STRP Focus on Equity: Substitute Teachers Will Be Eligible for Pre-Retirement Upgrades
A Conditional Upgrade is an inflationary increase applied to accrued pensions for members who are still working and have not yet retired. They are not guaranteed and are dependent on the health of the Plan.
These are different from Cost-of-Living Adjustments (COLA), which are annual increases applied to pensions in pay. Substitute teachers are already eligible to receive any COLAs granted during their retirement.
Pre-retirement upgrades are an important part of your STRP benefits. They help to increase your career-average pension with inflation so that your pension provides a more meaningful benefit when you retire. Currently, substitute teachers are not eligible for these upgrades even though they pay the same contribution rate as contract teachers.
That is why we are so excited to tell you that beginning July 1, 2024, all eligible substitute teachers will receive any conditional upgrades that are granted by the Plan! To be eligible for the upgrade, a substitute teacher must have worked a minimum of 20 days of eligible service in that Plan year or the immediately preceding Plan year. There is no action required by you – if you taught at least 20 eligible days in the required time period, you will automatically be granted any applicable upgrades to your pension. It’s that easy!
Since the change is effective July 1, 2024, the first upgrade that substitute teachers could receive would be June 30, 2025, if the Plan is able to grant a conditional upgrade on that date.