The legislation governing mandatory retirement at age 71 for firefighters does not impact OMERS membership rules; it is an employer relations matter.
From our perspective, a member can continue to work and accrue service past their normal retirement date in the OMERS Plan. The OMERS Plan does not require a member to stop working – even when they reach age 71; however, they do have to begin to collect a pension no later than that age to comply with the federal Income Tax Act.
OMERS cannot provide advice about whether a firefighter is covered by the mandatory retirement rule; it is a matter for the employer to decide.
For OMERS purposes, a firefighter enrolled in the OMERS Plan could have a normal retirement age of 60 or 65 – this is set as part of the employer’s participation bylaw. Generally, all staff firefighters performing “fire protection services,” which include fire suppression, fire prevention, fire safety education, communication, training of persons involved in the provision of fire protection services, rescue and emergency services and the delivery of all those services, would have a normal retirement age of 60.