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Teacher Newsmagazine Volume 20, Number 4, January/February 2008

Teachers' pension plan

What's new with purchase of service and the TPP?

Have you recently taken an approved leave of absence from your current school district? If so, you may want to consider purchasing that leave to maximize the pension benefit that you will receive at retirement. Here are some things to note:

  1. A leave can be with full pay, partial pay, or without pay. For pension purposes, a leave with full pay is treated as if you were not on leave at all. 
  2. During a full-time leave without pay, you do not accumulate either pensionable or contributory service. If you purchase a leave period, you will receive the pensionable and contributory service that you would have received, had you not taken the leave.  
  3. During a leave of absence with partial pay, your contributions and pensionable service are reduced in proportion to the amount of time you are working. For example, if you are working half-time and on a half-time unpaid leave, you accumulate half the pensionable service and full contributory service. If you purchase the half-time leave you will receive the other half of the pensionable service. 
  4. There is a time limit to purchase approved leaves of absence—five years from the completion of that leave, or termination of employment from that same employer, whichever is earlier.

    Let’s look at an example:
    A teacher in the Cowichan Valley school district is granted a one-year maternity-parental leave beginning January 1, 2007. She returns to work January 1, 2008. She has until December 31, 2012 to purchase that leave. She then decides to resign her position in the Cowichan Valley School District at the end of June 2008 in order to start teaching in the Sooke School District in September 2008. This decision immediately triggers a new purchase deadline of June 30, 2008. In other words, she must initiate the purchase of that one-year maternity-parental leave from Cowichan Valley School District before her resignation from that same district takes effect.

  5. In order to initiate a purchase of service, download and print a purchase of service application form from the Forms section on the home page of the Teachers’ Pension Plan website, tpp.pensionsbc.ca. Complete the top third of the form. Take the form into your school district office to have the second third of the form completed. That’s all you have to do. Your school district will give you a copy of the form showing both parts completed and send off the original to the Teachers’ Pension Plan for processing. You will then receive a letter direct from the TPP detailing the cost of the plan and a deadline for payment.

For further information on purchase of service, check out pensions page on the BCTF website, bctf.ca and Pensionfacts documents on purchase of service on the TPP website under publications. Contact BCTF Income Security staff 1-800-663-9163, (ext. 1921); 604-871-1921, or e-mail alambert@bctf.ca, cprellwitz@bctf.ca, or immis@bctf.ca.

Pensions seminars

1. Your Pension, Your Future

Thurs.&Fri. 5:00–6:30 p.m., Sat. 9:00–10:30 am

2. Thinking About Retiring

Thurs.&Fri. 7:30–9:30 p.m., Sat. 11:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m.

Preregistration is required; the time and location will be confirmed by e-mail or by mail. The forms are available at tpp.pensionsbc.ca.

Date City Location
February 7 Vancouver SFU, Fletcher Challenge Theatre
February 8 Vancouver SFU, Fletcher Challenge Theatre
February 9 Vancouver SFU, Fletcher Challenge Theatre
February 14 Vernon Schubert Centre
February 16 Penticton Penticton Lakeside Resort
March 6 Burnaby Shadboldt Centre
March 8 Burnaby Shadboldt Centre
March 29 Fort St. John Super 8 Motel
April 3 Nanaimo Coast Bastion Inn
April 5 Nanaimo Cost Bastion Inn
April 12 Castlegar Selkirk College
April 19 Prince Rupert Coast Prince Rupert
May 8 Delta Delta Town & Country
May 10 North Vancouver Holiday Inn, North Vancouver

For more information, contact: Teachers’ Pension Plan, Seminar Services, Box 9460, Victoria, BC V8W 9V8, Toll free 1-877-558-5574, Fax: 250-953-0436, E-mail TPPseminars@pensionsbc.ca.

Ten reasons to attend a pension seminar this year

  1. To better understand your pension as a "pay cheque for life" in retirement.
  2. To recognize the benefits of a defined-benefit pension plan such as the TPP.
  3. To make the most of your individual learning styles (seeing, listening, reading, writing, website tools) to understand pension information.
  4. To learn how to read your own Members’ Benefit Statement and access your personal pension information online.
  5. To learn how to make the most of your pension benefit (e.g., purchases of service, transfers, child-rearing credit).
  6. To learn more about post-retirement group benefits (i.e., MSP, EHB, dental, and indexing).
  7. To have your general pension questions answered during the seminar and your personal questions answered after the seminar.
  8. To begin planning in order to have greater security and a more successful transition into life beyond the classroom.
  9. It’s all free! Admission, pension information booklet, pencil, and beverage—bring your spouse and/or teaching colleague.
  10. No assembly or batteries required.

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