Withdrawal Options

Your options as an active pension plan member

PARTIAL WITHDRAWAL Maximum 20% of the prior year-end AVC account balance subject to a minimum of $500.
FULL WITHDRAWAL If partial withdrawals are made in each of four consecutive years, the 20% limit does not apply in the fifth consecutive year. In the fifth year, you can withdraw up to your entire account balance (excluding current year contributions).
WITHDRAWAL WINDOW March 1 to April 30
NON-LOCKED-IN FUNDS IN AN AVC ACCOUNT Can be taken as cash, less withholding tax, or transferred tax-deferred to an RRSP, a registered retirement income fund (RRIF) or another registered pension plan.
LOCKED-IN FUNDS IN AN AVC ACCOUNT Can be transferred only to a locked-in arrangement, such as a LIRA or a locked-in provision under a registered pension plan.

 

When you retire or leave your OMERS employer

OPTION 1: 
Withdraw all or some of the funds in your AVC account
  • You may withdraw all or some of the funds in your AVC account at any time within the first 6 months after retirement, or upon leaving your OMERS employer if you keep your pension with OMERS*. After that, you can withdraw all or some of the funds during the March/April window.
  • Withdrawals are subject to a minimum of $500.
  • Non-locked-in funds in your AVC account may be withdrawn as cash, less withholding tax.
  • Up to the year you turn 71, non-locked-in and locked-in funds in your AVC account may be transferred to another registered retirement savings vehicle, tax-deferred,or used to purchase an annuity.
OPTION 2: 
Keep your AVC account (if you keep your pension with OMERS)
  • You can keep the funds in your AVC account.
  • Non-locked-in funds can remain in your account past the year you turn 71 through the AVC Income Option.
  • The full balance of locked-in funds must be withdrawn by October 31 of the year your turn 71.

*If you leave your OMERS employer and transfer your defined benefit pension out of OMERS, you must withdraw the full balance of your AVC account.

Mandatory full withdrawal

If you no longer have an accompanying benefit under the OMERS Plan, you cannot continue your AVC account. You must withdraw or transfer the full balance of your AVC account:

  • if you terminate your membership in the defined benefit provision of the OMERS Plan and transfer out the commuted value of your pension
  • if you use the shortened life expectancy provision of the OMERS Plan

In addition, you must withdraw or transfer the full balance of any locked-in funds by October of the year you turn 71.

In the event of your passing

In the event of your death before or after retirement, your surviving spouse is entitled to a refund of your AVC account balance, provided you were not living separate and apart on the date of your death, and your surviving spouse did not waive his or her entitlement.

If you don’t have a spouse, the refund will be paid to your designated beneficiary(ies) on file with OMERS. If you don’t have a spouse or designated beneficiary(ies), the refund will be paid to your estate.

For more information on this process, consult the Terms of Participation.

  • Terms of Participation .pdf

How to withdraw funds from your AVC account

There are two ways to withdraw funds from your AVC account:

  1. Do it conveniently online through the myOMERS secure member access site. Not registered for myOMERS yet? Sign up for myOMERS
  2. Or, complete a paper withdrawal form and return it to OMERS.

If you choose the paper withdrawal option, be sure to complete the correct form:

If you choose the paper withdrawal option, be sure to complete the correct form:

  • Form 403 - AVC withdrawal form (active members) .pdf

  • Form 404 - AVC withdrawal form .pdf

  • Form 411 - AVC income option withdrawal form .pdf

In the year you turn 71 and beyond, you will have to use the paper form. You will not be able to initiate your withdrawal using myOMERS.

AVC Income Option withdrawals (beginning the year you turn 72)

To make an optional withdrawal during the annual March 1 to April 30 withdrawal window, you will need to use the paper form. You will not be able to initiate your withdrawal using myOMERS.

  • Form 411 - AVC Income Option Withdrawal (Members Age 72 and Older) .pdf

Rate of return examples

The  examples show how the rate of return for the OMERS Primary Pension Plan (OMERS Plan) is applied to a member’s AVC account in six different scenarios.

See examples