Eligibility

If you are part of one of the following recognized categories, you are eligible for coverage under the Teachers' Pensions Act:
  • All teachers employed by a school board, the School Services Division or a special school approved by the Minister.
  • Directors, Assistant Directors and Senior Education Officer’s employed by school boards.
  • Administrative staff employed by the Newfoundland and Labrador Teachers' Association.
  • Replacement teachers who substitute on a continuous basis for a minimum of 20 consecutive days.

Since April 1985, service acquired under the age of 18 is also recognized with full retroactivity.

In accordance with the Act, all teachers to whom the Pension Plan applies are required to make pension contributions.

 
Your Years of Service

You must have at least five years of pensionable service to be entitled to receive a pension from the Teachers' Pension Plan.

Pensions are calculated based on your total accrued pensionable service to the date of retirement, i.e., all purchased pensionable service is included in the calculation of the pension benefit.

You should be fully aware of the meaning of the term "worked service," which refers to all pensionable service that any teacher might have acquired through the provisions of the Teachers' Pensions Act, as follows:

  • actual teaching service,
  • maternity leave,
  • deferred salary leaves,
  • paid educational leaves,
  • strike time that has been purchased,
  • approved unpaid leaves purchased as worked service, and/or
  • periods of absence for university study purposes that have been purchased as (or converted to) worked service, etc.

The one exception is that of university study buy back. This is not eligible for inclusion in your worked service.


 
When You Can Retire

Teachers may retire during the school year and receive a pension, only if they have accumulated the required number of complete years of pensionable service (or worked service) necessary for eligibility.

At the end of a school year, teachers who require five-tenths or less of a year of pensionable service in order to qualify for a pension may elect to retire, but will have their benefits calculated based on the exact number of years and tenths of years of pensionable service accumulated to the date of retirement.

Under the Teachers’ Pensions Act, there are five provisions regarding age and/or service that would trigger eligibility for pension benefits:

  1. Age 60 with at least 5 years of pensionable service
  2. Age 55 with at least 25 years of pensionable service
  3. "30 and Out"
  4. "29+1 and Out"
  5. Age 55 with less than 24.5 years of pensionable service

Want to know more about the particulars of these provisions? You can find details in your Plan Member Guide. You can also call TPPC to discuss your personal situation with a pension specialist.

 
Applying for Pension Benefits

Contemplating retirement? Teachers are required by the collective agreements to give appropriate notice, in writing, to their school board.

The required period of notice is as follows:

  1. one month notice if the retirement is to be effective any time prior to the Christmas recess,
  2. three months notice if the retirement is to be effective following the Christmas recess to the end of the school year.

It is important that you clearly establish eligibility for pension benefits before submitting a resignation, by contacting the TPPC. If you resign and cannot subsequently establish eligibility for your pension benefit, then you will be without both salary and pension benefit.

Follow these steps:

  1. Prior to resignation, establish your eligibility date for benefit(s) at a pre-retirement seminar or by contacting the TPPC;
  2. Submit your resignation to the school board, making sure to respect the required period of notice;
  3. Make your application for pension benefit(s).
 
Your Pension Amount

Contact the TPPC to discuss pension details and your personal situation with a pension specialist.
 
Disability Benefits

The Act states that a teacher shall be retired "when he or she is suffering from a physical or mental impairment that prevents the teacher from performing the duties of the employment in which he or she was engaged before the commencement of the impairment, provided that the impairment is medically certified as likely to be permanent."

Provided you have accumulated not less than five years of pensionable service, you will receive a pension calculated on the basis of your total pensionable service.

If you have not accumulated five years of pensionable service, then you are entitled to receive a refund of your contributions in accordance with the Teachers' Pensions Act.

You must apply directly to the TPPC, include an assessment by your attending physician and complete a form consenting to the release of medical information. This will allow the medical consultants retained by the TPPC to contact your physician(s) and make a decision regarding your eligibility for benefits. Please be assured that all consultations are performed on a strictly confidential basis.

When applying for disability pension you must advise the school board at the time the application is made. Of particular note, this is not a resignation but a required advisory under the collective agreement.


 
Transfer of Pensionable Service

Teachers who have service under other Registered Pension Plans may elect to transfer that service to the TPP.


Transfers between other NL Public Sector Pension Plans

If you have service under the Public Service, Uniformed Services, Members of the House of Assembly or Memorial University Pension Plans, you may elect to transfer that service to the TPP under the provisions of the Portability of Pensions Act provided you meet the criteria for transfer.


Reciprocal Transfers

If you become a member of a pension plan that has a reciprocal transfer agreement with the TPP, you have the option of transferring your pension credits to the TPP provided you meet the criteria for transfer.


Plan to Plan Transfers

If you have service under another Registered Pension Plan, you may elect to transfer that service to the TPP, provided you meet the criteria for transfer.


Transfer criteria

In all cases, the cost to credit service is based on the full actuarial cost of the service under the TPP. The member transferring the service has the option of paying any shortfall between the actuarial cost and the value of the funds being transferred or accepting a reduced period of service under the TPP.

The main criteria for eligibility to transfer are:

  • You did not receive a refund of contributions or termination benefit from the former plan; and
  • You are not in receipt of any form of pension from the former plan.

You should be aware of the possibility that, due to plan differences, a lesser amount of service may be credited under an importing plan.

If you are considering a transfer of pensionable service, please call the TPPC to ensure that your understanding of how the service being transferred will be imported.

It is also recommended that you consult a financial advisor regarding any potential tax implications.

 
Deferred Pension

A deferred pension simply means that the payment of pension benefits will be deferred to a later date. A deferred pension is one that is not immediately available to the Plan member because he or she is leaving active teaching service before he or she qualifies to begin receiving the pension.

To qualify for a deferred pension, you must, upon leaving teaching, have pension contributions remain on deposit within the Pension Plan. In addition, you must have at least five years of pensionable service. If the contributions are withdrawn, you would not qualify for a deferred pension and would not be entitled to purchase the service later, unless you returned to employment as a contributing member of the Pension Plan.

To learn more about deferred pensions, how they work, and any benefits that may be available to you under this scenario, please contact the TPPC and speak with a pension specialist.


 
Change in Marital Status

Pension benefits earned while you are married are considered matrimonial property and, consequently, may be subject to division upon marriage breakdown.

A division of pension benefits will typically only occur as directed by a court order or separation agreement.

The TPPC can provide you with the relevant information you need to make an informed decision regarding your benefits. However, we are unable to provide you with either legal or financial advice.

Please contact the TPPC should you require additional information related to marriage breakdown, or if your marital status has changed.


 
Purchase of Past Service

Under certain circumstances, you may be able to purchase past service.

Your Plan Member Guide (Pension Plan Booklet) includes a detailed explanation. Alternatively, contact the TPPC to discuss the particulars of your situation.


 
CPP Bridge Benefit

Benefits under the TPP are integrated with benefits under the Canada Pension Plan (CPP).

If you retire before age 65 (the age at which an unreduced CPP pension is payable) your TPP pension will include a bridge benefit, payable until age 65.

The bridge benefit is intended to supplement your pension until you qualify for the unreduced CPP benefit.

While you may begin receiving reduced CPP benefits as early as age 60, any bridge benefit that you receive as part of your TPP pension will end on the last day of the month in which you reach age 65.