The Teachers’ and Private School Teachers’ Pension Plans regulation (the plan rules) establishes the rules by which the Teachers’ Pension Plans must be governed. The plan rules define what types of service are pensionable and purchasable and the forms of remuneration which are considered pensionable salary.
The plan rule definition of a leave of absence is clear that for a period to be considered a leave of absence and represent a break in the teacher’s service and be deemed purchasable, the leave period must be unpaid – no remuneration is paid – and approved by the employer. The only exceptions are where a teacher is on a paid paternity, adoption, or sabbatical leave, or where the teacher is on a paid non-health-related portion of a maternity leave – these are considered leaves of absence even if paid (either fully or partially).
The health-related portion of a maternity leave is considered to be a period of current service (a “regular” record), with full service and salary reported and full contributions remitted during that period. This is the case regardless of whether the employer is paying a top-up or partial pay during this period or is paying nothing at all. The health-related portion of a maternity leave must also be included in the calculation and reporting of the payout records for the teacher based on either the pay 1/200th or deduct 1/200th methodology as outlined in Section 220 of the Education Act.
Once the health-related portion is completed, leave records are to be reported in alignment with the reporting codes noted above to the end of the leave period. The teacher can later purchase that service when they have returned to work.