Important information about the OMERS Comprehensive Plan

June 12, 2018
The OMERS Sponsors Corporation (SC) is currently conducting a Comprehensive Plan Review as part of its formal mandate under the OMERS governance structure. The purpose of this Review is to help us assess the Plan’s long-term financial health – and to ensure that it remains sustainable, meaningful and affordable for generations to come.

The ultimate goal of the review is to modernize the Plan, and to determine if there is a better and more equitable way to deliver the pension promise in a fast-changing and demanding world. The challenge is to identify which potential changes, if any, make the best sense for the majority of stakeholders, current and future.

The review is progressing, and the Board continues to narrow the range of potential Plan updates based on extensive financial modeling and direct feedback from stakeholders.

Any changes that come out of the Review will have no impact on pension benefits accrued (earned) before the effective date of any change. For retirees, any approved changes to the Plan will have no effect on their pension. For active members, any benefits accrued (earned) up to the effective date of any change will not be impacted.

Revised timeline

Given the importance and potential sensitivity of the Review, the Board has decided to extend its standard timelines for decision-making – to allow for additional analysis and direct stakeholder engagement. The Board will also decide the timeline for any changes. There will be no changes implemented before the end of 2018, and we don’t expect to see changes before 2021.Potential Plan changes, if any, will be posted after the June SC Board meeting, rather than May. The final vote will take place in November, following broader stakeholder outreach and consultation with employers, unions and members.

Next step: engagement and consultation

In the coming weeks, you will be invited to participate in an employer forum on July 24. This is your opportunity to hear about the Comprehensive Plan Review first-hand, and to share your thoughts, insights and ideas.

This fall, we will be working with an independent third party to conduct focus groups that will involve a broad cross-section of our members. Member consultation on the potential Plan design updates will further inform Board Directors as they consider these options.

While focus group participation may be limited, all members will be invited to share their thoughts and questions during planned webcasts, online at omerssc.com, and by email at contact@omerssc.com.

We would appreciate your help

To help us manage this extremely important initiative, we ask that you:

  • participate in one of the upcoming employer forums to learn first-hand about the Comprehensive Plan Review;
  • encourage your members/employees to participate in future webcasts and focus groups;
  • direct members to the SC website for more information and updates.

We have included a copy of the upcoming member bulletin and a link to an informational video for your consideration. We’ve also included a link with answers to some anticipated member questions.

For more information

The SC website is your central information source for regular updates on the Comprehensive Plan Review. This site will be updated with our latest resources, including videos, newsletters and responses to questions mentioned above. Please visit the site at omerssc.com and check back from time to time for the latest news.

If you have any questions, comments or ideas in the interim, please feel free to send an email to contact@omerssc.com. We look forward to hearing from you. On behalf of OMERS SC, thank you in advance for your support.

Sincerely,
Paul Harrietha
CEO, OMERS Sponsors Corporation

Challenges on the horizon


Despite the recent positive results, the OMERS Plan remains underfunded. Like most major defined benefit (DB) pension plans around the world, the Plan also faces a number of realities that will impact our financial health over the next 20, 50 and even 100 years. These realities include:
  • a steadily maturing plan;
  • longer life expectancy;
  • changing demographic and workplace trends;
  • an increasingly uncertain economic environment; and
  • recent regulatory and legislative developments, including Canada Pension Plan (CPP) enhancements.
For a full description of the individual headwinds, see “A work in progress”  or watch our quick video.