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Life & Career Events

Common Questions

How much will I contribute?

Take a look at the chart below to see how the contribution rates affect teachers at different salary levels.

Annual salary Annual contributions
  2020* 2021**
$30,000 $3,120 $3,120
$40,000 $4,160 $4,160
$50,000 $5,200 $5,200
$60,000 $6,261 $6,240
$70,000 $7,461 $7,414
$80,000 $8,661 $8,614
$90,000 $9,861 $9,814
$100,000 $11,061 $11,014

*Numbers calculated used the 2020 CPP limit of $58,700
**Numbers calculated used the 2021 CPP limit of $61,600

Is there a cap on contribution rates?

The Ontario Teachers' Federation (OTF) and the Ontario government have agreed their matching contribution rates should not exceed 15% of base earnings above the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) limit. The CPP limit, which changes every year, is $61,600 in 2021. If rates would have to climb higher than 15% to keep the pension plan healthy, other alternatives would be considered.

Do contribution rates affect my RRSP room?

No, contribution rates do not affect how much you'are allowed to contribute to your RRSP. The government formula used to calculate your RRSP contribution room is based on the deemed value of the benefit you earn in Ontario Teachers'. It isn't based on how much you contribute to the plan.

I'm unhappy with the contribution rate. Who can I talk to?

Consider contacting the OTF or your affiliate pension representative.

I'm young. Will I pay more than I can expect to receive?

Under Ontario's Pension Benefits Act, you cannot pay for more than half of the value of the pension earned for service after 1986. Any excess amount is refunded to you (or your estate) on termination of membership, death or retirement.

Can Ontario Teachers' invest additional contributions on my behalf?

No, our mandate and certain laws limit us to managing the Ontario Teachers' pension fund and administering the plan on behalf of members. For our plan to comply with current tax legislation in Canada and the U.S., we don't directly invest or manage personal investments of our members or their families. Other plans have different mandates.

We continuously evaluate opportunities to enhance our member service offer. However, there are no current proposals to allow members to make personal investments or additional voluntary contributions to the plan. These activities would require structural changes to our legislated mandate and to our organization.

Do I contribute to the plan if I participate in a strike or work stoppage?

In a legal strike or lockout, you continue to receive credit, but the salary lost during the strike is not automatically included with your credit.

If you're applying for a benefit and your best-five years' salary is affected by a legal strike, your affiliate will usually make pension contributions for the missed days so that your lost salary is included with your credit. If the affiliate doesn't pay the contributions, you can pay the contributions plus interest.

If a work stoppage is not a legal strike or lockout (and is not otherwise pensionable under the plan), you don't receive credit or salary for the period, and have no ability to buy it back.

Working during a leave

Participating in another pension plan during a leave could affect your taxes (don’t worry, contributing to the Canada Pension Plan or an RRSP doesn’t count). Call us if you worked, or are planning to work, during your leave.

How do contribution discrepancies occur?

A contribution discrepancy occurs when there is difference between your service credit and the associated contributions reported by your employer(s). It is a result of our plan's integration with CPP. On earnings below a certain level, pension contributions are made to both CPP and Ontario Teachers'. While you're contributing to CPP, your Ontario Teachers' contribution rate is lower. Once your earnings exceed the CPP threshold for that year, you stop contributing to CPP, and your Ontario Teachers' contributions increase.

A contribution discrepancy must be settled before we can pay any pension benefits. Your payment is tax deductible and you'll receive a tax receipt from us to file with your income tax return. In the event of a contribution overpayment, you'll receive a refund which you must declare as income and for which you'll receive a T4A to use in filing your tax return.

Working for multiple employers

When you work at multiple employers, each employer calculates your contributions based on your earnings at that employer only. Your employer may correctly deduct contributions from your pay based on a specific rate, when your combined income requires a higher rate on the earnings that exceed the CPP threshold. When this happens, you contribute less than you should to Ontario Teachers'. Conversely, when contributions were deducted at a higher rate instead of the lower required rate, you contribute more to Ontario Teachers' than you should, resulting in a refund of your excess contributions.

NOTE: Your employer cannot anticipate or avoid this contribution shortfall. Only we can determine the difference when we combine your employment information.