Durham college teaching job supplements pension from Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System. Over half of Canadians who had long-term job work after retirement
After working for a long time at the same job, should you retire? Many Canadians are choosing to get another job.
Ron Motum retired from his job as Technical Support Supervisor in the water treatment department of the Regional Municipality of Durham at age 55 after 32 years of service. Since then he has been a professor in Durham College’s Water Quality Technician program, teaching six hours a week in the fall and spring semesters.
Motum receives a pension from the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System of 64 per cent of his pre-retirement earnings. After retiring in 2007, his new teaching career has augmented his pension by about 10 per cent a year.
“I always knew I’d work part-time because when I retired I had two teenagers and I wanted to help them each get an undergraduate degree debt-free,” he says.
He also considered a part-time consulting opportunity, but that job would have required travelling for up to a week at a time. “The college job was ideal as my elderly parents required a lot of support and the campus is so close to home,” he says.
When OMERS Pension Communications Officer Phillip Hollins packed it in at age 64 after 21 years, he also picked up a plum part-time assignment running pre-retirement seminars for the Municipal Retirees Organization Ontario.
His pensions from OMERS and a previous employer add up to about 55 per cent of his previous salary, but his earnings for working about 30 days per year tops up his pension income by about 12 per cent. He is currently 70 and plans to work part-time for five more years.
Motum and Hollins are two of the 28 per cent of OMERS retirees still working, according to a survey conducted by the Municipal Retirees Organization Ontario. MROO president William Harford says, “Most of those who are employed have part-time jobs. Only 4.5 per cent of respondents work full-time (32 hours or more a week).”
Over 70 per cent are using skills and knowledge they developed during their careers. They have a wide range of jobs including providing administrative support services, driving taxis, trucks and limos and teaching or training. Nevertheless, Harford says there are also retirees doing more unusual things like beekeeping, judging dog shows and officiating at weddings.
A study released in January 2014 by Statistics Canada, Employment transitions among older workers leaving long-term jobs, revealed that more than half of Canadians who retired from a long-term job (12 or more years’ duration) between age 55 and 64 returned to work within a decade, generally within a year or two of retirement.
However, the Statistics Canada analysis also determined that older workers with employer-sponsored pension plans — particularly those in the public sector — were less likely to seek post-retirement employment.
That a lower percentage of MROO members are employed post-retirement than in the general retiree population is consistent with the Statistics Canada data. But Harford is still surprised that so many municipal retirees receiving defined benefit pensions from OMERS have sought second careers
But most MROO survey respondents still employed say they are not in it for the money. Only 16 per cent indicated that they are working out of financial necessity or to add to their savings. The biggest motivator was simply to get out of the house, followed by a desire to keep skills up to date and to pay for special expenses like travel, a new car, home repairs, or grandchildren’s education.
Hollins says initially the added income was appealing, but now he is incented more by helping people to better understand retirement and their retirement options. “It gives me great satisfaction at the end of the day when people come up to me and say I really gave them something to think about.”
Giving something back has also become a prime motivator for Motum who graduated in 1974 from Durham College where he now teaches. At spring convocation in 2010 he received an Alumnus of Distinction award.