Thursday, April 3, 2008

Teacher pension shortfall raises early-retirement questions

TORONTO -- Ontario Education Minister Kathleen Wynne suggested yesterday that the early-retirement policy for the province's teachers should be reviewed in the wake of a multibillion-dollar shortfall in their pension plan. But she later backtracked, saying she was not going to speculate on coming talks between the government and teacher representatives.

The giant Ontario Teachers Pension Plan announced this week that it ended 2007 with a $12.7-billion shortfall, raising questions about how it will fund its obligations to retired teachers.

Teachers invests $108-billion in assets on behalf of 278,000 active and retired teachers in the province. The plan paid out $4-billion in pension benefits last year, double what it received in contributions.

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