Planning Your Retirement
Your decision to retire is a personal decision that only you can make. That's where we come in.
Eligibility for Pension
You are eligible for a pension when you have:
- five years of pensionable service after August 31, 1992, or
- five years of pensionable service that includes a period of pensionable service in each of the 1991-92 and 1992-93 school years, or
- 10 years of pensionable service.
If you have sufficient pensionable service to be eligible for a pension, you can receive an unreduced pension when:
- the sum of your age and pensionable service is at least 85 (often referred to as the “age-plus-service index of 85”), or
- you reach age 65 (normal retirement).
Reduced Pension and Examples
If you have sufficient pensionable service to be eligible for a pension and you retire before you are eligible for an unreduced pension (as outlined above), your pension will be reduced. The reduction is 2% multiplied by the lesser of the following two calculations:
- each year or portion of a year that your age-plus-service index is less than 85, or
- each year or portion of a year that you are under age 65.
The maximum reduction is 20%.
Examples of Reduced Pensions
- A plan member who is age 55 with five years of pensionable service would have an index of 60 (i.e., 55 + 5 = 60). There would be a 20% reduction in pension (25 years short of index, but only 10 years short of age 65; therefore, 10 years multiplied by 2% = 20% reduction).
- A plan member who is age 60 with 22.5 years of pensionable service would have an index of 82.5 (i.e., 60 + 22.5 = 82.5). There would be a 5% reduction in pension (2.5 years short of index, and 5 years short of age 65; therefore, 2.5 years multiplied by 2% = 5% reduction).
Start of Pension
Pensions are payable from the later of the first of the month following:
- your 55th birthday,
- the termination of your last teaching contract,
- the last accrual of pensionable service with ATRF, or
- the date when your last substitute service was purchased.
When and How to Apply
You are eligible to apply only if you are not under contract or your contract will terminate.
You can apply for your pension no earlier than 120 days (four months) before the pension start date.
Before you apply for your pension, you must resign from your teaching contract. The Education Act requires you to give your employer at least 30 days written notice of your intention to resign.
Apply online using MyPension or complete and mail the Pension Application form to ATRF.
All applicants must complete and mail a Spousal/Pension Partner Status Declaration to ATRF. If you have a common-law pension partner, contact ATRF for an additional Statutory Declaration form.
More information on how to apply can be found in the Steps to Retirement publication.
You must provide ATRF with the a copy of:
- Your birth certificate, driver’s license, Canadian Passport, or Certificate of Canadian Citizenship,
- Your spouse/pension partner’s birth certificate, driver’s license, Canadian Passport, or Certificate of Canadian Citizenship (if applicable),
- Your marriage certificate (if applicable).
Check with ATRF to ensure the above certificates are on file.
Pension Options Package
Once your forms have been received, ATRF will:
- contact your employer to confirm your termination date and obtain any unreported service/salary details, and
- calculate your actual pension amount after all information has been received.
Elapsed time from the date we receive your application until you receive your Pension Options Package is normally three months. You must complete and return the following forms from your Pension Options Package to ATRF:
- Pension Election Form – indicate your pension option
- Notification of Banking Information – your pension will be paid by direct deposit
- Federal and Provincial Personal Tax Credits Return Forms – income tax will be deducted at source
- Statutory Declaration (if applicable)
- Pension Partner’s Waiver of Pension at Pension Commencement – completed by your spouse/pension partner only if they waive their right to a survivor’s pension, allowing you to select a Single Life Option.
If all of the required documents are properly completed and returned by the 10th day of the month, the first pension payment will be deposited electronically into your bank account on the third-last banking day of the month. If delays occur, the first payment will be retroactive to the first eligible date.
For more information, please refer to the Steps to Retirement publication or the Pension Options page below.