ATA News

Your pension is your future

Reception area at ATRF

As an Alberta teacher, your pension is one of your most valuable assets. Many teachers have more immediate concerns in the classroom and may postpone future planning because retirement is down the road. However, the choices members make now may affect how much income they receive in retirement.

“It’s important for members to understand their pension early on in their career,” said ATA president Jason Schilling, a former pension consultant for the ATA. 

The Alberta Teachers’ Retirement Fund (ATRF) is the pension manager for the Alberta Teacher’s Pension Plan. The plan is a defined benefit plan, meaning that the pension amount received in retirement is based on many factors such as salary and length of service as a teacher. 

“I always encourage members to attend ATA and ATRF workshops even if they may not be retiring in the near future, to understand fully what ATRF does,” Schilling said. 

A teacher’s retirement income will be affected by changes to their income or length of service, such as moving from full-time to part-time, a strike or taking leaves. 

When a teacher takes a leave, it is not counted as pensionable service. To receive the same retirement income as was projected before a leave, a teacher can retire later or buy back pensionable service. The longer a teacher waits to buy back pensionable service, the more expensive it will be, because the cost is determined by a teacher’s age, salary and years of service at the date of purchase.

Understanding your pension plan is crucial to your financial planning and retirement security. The ATRF is a valuable resource for Alberta teachers, providing education, support and assistance with all aspects of the pension plan. By taking advantage of the ATRF’s resources and services, you can feel confident in your retirement planning and secure in your future financial well-being. ❚

Who Does What?


  • Manages the Alberta Teacher’s Pension Plan 
  • Offers webinars, presentations and answers questions about the plan

Visit the MyPension portal at or call 1-800-661-9582.


  • Appoints half of the members of the ATRF’s governing board.
  • Answers questions and offers sessions on general retirement planning.

Visit or contact Teacher Employment Services.

780-447-9400 (Edmonton area)
1 800 232 7208 (toll free)

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