While on disability waiver (also called “disability waiver of contributions”), you continue to accumulate in the OMERS Plan, as if you are still working. The OMERS Plan covers your contributions and your employer’s contributions. Earnings used to calculate your pension are increased by the lower of the annual increase in the Average Industrial Wage (AIW) or the Consumer Price Index (CPI).
To qualify for a disability waiver you must be as defined by the OMERS Plan. If you qualify, the disability waiver begins on the first day of the fifth month after you become totally disabled.
The disability waiver benefit continues until one of these events occurs:
- You are no longer totally disabled.
- You begin receiving an OMERS Plan disability or pension.
- You return to work other than on an OMERS-approved rehabilitation program.
- You leave your employer and elect a termination benefit from the OMERS Plan.
- You reach your and become eligible for a retirement pension.
If you become , as defined by the OMERS Plan, you can begin a disability pension. Your disability pension is an unreduced early retirement pension calculated using the OMERS Plan pension formula.
The disability pension can begin on the later of:
- the first day of the fifth month after you become totally and permanently disabled; or
- the first of the month following the month you elect a disability pension, if you have been on a disability waiver.
If you are on disability waiver immediately before beginning an OMERS Plan disability pension, the waiver benefit ends when your pension begins, and you will no longer accrue credited service in the OMERS Plan.
The disability pension continues until:
- you reach your , and your disability pension becomes an OMERS Plan normal retirement pension; or
- you no longer meet the definition of totally and permanently disabled; or
- you return to work, other than on an OMERS-approved rehabilitation program.
OMERS and Workers Safety Insurance Board (WSIB)
The maximum you can receive from WSIB and the OMERS Plan, combined, is 85% of your contributory earnings immediately before you were disabled. If you exceed the limit, your OMERS Plan disability pension will be reduced until you reach your normal retirement age, or until WSIB stops.
Shortened Life Expectancy
If, because of an illness or other condition, your life expectancy is less than two years, you may be able to withdraw the cash value of your pension. Once you receive this shortened life expectancy benefit, no further benefit is payable from the OMERS Plan to you, your survivors, or estate.
If you have an eligible spouse, they must provide their written consent for you to withdraw the funds.