Is the Party Really Over for Ontario Teachers? Opinion from Bill Tufts of Fair Pensions For All – August 23, 2012

 For years it has been argued that pensions for teachers are deferred salary to make up for low base pay. When defined benefit pensions were created in the Public Service that may have been a feasible argument, but today, public servants, especially teachers, are very well compensated. A new report from Fair Pensions For All shows that teachers in Ontario are among the highest paid teachers in the world. So much for deferred salary.


The Ontario Teachers Pension Plan (OTPP)  is incredibly rich. In fact, if it were a sovereign wealth fund, it would be the 12th largest in the world. The OTPP ranks up there with investment funds that own oil in Saudi Arabia, diamond mines in Africa and forests in Norway. The teachers pension fund is worth over $117 Billion and made Ontario teachers just over $11.7 Billion in profits, last year. Despite its immense wealth, Ontario taxpayers will contribute over $1.4 billion of education tax dollars, to the pension fund this year.


With the average Canadian retiring with only $60,000 in RRSPs, should they be forced to support this massive retirement fund? In fact teachers in Ontario, retiring at the highest levels will earn more in pension income than most working teachers in the OECD earn in salary.


Teachers are frustrated by the lack of supplies and materials for their classrooms. This despite the fact the average classroom has just under $150 000 of taxes funding it annually, but its never enough. Throughout the year, schools ask parents to give them more money through fundraisers and pay to play events. And teachers will tell you, schools in poor neighbourhoods have even less supplies than richer areas, because the parents can’t afford more. Often, teachers use their own money, to buy things for the classroom. This all needs to stop, we need to put kids first, and we have a solution.

The solution is simple and its not to have teachers work for minimum wage.

Since our teachers are among the highest paid teachers in the world, they can afford to fund their own retirements. Taxpayers should no longer spend further tax dollars funding the Ontario Teachers Pension Fund. Instead, next year, and for five years hence, we should divert those billions of tax dollars where they belong, on our children’s education. We should use the money to create a capital budget that purchases books, computers and supplies for the classroom. This will give the teachers the tools that they need to teach effectively, and make the classroom a great place to learn again. It will also stop schools from having to beg parents for more money and stop teachers from having to use their own resources to fund the classroom. After five years, this fund would be reduced to $300 million per year, and the balance, some $1.1 Billion per year would be returned to the taxpayer.

This solution respects the teacher’s value to our society, offers fairness to the taxpayers and most importantly, puts our children’s education first.

Bill Tufts
Fair Pensions For All 

Web site: Fair Pensions For All 

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I am the way


  1. Bill, the money that you mention is part of their salary. When you get a job with a pension, part of your salary comes in the form of a pension contribution!
    This very basic facts seems to elude you, or else you are simply bypassing that truth because of its inconvenience.
    Funnily enough, you talk up the great wealth of savings that the teachers have made for their retirement and then, in you ‘book’ tou call it a ponzi scheme.

    Again, you are demonstrated as a man of no credibility.

  2. Are Bill Tufts figures correct? If so, then as an average, tax-paying Ontarian, I would agree that Ontario teachers are one of the most highly paid members of our province (public OR private sector), and they should fund their own pensions. Put the tax money into the classrooms. Fact: the average non-teacher believes teachers are overpaid for the amount of work they do; especially when you add in the benefits, pension, and gratuity’. Nice gig. But hey I am always open to hearing the other side of the arguement. Please enlighten me.

  3. As the above link points out, Tufts has little interest in forwarding truthful statements in the media. There is no limit to how far he will stretch an isolated truth into a miselading comment.
    \For a start, the funds in the OTPP, which with $117 billion in assets he calls to be a ponzi scheme (!), come solely from the employer and employee contributions, which are both part of the employee compensation.
    Tufts is no longer welcome in significant media outlets. For good reason.

    You are perfectly entitled to argue that the total compensation for teachers is too high. I might well agree. But to have dupes like tufts complain that 22% of that compensation goes into a pension plan is seriously idiotic

  4. Fair Pensions for All is a joke. Fair doesn’t mean lowering everyone’s pension to the lowest common denominator…of pretty much nothing which is what Bill Tufts wants.

    In his view, if everyone has nothing, it would be fair. It’s not by reducing civil service pensions that private sector pensions will increase. The opposite will happen.

    Besides, anyone who works hard can become a teacher and enjoy the pension. It’s not an exclusive club for Bay Street Fat Cats only.

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