship breakdown is outstanding at retirement, it may have an impact on your pension.

Your pension is a family asset. If you and your Spouse or Common-law Partner end your relationship, the pension you earned during your relationship will be taken into account when your family assets are divided. Under Manitoba’s Pension Benefits Act, your Spouse or Common-law Partner is entitled to to 50% of this pension.

For more information, review the Relationship Breakdown page in the Pension Plan Summary section.

Considering Other Sources of Income

It is advisable that you know what income you can expect from all sources and whether it will meet your needs so that you can make informed retirement decisions.

In order to determine if your total income will provide sufficient funds throughout your lifetime, consider the following:

  • Will you be receiving income from other sources?
  • Do you have a mortgage?
  • Do you have any dependents living at home?
  • Are you anticipating any major expenses in the future?
  • What type of lifestyle to you wish to maintain?
  • What is your life expectancy?

Information regarding the Canada Pension Plan, Old Age Security and other federal sources of retirement income is available from Service Canada. You may also call them directly at 1-800-277-9914 to request an estimate and determine when you are eligible for these benefits.

A number of provincial programs exist to assist low income Manitobans over the age of 55. Information on these programs is available from the Manitoba government.