Established in 1962, OMERS provides defined pension benefits to local government employees, retirees and beneficiaries throughout Ontario. The OMERS Primary Pension Plan "The Primary Plan" is a jointly sponsored, multi-employer pension plan with nearly 1,000 participating employers in 2015 and 2014, and approximately 461,000 Primary Plan members in 2015, compared to approximately 450,000 in 2014. Employers range from large cities to local agencies. Primary Plan members include union and non-union municipal workers; transit systems and electrical utilities; the non-teaching staff of school boards; police, firefighters and paramedics; and employees of children’s aid societies.
The Primary Plan is funded by members and employers, and by the investment earnings of the Primary Plan's assets. Members and employers contribute equally to the Primary Plan, and share equally in funding gains or losses. With $81.9 billion of pension obligations, as at December 31, 2015, compared to $76.9 billion, as at December 31, 2014, the Primary Plan ended 2015 with a funding deficit of $7.0 billion, compared to a deficit of $7.1 billion at the end of 2014. Net assets were $77 billion, as at December 31, 2015, compared to $72 billion the previous year.
The Primary Plan is sponsored by OMERS Sponsors Corporation (SC) and administered by OMERS Administration Corporation (OAC). The SC and OAC each have their own mandates and Boards of Directors.
OMERS SC is primarily responsible for plan design, including setting benefit levels and contribution rates. The SC Board comprises 14 members, half of whom are appointed by employer groups, and half of whom are appointed by Primary Plan member groups.
The OAC has three main responsibilities:
To carry out these responsibilities, the OAC is organized into four businesses, supported by a corporate functions:
OAC is governed by a Board of Directors consisting of 14 members nominated by sponsor organizations and appointed by the SC Board, and an independent Chair.