Why purchase service?

If you have substitute service, you may want to purchase this service so it can count toward your TRAF pension.

TRAF contributions are not generally deducted automatically for substitute service. As a plan member, you have the option of increasing your TRAF pension by paying contributions missed during your substitute service.

How it works

Your TRAF pension is calculated using your years of service and average salary. The higher these two factors, the larger your pension.

Counting each day of substitute service can increase your pension, as it increases your years of service.

How to proceed

If you would like the cost calculated, complete a Substitute Service Purchase Application and submit it to the applicable school division(s). Your school division(s) must confirm the number of substitute days and the related earnings, and forward the completed application to TRAF.

Once we receive your completed request, we will send you a letter with the cost details and an estimate of the impact it will have on your pension.

Requesting a cost does not obligate you to make a payment. If you decide not to make the payment at this time, you can apply again any time before you retire.

Please note that TRAF requires verification of both service and earnings in order to calculate a cost to purchase. If proper verification cannot be provided, TRAF will be unable to calculate a cost.

Terms of payment

If you apply by March 31 of the year following your substitute service, your cost will be based on the actual contributions you should have made on those earnings.

If you apply after this date, your cost will be calculated based on the actuarial value of the substitute service. This cost is higher than the original contributions required above.

Different rules apply if you are paying for substitute service prior to 1966.

The longer you wait, the more expensive it is to purchase your substitute service days.

Making payments

Once we calculate your cost, you have the choice to pay in full or possibly by installments plus interest. The installment option is only available for service purchase applications after March 31 of the year following your substitute service if the amount is over $1,000. Payments must be completed within four years and all payments must be completed before your pension starts.

You also have the option of making your payments through a transfer of your RRSP funds. To make the transfer to TRAF, ask your financial institution to help you complete Canada Revenue Agency’s T2033 form.

You can choose to buy only a portion of your substitute service. However, you must purchase substitute service by whole school terms starting with the most recent service first.

It is best to pay the cost as soon as possible to avoid interest charges.

Income tax deductions

Please review the Tax Information fact sheet for more detail. We recommend you seek additional guidance from Canada Revenue Agency or tax professionals regarding the circumstances that apply to your personal situation.