||Volume 17, Number 1, September 2004
Teachers' Pension Plan
Check it out: Your pension plan has a new look
The Teachers’ Pension Plan has adopted a new, unique logo. Why the change? Quite simply, we’d like you to think of your plan as home base, a comfortable place where you can easily find the information you need. This will become more important as the amount of information and the number of services available to members increase, particularly online. Visual cues such as the plan colour and logo will help you more easily navigate this material and zero in on the resources you need.
The new logo brings a distinctive, positive look to the plan. On the practical side, it helps members identify plan material, even where the plan colour is not used.
It’s a simple change, but we believe it’s another step toward helping you get to know your plan and the many services it offers.
You can find the new logo and all kinds of pension information at pensionsbc.ca, then select Teachers’.
Teachers’ reciprocal transfer agreement
Under the interprovincial reciprocal transfer agreement, you may be able to combine your service from other teachers’ pension plans with your B.C. Teachers’ Pension Plan (TPP) service and increase your pension benefit, or qualify sooner for an unreduced pension.
The agreement applies to teachers’ pension plans throughout Canada, with the exception of plans in Newfoundland and Labrador.
Keep in mind that it is not always to your benefit to transfer service from another plan. For example, it may be financially advantageous for you to collect two pensions rather than transfer the service and collect a single pension. Before making a decision, you should contact the TPP and your previous pension plan to get more information. You may also want to see an independent financial advisor before deciding whether or not to transfer your service.
For more information on this topic, see the TPP fact sheet Teachers’ Reciprocal Transfer Agreement, available online at pensionsbc.ca, or contact the plan at the following phone numbers: Victoria 250-953-3022, Vancouver 604-660-4088, Toll-free in B.C. 1-800-665-6770.
TPP small pensions
Health benefits are now available for all retired teachers’ pension plan members. Post-retirement extended health (EHB) and dental benefits are now available for retired members whose pension payment is not large enough to pay the premiums. While these members cannot have the premiums deducted directly from their pension payment, they can arrange to pay for EHB and dental coverage directly to Pacific Blue Cross via direct withdrawal from their bank account. This option is available for EHB and dental coverage, but is not available for Medical Services Plan (MSP) coverage.
• If you know of anyone who lost the EHB and/or dental coverage since January 2001 because the pension payment was too small to pay the premiums let them know, they can regain this coverage. Teachers’ Pension Services will explain how to do so. Members who lost their health benefits coverage before January 2001 are not eligible to regain their coverage.
• EHB and dental premiums will be based on the member’s total pensionable service. For the current premium schedule, see the Teachers’ Pension Plan Health Benefits for Retired Members fact sheet, available online at pensionsbuc.ca and click on Teachers’ or by contacting Teachers’ Pension Services.
• If you know of anyone who would benefit from these changes or who may have questions or concerns about this change, please have them contact Teachers’ Pension Services at the following numbers: Victoria,250-356-9658; toll-free in B.C. 1-866-876-8877, toll-free in North America, 1-800-663-8823.