Retiring online

March 08, 2013

Last year 5,300 Teachers' members retired. Of those, 94% applied for their pensions online in iAccess Web, our secure member website. Toula Nanos, a retired high school teacher from the Toronto area, was one of those members.

Toula taught for 32 years, reached her 85 factor and decided it was time to go. What was the hardest part of the process? Deciding which travel destination she would cross off of her bucket list first.

"It shocked me just how easy retiring was. I sent my resignation letter to my school board, logged in to iAccess Web and completed my pension application. Not once did I have to pick up the phone."

About two years earlier, she started attending seminars and as she approached her 85 factor, she determined the exact date she would take the leap. "I used the pension calculator in iAccess Web a lot. I calculated if I stayed until December 2012, February 2013, and June 2013," she says. "It didn't make enough of a difference financially to keep working beyond June 2012."

She has pegged the exact moment when her retirement dreams became a reality. "I logged in and went to the pension calculator. There was always a message that told me the earliest date I would qualify for an unreduced pension. I will never forget the feeling I had when I actually reached that date."

Thinking of retiring?

If you're planning to retire, your experience can be as easy as Toula's. Here are three tips to help you apply online:

  1. Take a moment to watch our new tutorials, "What to expect: pension estimates," and "What to expect: pension application." They'll walk you through our pension calculator and a pension application, respectively. You can find them in the iAccess Web Reference Library.
  2. Save yourself the hassle of sending us a void cheque. When completing your online pension application, you'll be prompted to input your banking information so we can deposit your pension directly into your bank account.
  3. Forget about faxing or mailing, you can upload your documents directly to your iAccess account. If you have a scanner, scan your documents, save them as PDFs, and upload them to iAccess Web in the Document Centre.

Remember: You can upload documents at any point in your career. By uploading as you go, it'll make your retirement process that much easier.

What has Toula done since she's retired?

"That summer we travelled to France, Italy and Greece. We came home long enough to see the kids and clean the house then we left again for Florida. Now we're heading to China for three weeks," she says.

"Retirement has given me the freedom to read, to go to the Art Gallery, and to travel. Even when teachers are not teaching, we're thinking about teaching. Now, I feel like I've got the time to learn as much as I can, to further my own education."