Applying for a Transfer
You may be able to transfer pension benefits you've accumulated in another pension plan, such as while teaching in another province. Consolidating your pension assets may allow you to retire earlier and/or with a larger pension.
Cost of transfer
The money available to transfer under the agreement is based on the actuarial value of your pension. The value reflects your salary, your credit and plan features, such as early retirement options, inflation protection and survivor benefits. Because of different actuarial values, the credit you receive in Ontario Teachers' may not equal the credit you have in your former pension plan.
Shortfall of funds
A shortfall is common when transferring funds into Ontario Teachers' – the actuarial values are higher because of the plan's generous features.
If there is a shortfall of funds, you can top up all or part of the difference. To give you an idea of how we treat shortfalls, here's an example.
Let's assume you have 12 years of credit in your former pension plan and your pension is valued at $100,000. Let's also assume that same amount of credit is valued at $120,000 in our plan. You can:
- pay the $20,000 difference and receive 12 years of credit in our plan; or
- pay some of the difference and receive a corresponding amount of credit; or
- pay none of the difference and receive 10 years of credit.
Whether or not you top up the shortfall will not affect when you can retire with an unreduced pension.
Excess of funds
Contact your former pension plan if you have more funds than required by Ontario Teachers'. Each plan deals differently with excess funds. For example, if you have more funds than required by us for the same amount of credit, we will not refund the difference.
Tax and other considerations
The transfer of pension credit for service accumulated after 1989 may result in a past service pension adjustment (PSPA). A PSPA will reduce your RRSP contribution room. A PSPA is usually generated if Ontario Teachers' and your former pension plans have different benefit formulas, or if you top up any shortfall of funds being transferred.
A PSPA must be approved by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) before the transfer can be completed. CRA usually takes 60 to 90 days to do that. If the PSPA is not approved, you may not be allowed to transfer credit.
How To Apply
Step 1 – Request a quote
For an interprovincial transfer:
Complete two copies of the form Interprovincial Transfer Application, Appendix A. Send one copy to us and one to your former pension plan, along with a photocopy of your birth certificate, Canadian passport or Ontario driver's licence as proof of age.
For a MOPPS transfer:
Complete the MOPPS Request for Transfer, Appendix A and return it to us as soon as possible, along with a photocopy of your birth certificate, Canadian passport or Ontario driver's licence as proof of age. You have six months from your enrolment in our plan to apply for a MOPPS transfer.
Complete the Buying Credit for Other Employment application form and submit this to your previous pension plan for completion. Submit a photocopy of your birth certificate, Canadian passport or Ontario driver's licence as proof of age to us.
Step 2 – Pension plan provides estimate
If you're eligible to transfer or purchase credit, we'll supply a quote to help you decide whether or not to proceed.
Step 3 – Decide whether to transfer
To proceed with your transfer or purchase of credit, follow the instruction we provide in the correspondence accompanying your quotation from Step 2. It is imperative that timelines are met to complete the transaction.
A transfer typically takes eight to 12 months to complete, depending on the complexity of the transfer and how quickly we receive information from you and your former plan.