Member celebrates 100 years...and a secure pension

April 29, 2014

Born and raised in a small town just outside of Stratford, ON, 100-year-old retired teacher Dorothy Adair began teaching in the 1930s. In those days, salaries were as low as $350 per year and women had to resign from teaching when they married. In fact, Dorothy waited about eight years until the policy was lifted to marry her teachers college sweetheart, Joseph. The two married in 1942 and later moved to Toronto where Dorothy taught at schools within the Toronto District School Board, including Givins and Deer Park Public School.

"I mainly taught grade one," said Dorothy. "I just seemed to blossom at it. I just loved teaching. My students used to call me Aunt Dorothy."

Dorothy and Joseph retired in 1972.

"We travelled all over the world when we retired. We didn't have any children so we were free to travel all the time. We went to Japan, Russia, New Zealand, Australia, Netherlands, South Africa, South America and Portugal."

"The Teachers' pension is wonderful," adds Dorothy. "I don't think we would have been able to travel like we did. We would have been thinking too much about how we were going to plan for our security. With our pension, we felt things were secure."

Today, Dorothy continues to receive her monthly pension payment as well as a survivor pension from her late husband, who passed away 23 years ago. 

Dorothy is currently living in a condo in Toronto. For her 100th birthday, she traveled to Florida with her niece and a close friend, where the community threw her a birthday party.

Tips from a 100 year-old retiree

"In addition to your pension, you should plan for your retirement and have a little money put away." 

Dorothy and Joseph retired with salaries of $15,000 and $27,000 respectively. "How could we travel on these salaries? We could if we planned for it."

She also recommends investing in medical benefits. "My benefits have been very helpful, such as when I needed knee surgery a few years ago."

Pension News Online asked Dorothy about her secret to living such a long and healthy life:

"I am not on any special diet. I eat everything and anything. You are what you eat!"

Trends from our 2013 Annual Report*

  • On average, retirees are expected to collect pensions for 31 years
  • The number of pensioners has tripled since 1990
  • The oldest pensioner was 110 at the end of 2013
  • The average age of pensioners is 70
  • 126 pensioners are 100 years of age or older
  • Our oldest member has collected a pension for more than 45 years!

*all trends are as of Dec. 31, 2013