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Section 2: Planning Your Financials and Benefits Coverage

Two people looking at a laptop and reading information.

Your TMU pension

How do I apply for a TMU pension? 

To apply for your TMU pension, submit a request to HR to advise of your desired retirement date. Please provide at least three months' advance notice to ensure a seamless transition.

Once you’ve notified us of your intentions, we will:

  • Provide you with a pension calculation and statement of benefits provided by Willis Tower Watson, TMU’s third party pension plan administrator. 

You will be required to:

  • Read the pension calculation statement, sign to confirm the information outlined is accurate and return with attachments including:
    • proof of age
    • banking information
    • tax forms - TD1s
    • marital declaration form
  • Complete and return the benefit election forms to the Pension & Benefits Unit.

Checklist of important documents 

In order to process your pension, you’ll be requested to provide the following documents.
Documents you’ll receive in your pension package: 
  • Pension election form
  • Tax deduction forms
  • Designation of beneficiaries 
  • Declaration of martial package
  • Potential division of the pension due to divorce
  • Banking information for RBC. RBC pays the monthly pension to TMU retirees.
Documents you’ll need to obtain
  • Proof of age for you
  • Proof of age for your spouse (if applicable)
  • Divorce settlement in the case of a division of pension due to divorce

How do I determine my pension payments and other possible sources of income?

Each year you receive an annual pension statement that provides the pension earned to December 31 of the previous year, plus a projection of the pension payable that will be payable to you at age 65. Note that while you may not retire at 65, this is the age used to project calculations for your annual statement, as we don’t know which specific age you will retire. 

You can access your pension statement by logging in to the TMU Pension & Total Compensation portal with your TMU username and password.

Get an estimate of your pension 

Willis Towers Watson, TMU’s pension administrator, provides a free calculator where you can estimate your annual pension, from the TMU plan, payable based on various scenarios such as:

  • If you will have a spouse at retirement
    • Please note: Marital status does not change the amount of the base pension payable by the TMU pension plan.
  • Expected changes to your salary. 
  • Different retirement ages and dates. 

Access the WIllis Towers Watson Calculator (external link) : You will be asked to sign in or register; if it is your first time visiting the online site, select “No account yet? Register here” and follow the instructions to set up your account. You will need your employee number. 

Note: If applicable, don’t forget to account for any portion of your income that a former spouse may be entitled to. This calculator does not factor that into the estimate.

As you assess if you are financially prepared to retire, you may also want to review additional sources of income that may be available to you based on your specific circumstances such as age and your spouse’s income (if applicable). 

You may also have additional sources of income when considering your financial circumstances:

  • Pension income from another employer - As you begin to plan for retirement, contact former employers if you left the pension in their plan when you moved on.
  • Do you have a spouse that will also be receiving a pension? Will they have an employer plan, government pensions etc?
  • Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP)s
  • Tax Free Savings Account (TFSA)s
  • Savings account
  • Investment property - do you have a rental property, do you rent out your cottage?
  • Stock or bond portfolio

How and when will I receive pension payments? 

  • Your pension is payable monthly on the first of the month and if the first is a weekend/holiday, it’s payable the first business day after.
  • Each January 1 your TMU pension will be indexed meaning it will increase based on an inflation factor. 
  • Upon your death, your spouse, family or executor should inform the Pensions & Benefits Unit.
  • Periodically you'll receive a letter from RBC, (which pays your monthly pension), asking you to confirm basic info (address, date of birth etc). If you don't return the form, the pension will be suspended.
  • RBC will issue an advice of deposit whenever your monthly pension changes. So you should receive one when your pension first starts, on January 1 when the pension is indexed and if there are tax changes or changes to the benefit premiums you’re paying for the TMU retiree plans.
  • If you need to change your banking information or change your address, please contact RBC at or 1-800 668-1320.

What happens to my group benefit coverage when I retire?

Benefit coverage under TMU’s group plans ends when your employment at the university ends, Retirees may choose to purchase coverage under the TMU Retiree Extended Health Care (EHC) Plan, Dental Plan and reduced Life insurance (up to age 65 only), which is fully paid for by the participating members. TFA early retirees continue to have extended health, dental and reduced life insurance coverage until age 65 at no cost.

The option to convert the life insurance plan (up to a maximum of $200,000) is available within 31 days of coverage ending. Please contact Sun Life at 1-877-893-9893.

As you plan for retirement, explore benefit coverage options to help you pay for many routine and unexpected medical and dental expenses for yourself, your spouse and your dependents.

If you want to enrol in the TMU retiree health & dental plans, you must be in receipt of your TMU pension, commenced receiving the pension immediately upon your retirement (i.e. you can’t leave TMU at age 55 and then start the pension at age 60) and elect to continue benefit coverage on your retirement date. The exception for this is if you have alternate coverage in place. You can then waive participation in the TMU plans and enrol at a later date, provided you maintained alternate coverage and indicated this on the retiree benefit election form.

