Teachers' launches online buyback timeline

June 19, 2012

Interested in buying back credit for the time you were away, but unsure of your next steps?

Teachers' launched an online tool that allows members to explore a typical buyback process, and build an understanding of the different steps and decisions involved.

Did you know the friendly faces featured in the timeline videos are actual Pension Benefits Specialists? These are the people that will answer your buyback inquiries when you call our contact centre.

The interactive tool shows the timeline of the buyback process. Members can scroll through the timeline or jump to the stage of the buyback they're in. By clicking on different milestones throughout the timeline, they can watch videos and follow links to build a better understanding of how buybacks work.

"The buyback service has been enhanced to improve payment flexibility and convenience," says Jennifer Atkinson, a manager in Client Services.

"The new tool helps put all the options and timelines into perspective and helps simplify some of the key decisions."

The most common type of absence in 2011 was parental leave (57%), followed by employer approved (27%).

There are a lot of factors to consider when deciding whether or not to buy back credit. In the short-term, the option requires a financial investment which can be a strain on members just returning to full-time work. But, in the long-term, buying back credit maximizes the value of a member's pension.

The launch of the interactive timeline is another way we are enhancing the buyback experience. In 2010, we took a more proactive communication approach and started sending members notifications about important dates, changes in cost, and personal tax implications.

Before the enhancements, in 2009 just over 3,400 members were served regarding buybacks. In 2011, the figure ballooned to more than 15,400.

"We reach out to members to inform them of their buyback options, instead of waiting on them to call us or investigate it themselves," says Jennifer.