Planning for retirement?

March 1, 2021

Older age couple looking at documents with open laptop

Here’s what you need to know about retirement and your benefits coverage.

When planning for retirement, you may base your plans around what you normally expect to happen each year. However, 2020 was anything but normal. Due to the pandemic, some within the education community have delayed their retirement decision, whereas others are retiring early.

No matter where you are in your retirement journey or how your plans may have changed, the basic principles of planning for retirement stay the same.

Let’s take a look at what you need to do to wrap up your benefits coverage before you retire.

Once you have determined your retirement date, your employer will provide OTIP with that information. This is the date your ETFO Employee Life and Health Trust (ELHT) benefits plan coverage will end.

When does your ELHT plan coverage end Your ETFO ELHT benefits plan (health, dental, life and AD&D) ends effective 11:59 p.m. on your last day of work.

For example, if your retirement date from your school board is June 30, 2021, your coverage will terminate at 11:59 p.m. on June 30, 2021.  If you retire on March 31, 2021, your coverage will terminate at 11:59 p.m. on March 31, 2021. No claims incurred after your last eligible day as a permanent employee will be paid after that date. If your benefits plan also covered any eligible dependents, their coverage will terminate on your retirement date as well.

NOTE: It’s important that you enroll in another extended health and/or dental plan within 31 days of your retirement date. Otherwise, you may need to provide evidence of insurability.

Submitting health and dental claims For ETFO ELHT plan members, you will have 90 days from the date your coverage ends to access your OTIP secure member site and submit any health and dental claims incurred up to and including your last day of coverage.

Any claims received after 90 days from the date your coverage ends will be declined.

You can submit your claims in one of the following ways:

Options to convert your group life insurance (if applicable) You may be eligible to convert your group life insurance policy to an individual policy, up to a $200,000 maximum, with the current carrier (i.e. Manulife) without having to provide evidence of good health or undergo a medical exam, provided you do so within 31 days of your coverage ending.

You can learn more about your options and/or to convert your group life insurance policy to an individual policy by carefully reviewing the Group Benefits Life Conversion Options form available at (found under Life Insurance forms). If you are interested in converting your policy, please follow the steps outlined in the form.

Other things to consider in preparation for your retirement:

  • Research your insurance options. Research your options for health, dental and vision care plans, as well as, prescription drug coverage and travel insurance that will support your retirement needs. (e.g. RTIP, RTO, etc.)
  • Listen to a retirement planning webinar or podcast. Planning for retirement can seem daunting, so why not get advice from an expert? OTIP offers a free retirement webinar workshop. Some OTIP retirement webinars also cover financial planning topics, such as tax and estate planning and RRSP and investment preparations. These webinars have “financial planning” listed under the topics to be discussed section of the webinar schedule. View the webinar schedule and register online.For retirement information on the go, listen to OTIP’s “Walk into retirement with a plan” podcast series. Episodes cover topics on retiree health insurance, travel insurance, lifestyle planning and home and auto insurance. Listen to the podcast on our website or your favourite podcast app. RTO also holds retirement workshops. Please note that for information about your pension (if applicable), you should contact your pension plan organization (e.g. OTPP, OMERS).

As we monitor the COVID-19 situation, we continue to provide you with plan information and resources. For more information or to access frequently asked questions regarding your benefits plan and COVID-related changes, visit

Questions? We are here to help! You can contact OTIP Benefits Services at 1‑866‑783‑6847.


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