Top Member Questions
2012 Plan Changes: 2013 Contribution Rates
2012 Plan Changes: Cap on Contributory Earnings
2011 Plan Changes: Benefit Changes Effective 2013
2011 Plan Changes: RCA Funding Mechanism
Changing Retired Member Information
Current Requests For Service Purchases
Try our Retirement Income Estimator. You can estimate your future retirement income, including your OMERS pension.
If you have a specific retirement date, or dates, in mind, we would be happy to provide you with an estimate of your OMERS pension. There are several ways to request an estimate:
We always look at the average of your "best-five" years – specifically, your best 60 consecutive months of earnings (not necessarily calendar years). Your best five earnings may include partial years at the beginning and end of the 60 consecutive months so your best five could span more than five calendar years.
Your estimate is based on earnings and service reported by your employer. We also estimate future earnings and service based on what has been previously reported. Your estimate may change as new information is provided by your employer.
One important factor is your comfort level regarding investment risk. If you keep your pension with OMERS, you are guaranteed a stream of future pension income for life. If you choose to transfer your OMERS entitlement out of the plan – for example to a locked-in RRSP – you assume all responsibility for the management and risk of your investment. There may be front-end or ongoing costs related to your investment in this case.
Also, keep in mind that your OMERS pension comes with excellent survivor benefits, and is fully protected against inflation. You should also think about estate planning, life expectancy and other important issues in making your decision.
Need more info?
For clarification on your options outlined on your Benefit Application Form or for general information, contact OMERS Client Services.
For specific financial advice, we recommend you consult with an independent financial advisor.
If you've lost Your OMERS Pension Options package or it has expired, contact OMERS Client Services to request another one. We can take requests by telephone or in writing, by e-mail, fax, or letter.
If you send a written request, include:
The most convenient way to update your information is online with myOMERS. Or, you can call OMERS Client Services at 1-800-387-0813 or 416-369-2444.
There are several ways to change your beneficiary:
OMERS order of entitlement
When a member dies, OMERS provides benefits in the following order of entitlement:
Effective January 1, 2012, OMERS and other registered pension plan administrators in Ontario must comply with new rules related to the valuation and division of the pension benefit in the event of a marriage breakdown. These new rules are part of the Ontario Family Law Act and the Ontario Pension Benefits Act. The Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) is responsible for developing the prescribed forms that must be used.
With the introduction of this new legislation, different sets of rules will apply depending on the date that your court order, family arbitration award or domestic contract was signed/executed. (A separation agreement is a form of domestic contract.) See Marriage Breakdown for more details.
There are certain types of past service and leaves (e.g., pregnancy/parental leave with an OMERS employer) that you can choose to purchase. Check out the Buy-back Estimator for more information on buybacks, and to estimate the cost of a buy-back.
You become eligible to retire and receive an OMERS pension within 10 years of your normal retirement age – regardless of how many years of service you have. For most members, this is age 55. For police and fire members, this is age 50. If you're thinking of retiring, please request an OMERS pension estimate.
You'll find our current contribution rates listed in our Member Handbook.
Check How to Apply for an OMERS Pension section.
Advise your employer (active members)
If you are an active OMERS member and you have decided to retire, advise your employer. They will complete and send us a pension application form (Form 143 - Request for an OMERS plan benefit) [99.2 KB]. This form advises OMERS that you are retiring and reports your final earnings, service and contributions.
Complete an application form (inactive members)
If you are no longer employed by an OMERS employer, complete Form 144 – Application for retirement pension [15.3 KB] (deferred members) and send it to OMERS to apply for your pension.
How long does it take to receive a pension estimate?
Our current service standard to provide an estimate is three business days. Please check our Service Turnaround Times.
For general information about your pension options, please contact Client Services.
For specific financial advice, we recommend you consult with an independent financial adviser.
This legislation does not affect your OMERS pension. The normal retirement age of OMERS members is 65 (or 60 for most members of the police sector and firefighters), but some members, with the consent of their employer, continue to work past their normal retirement age.
If you continue to work for an OMERS employer, or are paid past age 65 (or age 60 for police and firefighters), your active membership in OMERS will continue.
However, the OMERS Act requires that you start your pension in the year in which you turn 71. At that time, OMERS will provide you with a monthly pension whether or not you are still working, and you will no longer make contributions.
If you are an active member and still employed by an OMERS employer, you do not need to notify OMERS of name changes. Your employer will do this for you.
If you are no longer an active member, please advise OMERS immediately if your name changes. This applies if you kept your pension with OMERS when you stopped working or if you are on OMERS disability waiver benefit and have also terminated employment with your OMERS employer.
