Working in education on a contractual full- or part-time basis during your absence may make you ineligible to buy back credit.

Employer-approved leaves

If you take an employer-approved leave of absence that spans more than five consecutive school days, you'll have the option to buy back credit for all or a portion of the leave. For these absences, your employer will send us the details of your leave and we will provide you with a cost.

While the most common examples of a leave of absence are pregnancy, parental and adoption leaves, there are other situations in which you may be eligible to buy back credit.

Breaks in service

You may qualify to buy back credit for a break in service if you were not granted a leave of absence and you left your job due to disability. We'll require proof of your disability to assess your eligibility to buy back. Please contact us for details.

Other employment

You may be able to buy back credit for other employment if you belonged to another registered pension plan in Canada. Specific rules and deadlines apply, depending on when you had service in the other plan.

The cost of buying back this credit is calculated on an actuarial basis. This means you pay the full cost of the expected improvement in your pension as a result of the purchase.

Contributions to another plan

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) does not allow you to accumulate contributions in multiple plans for the same time period. You must contact us if you're contributing to another registered pension plan during your leave. Your buyback will require approval from the CRA.

Repayment of refund

You may be able to repay any pension contributions you received if you left the plan. To be eligible, you must return to work for the equivalent of at least 70 full-time days of employment in a single school year. Vacation days, statutory holidays and accumulated sick leave days do not count toward the 70-day minimum.

If you apply within a year of returning to work, you can repay the refund, with interest, in a lump sum within three years of your return.

If you miss the deadlines, the repayment will be at actuarial cost, which could be significantly higher.

If you repay only part of the refund, you will receive a proportionate increase in credit. The rest of the repayment can be made later, but it will be at actuarial cost regardless of when the payment is made.

Repayment of commuted value

You may be able to repay the commuted value of your pension if you removed it from Ontario Teachers' when you stopped working in education in Ontario and you later rejoined The Plan. The commuted value is the lump sum you would need today to replace your future pension.

The cost to return the funds is the greater of the commuted value you received, plus interest, or the actuarial cost of the benefit.

To qualify, you must return to work for the equivalent of at least 20 full-time days of employment in a single school year. Vacation days, statutory holidays and accumulated sick leave days do not count toward the 20-day minimum.