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Section 6: Timeline

A grandmother and her granddaughter playing chess together.

What you should do 5 years, 2 years, 6 months and 1 month before retirement

Depending on how close you are to retirement, there are some key steps you can take. The activities associated with the 5 year and 2 year timelines are really about planning your life for when you stop working. It’s only when you get to the 6 month mark that there are some things you’ll need to do that involve the workplace.

5 years from retirement

Plan financially 

  • Attend one of the TMU Retirement Planning Seminars.
    • These sessions are hosted twice per year by TMU Pension and Benefits, once in the fall and once in the spring. While you’ll receive an invite directly to your inbox for the next session, you can also check the Learning Events Calendar for sessions.
  • Get an estimate of your TMU pension benefit by using the Willis Towers Watson calculator (external link) .
  • Get an estimate of your Canada Pension Plan logging into your My Service Canada account (external link) .
  • Work with a financial planner to determine if you'll have the funds you require to support your retirement goals.

Plan your time 

  • Start developing your post-retirement social network. This could be connecting with friends in the neighbourhood, where you’ve chosen to volunteer, or fitness classes. Staying connected with former work colleagues is also an option.  
  • Start thinking about how you're going to spend your time, perhaps by pursuing a new hobby or travel. For example, if you've never played golf but think you'll spend lots of time in retirement doing this, try it before you retire!
  • If you’re planning to travel a lot in the first few years of retirement, start doing some research on the places you want to visit; how much will it cost; do you want to go with an organized tour or explore on your own; are there groups you can join to share information and get tips.

2 years from retirement

Consider your options

  • Explore options for a reduced workload, phased retirement, early retirement, collecting pension at 65 but still working and more. 

Plan financially 

Plan your time

  • Continue developing your social network. The suggestions under the 5 year timeline to start thinking about how to develop your network - now you need to start implementing it.
  • Start activating your plans. You’ve explored the options and done some research and now is the time to start acting on it. Book that first trip, sign up for a class, volunteer on a limited basis without committing to a schedule.

Explore benefit options

  • Start assessing how you're using your TMU benefits coverage to be prepared to assess benefit coverage options closer to retirement. 

6 months from retirement

After careful consideration and planning, you’re ready to initiate your retirement plans! 

Advise the university of your decisions

  • Advise your dean/chair/direct leader about your plans.
  • Advise HR about your retirement date by submitting a request so all the paperwork (your retirement statement and election form) can be prepared on time.
  • Check TMU's eHR system to ensure your current info is up to date, such as your dependents and beneficiaries, as well as your home address. To learn how to update your personal details, please log in to AskHR.
  • Start gathering any documents you might need. This includes proof of age for you and your spouse, banking information, tax deduction forms, designation of beneficiaries and potential division of the pension due to divorce.

Explore benefit options

  • Coverage under the university’s benefit plan ends upon retirement. As part of your planning, explore the post-retirement benefit options available and build the cost into your budget.

1 month from retirement

Congratulations! You’re just one month away from this next exciting chapter in your life. As your retirement date approaches, take time to:

  • Clean out your office. Consider donating books and textbooks.
  • Arrange for handing over keys, returning TMU property, such as a laptop or any equipment provided for an accommodation.
  • Ensure all absences (e.g. vacation days) have been recorded in eHR, if applicable.
  • Apply for Professor Emeritus status. Members of the TMU faculty may be granted the honorary status of Professor Emeritus. Review details of the policy, eligibility, process, rights/responsibilities/privileges.