You asked, we answered: Short absence plan change

October 21, 2014

Beginning this school year (2014/15), you will automatically maintain service credit for employer-approved absences that span five or fewer consecutive school days. First announced in August, this plan change eliminates the need to buy back some of your time away from work.

"We are always looking for ways to make things simpler for our members," said Tracy Abel, Vice-President, Client Services. "Instead of having to contact us to buy back credit for these short absences throughout the year, all members will now automatically maintain their service credit in the plan." 

Here are the answers to a few of the most asked questions we've received since announcing the plan change:

Is the plan change retroactive?

No, the plan change is effective for short absences starting in the 2014/15 school year or later.

Is there a limit to the number of short absences I can take in a school year?

No, as long as the short absences are approved by your employer.

Can I opt out from paying contributions?

No, contributions are mandatory.

How will this affect my pension?

You will automatically maintain service credit in the plan. Your employer will report credit, deduct and remit contributions from your salary as they normally would if you were working.