One of the most common questions to OMERS Client Services is contributory earnings. Compensation practices have changed significantly over time, with new types of allowances and perquisites added seemingly every year. So it’s understandable if you, as an OMERS employer, have ever asked yourself: “Should I include or exclude this type of pay?”
The OMERS online Employer Administration Manual should be your first stop to find an answer. It will help if you’re new to OMERS administration, or if new types of compensation have been introduced in your organization, or if you simply want to double-check that you’re complying with the rules. The Manual covers all aspects of administration of the OMERS pension plans and is available 24/7.
Section 3 of the Manual deals with contributory earnings and sub-section 3.1.1 describes various types of compensation. As of January 3, 2012, the content under 3.1.1 will have a new structure to help you find answers faster. The most common elements of contributory earnings will be listed alphabetically in a table and the adjacent columns will indicate if each common type should be included or excluded, followed by further explanation.
Caution! Although the Manual covers many common compensation elements, our list cannot be exhaustive. You may have a unique type of pay in your organization or you may have unique terminology. We’ve added guidelines to the Manual to help you assess any type of compensation that doesn’t appear in the list. However, we can’t stress strongly enough: If you’re not sure if a type of compensation should be included or excluded, please call OMERS Client Services – we’re here to help.
It’s extremely important to record contributory earnings accurately. If an element of compensation is included or excluded by mistake, a correction will have to be made, regardless of how many members it affects or how long it has occurred. Errors can have significant consequences, including but not limited to the following:
OMERS main goal is to pay pensions. And to ensure we pay pensions that have been calculated consistently and fairly, we need your help to maintain accurate data. As a result, we strongly encourage all employer administrators to attend our free Employer Administration Workshops. You’ll have an opportunity to discuss contributory earnings in depth, try exercises to test your knowledge, and get answers to any questions about the specific types of compensation in your organization.