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June 09, 2021

Employers crack down on retirees who 'double dip'

If retired teachers, drawing from one of the best pension plans in the country, keep working after leaving the classroom, are they unfairly double-dipping and taking jobs from younger, less expensive teachers?

Depends on who you ask, I guess.

But the number of teachers padding their pensions with contribution-free income has certainly increased in recent years.

Not that teachers are the only double dippers around. Canadian Forces pensioners are often reborn as reservists. Legions of retired civil servants get rehired as consultants every year. And then there are the nation's politicians.

Are these folks milking the system? In some instances, probably. Although there's an argument to be made for the experience and expertise the recently retired can bring back to the job.

Still, a recent Globe and Mail investigation found many school boards don't really monitor how often retirees work, leading some to take advantage of the system. It also means new, often visible minority teachers are being shut out from gaining valuable classroom experience as supply teachers.

Although both groups earn the same in daily supply roles, retirees often earn double the new teachers’ rate for longer-term assignments. As a result, the province’s 10 largest school boards alone could have saved more than $16-million last school year by turning to new teachers instead of pensioners, the Globe reports.

Oddly enough, under new rules announced last month, many pensioners will actually see an increase in the number of supply days they’re allowed to work while the government and its teachers union look for a longer-term compromise.

As of 2012, all retirees will be allowed to work 50 days a school year while collecting their pensions, compared to the current rule of 95 days for three years and 20 days thereafter.

Is double-dipping a big problem where you work?  Would you go and come back? Do you see a need for better contracting rules when dealing with retirees?

By Gordon Powers, MSN Money



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

James HaversJames Havers

James is the senior editor of MSN Money living in Toronto. He has worked for the Nikkei Shimbun (Tokyo),,, Canadian Business and other publications. Havers turned to journalism after teaching overseas.

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...