Occasional teachers: pay attention to your pension

August 14, 2014

If you're nearing retirement, contact us before accepting any occasional teaching job to see how it could affect your future pension.

We have more than 28,000 occasional teachers in the plan right now – some are just starting their teaching career, others have transitioned from full-time work.  No matter the stage of your career, you are required to contribute to the plan, which over time will earn you a lifetime pension. Here's three ways you can maximize your pension:

  1. Work for more than 10 days throughout the school year to receive one year of qualifying credit. 
    This is important because the number of qualifying years combined with your age determines when you're eligible to receive an unreduced pension. 
  2. Pay close attention to your actual credit, which together with your average salary, is used to calculate the amount of your pension. 
    When you work less than full time, you receive actual credit for only the time you work and contribute to the plan. For example, if you work 20 days during the school year, you will receive 20 days of actual credit for that year. If you work on a 50% contract, you will receive 0.5 days of actual credit for every half-day you work.
  3. If you are close to retirement and teaching on a part-time contract, supplementing your income with an occasional teaching assignment may reduce your pension. 
    Why? The rate of pay for occasional teaching can be significantly less than the rate for part-time contract work.  This blending of your rate of pay could lower your average best-five years' salary, which would result in a smaller pension.

    If you have a smartphone or tablet, download our Classtime app.
    This app is specifically designed to help you keep track of your work schedule. Classtime easily allows you to enter the date and school of each of your assignments. For each teaching assignment you enter, there is a box that can be checked-off to track whether or not you've been paid for that assignment

    To date, more than 1,500 occasional teachers have downloaded the free app, available for Android and IOS devices through Google Play and the Apple App Store.