How to Start Your Pension

Once the planning and preparations are done, you're ready for the next step towards your life after work: retiring. Here, we'll cover the OMERS retirement process , step by step, from your retirement options, to taxes, through to survivor benefits.

What do I actually have to do to receive my OMERS pension?

Pension Estimate

  • One of the first things you should do is get an estimate of what your OMERS pension will be.
  • Or try our Retirement Income Estimator.
  • Either you or your employer can complete a Form 190 - Request for a pension estimate  and submit it to OMERS.

Pension Application

  • If you are an active OMERS member and you have decided to retire, you must advise your employer.
  • Your employer will complete and submit a pension application, Form 143 - Request for an OMERS plan benefit. This form advises OMERS that you are retiring and reports your final earnings, service and contributions.
  • Make sure your employer accounts for all the credited and eligible service that can enhance your OMERS pension.
  • If you wish to purchase any leave periods, any outstanding forms for broken service, pregnancy/parental leave, or optional service, or buy-back election forms or other documentation must be submitted along with payment.
  • OMERS will prepare and send you a personalized pension options package that shows you how your pension was calculated. You must choose your option, sign, and return the form to OMERS, along with proof of age, bank deposit information, and completed TD1 forms. We then process your pension.
  • The usual form of payment is direct (electronic) deposit to your bank account.

Advance Election Option

  • If you are an active member, and you advise your employer that you are retiring, your employer will give you the advance election option for normal or early retirement.
  • The advance election option helps OMERS process your pension more quickly.
  • But be aware that by choosing this option, you won't get any information about your pension before it starts. You are therefore waiving your right to receive a retirement election form, and giving OMERS permission to process your pension right away, based on your earnings and service.  
  • You and a witness must sign and date the waiver section of the Form 143 - Request for an OMERS plan benefit  [101 KB] your employer sends us, acknowledging that you are making the advance election.
  • Your employer will submit your proof of age, bank deposit information with a blank "void" cheque, and completed TD1 income tax forms (federal and provincial) with the Form 143.

Proof of Age

  • OMERS will accept a legible photocopy of one of the following documents as proof of age:
    • birth certificate
    • baptismal papers
    • adoption papers
    • Canadian passport
     
    • Canadian registration of birth
    • Canadian citizenship papers
    • Indian status card
    • Canadian driver's licence
     
  • If you do not have any of the above documents, legible photocopies of any two of the following are acceptable:
    • marriage records
    • school records
    • military records
    • foreign passport 
    • age of majority card
    • statutory declaration
    • Canadian immigration papers

Tax Issues

  • OMERS is required by Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) to deduct applicable income tax from your pension.
  • Your employer may submit completed federal and provincial TD1 forms for you with the Form 143.
  • OMERS determines a tax rate for you based on your monthly OMERS pension and your TD1, or the country of residence information on record.
  • If you are a non-resident, your pension is subject to the appropriate non-resident tax deduction.
  • If you would like OMERS to amend the amount of tax we deduct: ul>
  • request it on the appropriate line of the TD1 form you can get from the Canada Revenue Agency or from your previous employer; or
  • write to OMERS with your name, reference number, the additional monthly dollar amount you want withheld, and your signature; or
  • download, complete and send in this Form 108 - Changing Your Address, Banking or Taxes   (33.9 KB)

    What is the OMERS Bridge Benefit?

    • When OMERS began in 1963, members contributed to and received a pension from OMERS only. When the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) began in 1966, OMERS members were also required to contribute to it.
    • To ease the burden on OMERS members, the Ontario government "integrated" the two pension plans and reduced the OMERS contribution rate on earnings for which members were also contributing to CPP.
    • If you retire before age 65, you receive the OMERS bridge benefit as part of your total pension benefit. The bridge benefit essentially "tops up" your early retirement pension until age 65.
    • The OMERS bridge benefit is based on an OMERS formula, not the actual amount of pension you receive from the CPP.
    • You are eligible for a reduced retirement pension from CPP at age 60 (reduced by 0.5% for each month below age 65 [6% per year]; e.g., at age 60, CPP is reduced 5x6%=30%). Taking a reduced CPP option does not affect payment of your OMERS pension or bridge benefit in any way.
    • Discuss this benefit with your local Social Development Canada office.

    OMERS Benefits for My Survivors

    When you die after retirement, benefits may be payable, in the following order of entitlement, to your:

    • Eligible spouse: legal or common-law spouse (includes same-sex partners).
    • Eligible dependent children: a natural or legally adopted child and is:
      • under age 19;
      • under age 25 and in full-time attendance at an educational institute; or
      • totally disabled.
    • Beneficiary or Estate: If there is no eligible spouse or child, your named beneficiary or estate may receive a residual benefit.
    • For details, please see Survivor Benefits

    How long until I receive my first pension payment?

    • The effective date of the pension will be the first day of the month following the month of your retirement (unless your employer deducts contributions from a lump-sum payment for accumulated vacation and therefore, extends the retirement date).
    • OMERS pensions are paid at the beginning of the month. For example, you will normally receive your pension payment for June on the first banking day in June.
    • If all the paperwork is completed and sent into OMERS within two weeks of your last employment date, your pension should be in by the first of the following month, depending on the bank, credit union, etc.
    • We will send any retroactive payments to you by separate cheque or direct deposit, as a one-time payment, five to seven days after we have processed your pension.

    What if I don't plan to Live in Canada after retiring?

    • OMERS can provide direct deposit payments to retired members in Canada, the U.S and the U.K.
    • OMERS pension payments can be sent anywhere else in the world by cheque (in Canadian funds).
    • Direct deposit payments to U.S. and U.K. bank accounts are made in Canadian dollars or U.K pounds and will be converted to U.S. dollars or U.K. pounds at the financial institution.
    • Please ensure that OMERS has your current address and keep us informed of any address changes.