Health and Disability

An illness or injury is stressful enough without having to wonder about how it impacts your pension. If you are unable to work, either temporarily or permanently, due to health issues, it’s important to understand what it means for your pension, and ways that you can protect or maximize its value.

Leaves of absence

Whether you’re starting a family, recovering from illness or injury, or for other reasons, you may at some point need to take a leave of absence from work. How this affects your pension depends on the factors behind your leave. In some categories of leave, your credited service and pensionable earnings are protected. Other categories of leave will not accrue credited service; in these cases, you may have the option to purchase your credited service.

What is a protected leave?
Protected leaves include pregnancy, parental leave, Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) leaves and long-term disability. During one of these types of leave, you are not required to make contributions to TTCPP. In these cases, your pensionable earnings will be built up (for the purposes of calculating your pension). This means that they are determined on the base salary you received right before you began your leave. This provision is effective for any period of protected leave of more than two consecutive weeks.

What happens if my leave is not protected?
If you take a leave of absence that is not protected under TTCPP Bylaws, you can choose to purchase the applicable credited service, which will help increase the value of your pension when you retire. To purchase your credited service, contact TTCPP and request an estimate of the purchase cost.

How do I purchase a leave of absence?
To purchase your credited service for a leave of absence, you will need to pay the amount of contributions you would have made to the Plan during the time you were off, plus the amount your employer would have contributed (if applicable). This amount is calculated based on what you would have earned during the leave. Please note that you must contact TTCPP and make the election within 30 days of your return to work from the leave. The amount must be paid in a lump sum within 90 days of the date your original election was made.

You can also elect to purchase other periods of service. The cost of purchasing this service is the full actuarial cost, based on your age and earnings level when you make the purchase. To purchase a period of credited service, you must elect to do so within 180 days from the date on which you became re-enrolled as a member of the Plan. You then have 30 days from the quote date to pay the amount in a lump sum.

If you are considering a leave of absence or are currently taking one and would like to understand how this potentially impacts to your pension, or if you want to know what your options and deadlines are for repurchasing, we’re here to help. Contact us with your questions.

Shortened life expectancy

This option allows members who have a life expectancy of less than two years to commute the value of their pension. This would allow you to receive a single lump-sum payout of your pension. This option is available to regular members, former members who have left their employer and are entitled to a vested monthly pension in the future, and retired members.

Satisfactory medical evidence indicating that an illness or injury reduces life expectancy to less than two years is required. If you have a spouse, they must waive their right to any applicable survivor benefits as well. The calculation of the commuted value is based on accepted actuarial practice. TTCPP can provide you with an estimate of how much your benefit will be.

We’re here to help. For assistance with an application, contact TTCPP. We’ll provide you with the documentation that needs to be completed by your physician. Note: the application requesting the shortened life expectancy payment must be approved by the Board.

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