A member contacts provincial staff because the teacher is sure that the Pension Board is mistakenly demanding repayment of $7,000 for “exceeding employment limits” during May and June. In this case, the teacher stopped accepting occasional teaching assignments in April to comply with the 95-Day rule. Instead, the member earned $700 during May and June, tutoring students in a home schooling program, and was careful not to do any classroom teaching.
Each year the Association receives calls like this one from teachers who are asked to reimburse the Pension Board because they have exceeded the re-employment limits.
The member contravened the Pension Benefits Act by continuing to work for a school board after completing 95 days of occasional teaching. Even though the teacher was not teaching in a regular classroom program, the tutoring was part of a home schooling program run by the school board.
As a result, according to the terms of the Pension Plan Act, the member will forfeit pension income for the two months and also be required to make a pension contribution for the additional income.
The Pension Plan Board limitations are as follows: The 95-day provision, limits the time within a school year a retired member can be employed, to a maximum of 95 days per year, for three years. This rule allows a teacher to complete the month in which the 95th day occurred.
After three years of re-employment, a teacher is not permitted to work for a school board for more than 20 days per year without forfeiting pension income for each month of re-employment. Re-employment is not limited to occasional teaching, which is the point of contention in this scenario. The Teachers' Pension Act, Schedule 1, Section 2(1)(e) states that “Every person is eligible to be an active member of the pension plan who is qualified as a teacher and is employed by a board of education.”
Any employment for which you are paid, or even if you are not paid but the work would normally be performed by someone who would be paid, constitutes pensionable service. In this case the retiree was paid for the tutoring work and consequently is required to make a pension contribution for the additional income.
Other teachers have forfeited income when attempts have been made to conceal employment. Sometimes, in order to circumvent the 95-day limitation, school level administrators did not report additional days worked. These arrangements are illegal and the school board is bound by the legislation to report all re-employment for pension purposes. As a result some retirees have lost substantial pension income when the school board reported their actual re-employment.
If you have any questions concerning re-employment please contact OECTA’s Counselling and Member Services department or the Pension Board.