If you choose to enrol in the TMU retiree plan, the Sun Life policy is the same - 25180 and your member ID is your TMU employee ID #. You continue to submit claims the same way you did as an active employee - by mail, online or through the mobile app.

Can I enrol in TMU retiree health and dental plans further into my retirement?

If you want to enrol in the TMU retiree health and dental plans, you must be receiving your TMU pension and you must have commenced receiving the pension immediately upon your retirement and elect to continue benefit coverage on your retirement date. That is to say, you cannot stop working at TMU at age 55, and then start the pension at age 60 and enroll in TMU retiree health and dental plans.

The exception for this is if you have alternate coverage in place (e.g. through a spouse’s employment plan). You can then waive participation in the TMU plans and enrol at a later date, provided you maintained alternate coverage and indicate this on the retiree benefit election form.

How can I learn more about retiree health and dental plan options?

As you plan for retirement, explore benefit coverage options to help you pay for many routine and unexpected medical and dental expenses for yourself, your spouse and your dependents.

Learn more about premiums, deductibles and coverage amounts by logging in to AskHR.

Alternate plans

Prior to signing up for TMU’s Retiree coverage, we encourage you to explore alternative coverage options with other providers:

  • Focus on four to five items that are most important to you such as prescription drug coverage, out-of-country travel insurance, physiotherapy coverage, etc.
  • Analyze your claims for the past couple of years to determine which benefits you use and if you expect this to continue. For example, do you only visit the dentist for routine check-ups and cleaning?
  • Check out association plans such as:
  • Your needs will likely change as you age. When you’re first retired, travel insurance might be important but as you age, perhaps it’s physiotherapy.
  • Should you consider purchasing long-term care insurance?
  • Will you be travelling outside Ontario? Many plans have restrictions on out of country coverage - be sure to read the fine print!
  • Some plans have an upper age limit for coverage.
    • Note that the TMU plan does not. 
  • Some alternate plans may have limitations for pre-existing conditions.
    • Note that the TMU plan does not. 
  • Do you have coverage under a spouse's plan? If you have coverage elsewhere (e.g. a spouse's plan) you can waive the right to participate in the TMU plan until a later date by completing the TMU Retiree Benefits Election form and indicating that you’re declining coverage. You will need to notify TMU when you wish to re-enrol, and provide proof that you’ve had continuation coverage. 
  • Make sure you have an understanding of what coverage is available from the government plans. 
Plan Summary

Ontario Drug Benefit Plan (external link) 

Provides prescription drug coverage to seniors 65+ and claims are adjudicated by the pharmacist. There is a $100 annual deductible and a co-pay is dependent on income. While not all drugs are covered by the ODB, you may request to have additional coverage for drugs not listed on the formulary through the Exception Access Program (external link) .

Trillium Drug Plan (under 65 only) (external link) 

Available for residents between aged 25 and 65, and covers drugs after an income-based deductible is satisfied. Review details about eligibility and how to apply on the plan’s website.

Plan Details

Health Spending Account for TFA members 

Upon retirement, TFA members receive access to a Health Spending Account, administered by GreenShields Canada. This coverage is provided through the Toronto Metropolitan Faculty Association, and not Toronto Metropolitan University. 

Upon retirement, GreenShields Canada will contact TFA retirees to provide you with necessary plan details, a coverage card and details on how to make a claim.

The maximum that can be claimed in the year is $1000 and it can be used to reimburse eligible expenses, including premiums that are paid for the TMU plan or the alternate plans. Expenses for eligible dependents are also eligible for reimbursement. For more information, contact the TFA. 

TMU-paid benefit coverage for TFA retirees under age 65

Members of the Toronto Metropolitan Faculty Association continue to receive TMU-paid health, dental and reduced life insurance after retirement, up until age 65. 

Review coverage details

  • Your group life insurance coverage will end when your employment ends. 
  • You can convert your coverage (to a maximum of $200,000) to an individual policy with Sun Life without providing medical evidence of good health. 
  • You have 31 days from when your coverage ends to convert the coverage and arrange for premium payment directly with Sun Life.
  • To get a quote, contact Sun Life at 1-877-893-9893. 

Consulting a financial advisor

While we’ve provided an overview of guidance and considerations here, we do strongly advise you to consult a financial advisor. Here’s how to find one that meets your needs: 

  • Ask friends and family for recommendations.
  • Questions to ask when "interviewing" a planner.
    • What are your qualifications - Certified Financial Planner, Chartered Financial Analyst, Personal Financial Planner, Chartered Accountant etc.?
    • What's your experience (how long have you been doing this)?
    • What services do you provide?
    • How are you paid - fee for service; commission?
    • What’s your investment philosophy?
    • How often will we meet/speak?

You may also wish to review guidance from the Government of Canada on Choosing a financial advisor (external link) .