To notify OMERS of a name change, send a signed letter and proof of your name change, by fax or mail, with your new information to:
One University Avenue
Fax: 416-369-9704 or 1-877-369-9704
In the letter include:
We start producing your Pension Report once we receive your employer's year-end information. We usually send out Pension Reports in spring through to summer. If yours is late, please contact your employer or OMERS.
We run your employer's year-end information through checks before we print the Pension Reports, and some files can take longer to sort out. Also, we have 900 employers who send us their year-end information at different times - which means that some other employers, and their members, may get their Pension Report before you do.
It depends on what type of member you are. If you're an…
OMERS collects information from employers on an annual basis. The Pension Report you receive this year reflects your information on our records as at year-end (December 31) of the previous year.
No; this is the earliest date you can retire with no reduction to your pension. You may be able to retire before then with a reduced pension provided you within 10 years of your normal retirement age (age 55 for normal retirement age 65, or age 50 for normal retirement age 60).
No, they don't. This figure only includes your contributions plus interest. However, your employer does pay a matching amount.
When calculating your pension, we always use your highest 60 consecutive months of contributory earnings. Therefore, if you only see (for example) 10 months in 1998, then you will see 2 months in another year, which will complete your best 60.
We do not change enrolment dates when you purchase this type of service. However, the period of time between these two dates will be included in your total credited service.
Although we only record your hire date with your current employer, we keep track of all your service. Any service you had with a previous OMERS employer stays on our records, and is included in your pension entitlement.
There could be several reasons. The most common is…
You may have worked for a previous OMERS employer. When you left, we would have mailed you an election form that outlined all of your termination options.
Your employer reports your contributory earnings to us. Certain income - such as overtime pay - is excluded from the contributory earnings your employer reports. If there's another reason why the earnings on your Pension Report aren't correct, please contact your employer.
Changing your beneficiary information is simple. Ask your employer for a Form 206 - Beneficiary information [81.9 KB]. Follow the instructions on the form and don't forget to sign before your employer returns it to us. Once we receive the form, we will update your record and send you a confirmation slip through your employer.
The contribution rates for 2013 are shown in the table below. In 2010, OMERS announced a three-year plan to increase contribution rates. The contribution rate increases set for 2013 are the third increase.
* The CPP earnings limit in 2012 is $50,100; the limit in 2013 will be higher. Contributions are tax deductible which lessens the net impact on Plan members.
These rate increases are intended to be temporary until the deficit is eliminated, and are part of a long-term strategy to return the OMERS Plan to full funding.
Contribution rate increases directly affect active members and employers.
Contributions to OMERS Plan are made by members and matched by employers.
The rates for 2013 affect members differently at various earnings levels and normal retirement age groups (65 and 60); however, the increase averages out to be 0.9% for members and employers.
Here are some examples of the contributions members and their employers will be paying in 2013. Here are examples showing the bi-weekly pay impact of the contribution increases, based on 26 pay periods.
Normal retirement age 65
Normal retirement age 60
*This calculation uses the 2012 CPP earnings limit ($50,100).
**Net differences after tax are based on 2012 Federal and Ontario marginal tax rates and assume the member has taxable income equal to the annual earnings shown.
OMERS will review its funded position and make any Plan changes accordingly. For more information, see the Plan Funding section.
Starting in 2014, the SC will begin to use a new method that strikes a balance for different member groups among the various contribution rate setting principles. These principles include transparency, limited volatility, value for money, pooling, limited complexity and cost effectiveness.
This change will cap a member's earnings for pension purposes. This change applies to the OMERS Plan, the Retirement Compensation Arrangement (RCA) for the OMERS Plan, and the Supplemental Plan. This cap is in addition to the existing cap on contributory earnings (i.e., for incentive pay).
Most OMERS members will not be affected by this Plan change. It will only affect Plan members whose contributory earnings are over seven times the CPP earnings limit. (If the cap were in effect for 2012 this would be 7 x $50,100 or $350,700.)
The effective date of the cap on contributory earnings is:
Starting January 1, 2013, changes in pension benefit calculations affect members who terminate employment and who are not yet eligible for an early retirement pension (before age 55 for normal retirement age 65, or before age 50 for normal retirement age 60).
If you are not eligible for early retirement, your benefit will be calculated in two parts:
Read more in the Member Handbook.
Pre-retirement indexing and early retirement subsidy calculations will affect members who are not within 10 years of their normal retirement age when they leave their employer.
