You asked…we answered: 2014 annual meeting

May 13, 2014

About 600 plan members attended our 2014 annual meeting, held in Toronto on April 10, and many watched our webcast.  Plan leaders announced our rate of return and set out the highlights from Teachers' 2013 Report to Members.  Here are the answers to three of the most common questions we received from members leading up to and during the meeting.

Question: Does the plan screen for ethical investments?

Answer: When we make an investment, we consider a variety of financial and non-financial factors, including environmental, social and governance. We seek to balance what we call the 3Rs – risk, return and reputation -- to achieve the best risk-return balance for our members.

We don't make an investment decision based on any single factor – we take the whole picture into account. All of our decisions are made with the goal of paying pensions today and long into the future.

To learn more about responsible investing at Teachers', visit the investments section of our website and click in Responsible Investing.

Question: Can we invest extra money into the pension plan?

Answer: The legislation that governs the pension plan limits us to managing the money that comes to us through member contributions. We are not able to accept additional, personal contributions from members, or from people who are not members.

Question: I am planning to retire in June and am interested in learning as much as possible about medical plans for retired teaching and possible work income in retirement.

Answer: While some employers extend health benefits to their retired employees, three independent organizations provide this kind of coverage to pensioners. Contact them directly for information on available options:

If you are planning on working after retiring, there is a limit on the number of days you can work. You can work directly or indirectly for a participating employer for 50 days in each school year you work following retirement without interrupting your pension.

For pension plan purposes, we consider you a re-employed pensioner if you meet the following conditions:

  • you have ceased employment in education;
  • you have received a retirement payment from the pension plan; and
  • you are then employed by or otherwise engaged, directly or indirectly, to provide services for compensation for an employer who participates in the pension plan.

If you are unsure whether re-employment rules apply to your situation, you should always contact us directly before you begin working after retirement. You can learn more in the Working After Retirement section of our website.

Question: I'm a teacher just starting out in my career. What is my pension going to look like when I finally retire?

Answer: You will receive a pension when you retire based on your average salary and pension credit. However, we cannot predict exactly what your pension will look like because the pension plan will continue to adapt to changing member needs and economic times, just as it has since 1917. Visit Funding Your Pension and click on 'Track the Plan's Evolution' under 'Funding 101' to see how the Teachers' plan has evolved since its inception in 1917.