OMERS Pensions Plans
The OMERS Pension Plans comprise the OMERS Primary Pension Plan, the Retirement Compensation Arrangement (RCA) for the OMERS Primary Pension Plan, and the Supplemental Pension Plan for Police, Firefighters and Paramedics.
When we refer to the “OMERS Plan” in our communications, it is the OMERS Primary Pension Plan that we are typically referring to, unless otherwise specified.
OMERS Primary Pension Plan
There are two components to the OMERS Primary Pension Plan: defined benefits and Additional Voluntary Contributions (AVCs). The defined benefits paid under the Primary Plan, when combined with current Canada Pension Plan (CPP) benefits, are designed to approximate 2% of a member’s average annual earnings for the highest-paid 60 consecutive months, multiplied by their years of credited service, to a maximum of 35 years.
The Primary Plan also provides eligible members with:
a bridge benefit, which ceases at age 65, when CPP benefits are expected to commence;
early retirement options;
disability protection in the event a contributing member becomes disabled and is unable to work;
survivor benefits for a spouse and dependent children; and
portability options on termination.
Benefits payable under the Primary Plan are limited by the maximum pension allowed under the Income Tax Act (ITA). The Primary Plan's financial statements are set out in the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements.
Retirement Compensation Arrangement for the OMERS Primary Pension Plan
The RCA provides pension benefits using the OMERS pension formula, which are above the maximum pension allowed under the ITA, subject to an overall maximum. The benefit is based on annual earnings capped at the lesser of 150% of the member’s base annual compensation or seven times the year’s maximum pensionable earnings.
Net assets of the RCA were $162 million at December 31, 2019, compared to $148 million at December 31, 2018.
The RCA is not subject to the minimum funding standards of the Pension Benefits Act (PBA), and is partially funded on a modified pay-as-you-go basis. The funding target is to ensure that the existing RCA Fund, projected contributions, and investment earnings, are sufficient to pay for benefits and expenses for a period of 20 years following each valuation date.
OMERS Supplemental Plan
The OMERS Supplemental Pension Plan for Police, Firefighters and Paramedics (Supplemental Plan) came into effect on July 1, 2008. The Supplemental Plan is a separately funded, stand-alone registered pension plan that offers optional benefits that are not available under the Primary Plan.