Pre-retirement indexing is the inflation protection OMERS applies when calculating an OMERS pension benefit from the date a terminating member leaves their employer until the date their OMERS pension begins. The indexation applies regardless of whether the member chooses a deferred pension or decides to transfer their commuted value out of the OMERS Plan.
These include the OMERS "bridge" benefit and early retirement provisions - provided when calculating a pension benefit.
These features are an added cost to the Plan and are in addition to the lifetime pension (payable at normal retirement age) that an OMERS member earns. The bridge benefit temporarily supplements a member's OMERS Plan pension until the CPP pension is assumed to begin at age 65.
Current retirees are not affected by the Plan changes. Their OMERS pensions are secure and paid for life. Pensions for current retirees and survivors continue to be increased each year by 100% of the Consumer Price Index (CPI).
The Retirement Compensation Arrangement (RCA) is a separate fund that pays benefits to members whose pensionable income exceeds the maximum pension limit under the Income Tax Act.
OMERS Sponsors Corporation (SC) approved a change that requires an annual review of the Retirement Compensation Arrangement (RCA) to ensure it maintains a viable funding level.
The change in the funding flexibility of the Retirement Compensation Arrangement (RCA) involves the threshold used to stream contributions to the Primary Plan and RCA. A similar method is used by other pension plans.
OMERS, like many other pension plans, has implemented this change to remain on course to address funding challenges.
Effective January 1, 2012, the earnings level at which contributions are made to either the OMERS Plan or the RCA will vary each year based on the actuary’s projections. The OMERS Sponsors Corporation (SC) will continue to review this annually.
Send completed forms and letters to:
One University Avenue
Toll-free fax 1-877-369-9704
If you receive your monthly OMERS pension by direct deposit to your bank account:
If you receive your monthly OMERS pension by cheque, please provide written notice of your change of address.
You can request a letter of income (as proof that you are receiving an OMERS pension) by writing to OMERS or by calling OMERS Client Services at 1-800-387-0813 or 416-369-2444.
The letter of income will be mailed to your home address. If you want the letter sent directly to a third party, we will need a written and signed request from you, with the party's name and address; please indicate whether you want OMERS to mail or fax the letter.
If your spouse or other family member has been named by you in a continuing power of attorney for property, we can carry out the request. If the person has not been named by you in a continuing power of attorney for property, we cannot carry out a request to change your address, banking or other information or release your information.
A continuing power of attorney for property is a legal document that gives someone else the right to act on your behalf in matters relating to your property and finances.
A lawyer can advise you on drawing up specific conditions and limitations for a continuing power of attorney for property. In the absence of a continuing power of attorney for property, a guardian of property can be appointed by the courts to make decisions on behalf of the incapable person. If no one is appointed, the public guardian and trustee assumes the authority.
The Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee has a power of attorney kit that will help you appoint the person you want to make decisions for you when you are no longer able to do so for yourself. You can get a copy from the website of the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General at www.attorneygeneral.jus.gov.on.ca.
Note: A person holding a continuing power of attorney for property cannot change a member’s beneficiary designation; only the member can.
If you appoint a power of attorney for your financial affairs if you become incapacitated, send OMERS a copy of the power of attorney document. For pension-related purposes, your power of attorney requires (continuing) power of attorney for property.
We will deal with requests from your appointed power of attorney, provided we get proof of their identity. If you have specified that proof of your incapacity is needed first, we will require this proof as well.
The increase for 2015 is 1.80%.
OMERS pensions that will receive the inflation increase include normal and early retirement pensions, as well as survivor, deferred, and disability pensions.
Read more about inflation and your pension.
It depends on the expiry date of the cost of your buy-back purchase. If the cost expires before March 1 and you elect to buy some or all of the service, the $215 fee will be included. If the cost expires on/after March 1, we will process the buy-back purchase after March 1, and you will not pay the $215 fee.
The expiry date of the cost is on the first page of your package as shown below.
If OMERS receives your funds on or after January 29, 2015, the $215 will be applied only if the expiry date of the cost is before March 1, 2015. If the expiry date is on or after March 1, the $215 fee will be returned. If you transferred funds from an RRSP to pay for the purchase, the $215 fee will be returned to your RRSP. If you paid by cheque, the $215 will be returned by cheque.
Yes, you can wait and request another cost after the expiry date and the $215 will not be included; however, the cost of the service will be recalculated using current factors, and it may be higher.
No. Your monthly payment will not change.
If you terminate your employment or retire, you must complete the purchase within 30 days of leaving your employer. If this 30-day deadline occurs before March 1, 2015, the $215 fee will be applied to your purchase.