Buying back credit maximizes the value of your pension. And, if you buy back a school year in which you had no previous credit, you may be able to retire earlier.

There are significant benefits to buying back credit for an absence. The easiest and most convenient way for you to discover these benefits is to sign in to your Ontario Teachers' account and visit your Buyback Centre. That's where you'll find all the tools and information you need to understand how a buyback can improve your future pension and see what your earliest possible date of retirement with an unreduced pension would be – with or without the buyback.

How can a buyback improve a pension?

This chart shows the increase in an unreduced pension with a buyback of one, two and five years of credit.

  Increase in annual pension, based on average best-five years' salary of:
Buyback of credit $50,000 $70,000 $90,000
One year $1,000 $1,400 $1,800
Two years $2,000 $2,800 $3,600
Five years $5,000 $7,000 $9,000

Example

Sarah received permission from her school board to take a two-year leave of absence ending Dec. 31, 2014. Based on Sarah's $60,000 salary, the cost to buy back the leave is $15,720.

  • If Sarah buys back the credit, she qualifies to retire with an unreduced pension on June 30, 2017.
  • If she does not buy back the credit, she must work an additional year – until June 30, 2018 – to qualify to retire with an unreduced pension.

The bottom line?

An investment of $15,720 lets Sarah retire one year earlier and collect an extra year of pension.