The 'double-dipping professor' in Doug Ford's crosshairs is nothing but a myth - 2019-06-04
There is the unicorn. There is the chimera. There is the Mothman, the Minotaur, the manticore, and assorted mutants. Then there is the double-dipping university professor. Each of these mythical creatures has the same unassailably assailable pedigree, which is to say, none at all.
You don't have to have had your ear to the ground in the last few weeks to have heard the vitriolic attacks in Ontario on professors over a certain age who, because they work past mandatory retirement age, are receiving both pension and salary. "Time for Ontario to ditch double-dipping university professors," reads the headline on a recent Toronto Sun column. The Ford government appears to be poised to adopt legislation that prevents professors from receiving salary and pension at the same time.
There are indeed about 600 professors in Ontario who currently collect both salaries and pensions. These professors are all 71 years of age or older. This is due to the fact that a professor who works past the usual retirement age of 65 effectively makes an election not to receive a pension on that date, but to continue working and receiving only a salary instead. However, the federal Income Tax Act requires all employees to begin taking their pension at the age of 71. Thus, universities have no option but to pay both salary and pension to professors who continue working past the age of 71.