Strikes and your pension
December 13, 2012
One-day, legal strikes by members of the Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario began on December 10. What impact, if any, does a legal work stoppage have on your Teachers' pension?
Your pension credit is not affected during a legal strike – your employer reports a loss of salary only. The loss of salary affects your future pension only if:
- it occurs within your best five years of salary (these are typically your last five years before retirement); or
- you are applying for a lump sum from the Plan (e.g., termination option).
In most cases, your affiliate will top-up contributions on your behalf. You can top up the loss of salary by paying the required contributions plus interest.
If you are currently receiving a Teachers' pension, the impact of the strike depends on your re-employment status.
Contract or long-term occasional
If you are working on contract or a long-term occasional (LTO) basis, the strike day counts as a work day. Therefore, it will count as a day toward your 50-day limit.
If you only work occasionally, you are not guaranteed work on any particular day. Therefore, the day of strike is not considered a work day and does not count toward your 50-day limit.
Remember, you can work until the end of the month in which you exceed your limit without affecting your pension. If you continue to work after the month in which you exceed the limit, even if for only part of a day, you will not receive your pension for that month.