Qs about your pension

May 04, 2015

We received more than 60 questions about your pension with the release of our 2014 annual results. Here are some of the top questions, answered:

Q: What else can teachers do financially besides just relying on their Teacher pension when they retire?

A: While the Teachers' pension plan will play an important role in your financial future, it is up to each member to determine how best to fund their retirement. The pension plan cannot provide financial-planning advice. However, it can provide estimates of your Teachers' pension. Sign into your secure Teachers' account to generate your own estimates based on various personal what-if scenarios. Log-in and registration information is available here.

You may also consider contacting the Canada Pension Plan for an estimate of your CPP pension.

Q: When is the best time to buy back a leave once I go back to work?

A: Once you return to work after a leave of absence, you have up to five years to buy back credit for the absence. If you miss the deadline, you forfeit the opportunity to buy back. Your decision about buying back credit and when to pay have an impact on the tax rules that apply to your buyback:

  • If you tell us before April 30th of the year following the end of your absence that you intend to buy back credit, you will receive a Pension Adjustment (PA). A PA reduces the likelihood that your buyback will be limited by Past Service Pension Adjustment (PSPA) tax rules, and subject to Canada Revenue Agency's approval.

Telling us you intend to buy back your leave does not mean that you need to pay for it immediately. You still have five years from the end of your absence to complete your payments. Please see Taking time off for more information.

The interactive timeline that shows the stages of a typical buyback. You can also sign in to our secure member website and visit your Buyback Centre. All the tools and personalized information you need can be found there. Visit the Centre to understand how a purchase of credit can improve your future monthly pension and what your earliest possible date of retirement with an unreduced pension would be—with or without the purchase.

Q: I have come to the teaching profession later in life at 52 and am presently 63, so I'm in my 11th year. Is there a law as to how long I can teach?

A: Deciding when to retire is an important financial decision and a very personal one. If you decide to continue teaching after you are eligible to retire, you will continue to build credit in the plan. You must begin collecting your pension in December of the year in which you turn age 71, even if you continue to work.

There are many different factors that determine the amount of pension members will receive when they retire. One of the best tools you can use to help make your decision is the Pension Calculator in our secure member website. You can generate multiple what-if scenarios based on your current situation. Once you log in, experiment with retirement dates and different rates of pay or percentage of contracts to find the scenario that will best suit you.

Q: What is the maximum amount of pension that a member can reach by continuing to work? Considering that there is now no mandatory retirement, is there a maximum number of years that a member can continue to work?

A: Your basic annual pension is calculated using the following formula:

  • 2% X credit X best-five years' average salary.

In 2014, the average starting annual pension was $44,000. You must begin collecting your pension when you reach the pension age limit, even if you continue to work:

  • If you turned 69 before 2007, you must begin collecting your pension in December of the year in which you turn age 69.
  • If you turned 69 after 2006, you must begin collecting your pension in December of the year in which you turn age 71.