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Governance Manual, Policies and Guidelines

Here is an overview of key policies and guidelines for OMERS, including Investments, Members, Employers etc., where policies have been approved by the AC Board or its standing committees or where plan members would benefit from understanding how our policies impact how we conduct our business.


Privacy

Protection of personal information is a key responsibility, especially with a plan the size of OMERS. The AC Privacy Statement describes how we collect, use, retain and, where necessary, dispose of the personal information in the administration of the OMERS Pension Plans. We take this responsibility very seriously. 


Governance Manual

Please note that capitalized terms are described in Policy Terms and Definitions PDF [58 KB] published by OMERS Compliance & Ethics Department. All documents below are PDF files.

Introduction

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Introduction .pdf
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(24 KB)
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Governance Principles .pdf
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(27 KB)

Mandates and Roles

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Board of Directors Mandate .pdf
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(115 KB)
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Appeals Committee Mandate .pdf
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(52 KB)
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Audit & Actuarial Committee Mandate .pdf
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(62 KB)
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Governance & Risk Committee Mandate .pdf
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(102 KB)
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Human Resources Committee Mandate .pdf
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(40 KB)
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Investment Committee Mandate .pdf
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(38 KB)
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Management Mandate .pdf
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(36 KB)
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Board and Director Competencies .pdf
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(127 KB)
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Board Chair Role Description .pdf
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(44 KB)
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Board Member Role Description .pdf
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(48 KB)
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CEO Role Description .pdf
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(41 KB)

By-laws

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By-law No. 1 - General .pdf
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(223 KB)
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By-law No. 2 – Borrowing and Banking .pdf
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(25 KB)
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By-law No. 3 – Committees .pdf
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(132 KB)
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By-law No. 4 – Appeals Process .pdf
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(46 KB)

Policies

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Anti-Bribery & Corruption .pdf
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(184 KB)
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Anti-Terrorist Financing & Money Laundering .pdf
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(128 KB)
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Board Education & Expense .pdf
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(401 KB)
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Charities .pdf
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(154 KB)
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Code of Conduct and Ethics .pdf
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(192 KB)
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Director Remuneration .pdf
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(120 KB)
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External Auditor Independence .pdf
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(149 KB)
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Financial Disclosure .pdf
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(134 KB)
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Funding Policy – Primary Plan .pdf
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(199 KB)
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Funding Policy – RCA .pdf
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(546 KB)
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Institutional Trading .pdf
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(129 KB)
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Lobbying .pdf
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(129 KB)
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Personal Trading .pdf
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(142 KB)
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Political Donations .pdf
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(132 KB)
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Related Party Transactions Review .pdf
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(124 KB)
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Sponsors Corporation Support and Reimbursement .pdf
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(125 KB)
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Statement of Investment Authorities .pdf
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(190 KB)
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Statement of Investment Beliefs .pdf
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(312 KB)
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Statement of Investment Policies and Procedures (SIP&P) - Primary Plan .pdf
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(577 KB)
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Statement of Investment Policies and Procedures (SIP&P) - Retirement Compensation Arrangement (RCA) Plan .pdf
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(549 KB)
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Statement of Investment Policies and Procedures (SIP&P) - Supplemental Plan .pdf
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(559 KB)
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Sustainable Investing Policy .pdf
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(486 KB)
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Valuation of Investments .pdf
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(179 KB)
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Workplace Investigations Policy .pdf
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(84 KB)

Accessibility Policy

Effective December 1, 2018

Commitment to service for people with disabilities

OMERS strives at all times to provide its services in a way that respects the dignity and independence of people with disabilities. We are committed to giving people with disabilities the same opportunity to access our business and services in the same place and in a similar way as others. In Ontario, this policy forms part of our framework to fully comply with the standards developed under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (“AODA”) (see Appendix ‘A’, Multi-Year Accessibility Plan).

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Accessibility Policy .pdf
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(454 KB)
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Accessibility Report .pdf
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(170 KB)

OMERS Dispute Resolution Process

OMERS Administration Corporation (AC) is responsible for the administration of the OMERS Pension Plans. In this role, AC ensures that benefit entitlements are paid in accordance with the terms of the Plan and applicable legislation while also ensuring that Plan members are treated consistently and fairly.


We’re Here to Help

If Plan members or employers ever have questions about the terms of the OMERS Pension Plans or the administration of benefits, AC employees are available to help. Most inquiries can be resolved by contacting OMERS Member Services.

On occasion, Plan participants (members, beneficiaries or employers) may wish to pursue their concerns or issues further. The following sets out AC’s process to do so.


What is OAC’s Dispute Resolution Process?

This three-step process is used when there is disagreement or concern with AC’s administration of the Plan terms – including eligibility for a benefit.

The process allows for a concern to be escalated, although almost all concerns are resolved at Step 1.

STEP 1: Staff Review 

You may request that AC review a concern or case about the interpretation of the Plan terms or a benefit entitlement. To request a Staff Review, contact OMERS Member Services. As part of this Staff Review, you may be asked for additional documentation*, such as employment information, medical information or proof of spousal status.

How long the Staff Review takes can vary depending on the fact-finding process and the level of review of Plan terms and administration that may be required. Once complete, you will receive a written response that summarizes the outcome of the Staff Review. 

*By providing AC with this information, you are representing to AC that you and whomever the information is about consent to the collection, use, and disclosure of that information by AC for the purposes of the Dispute Resolution Process. In particular, you and whomever the information is about understand that the information may be shared with other parties and with AC employees, management, and the AC Board of Directors (AC Board). This applies to information submitted at all steps of the Dispute Resolution Process.

STEP 2: President’s Determination 

If you disagree with the outcome of the Staff Review, you may request that AC’s President review the decision. This is called a President’s Determination. 

Any party who could be impacted by a President’s Determination can submit additional documentation for consideration and make further submissions (this process may take several months).

Once all documents are submitted, the President, or their delegate, will review and respond in approximately four weeks. 

STEP 3: Appeal to the AC Board of Directors 

If you are not satisfied with the President’s Determination, you can appeal the decision to the AC Board. An appeal must be requested in writing within 30 days after the President’s Determination, by submitting the Request for Hearing Form to the Staff Designate.

If you are not the party appealing the President’s Determination, but you wish to actively participate as a party in an appeal, you must submit the Application for Party Status Form to the Staff Designate. The Appeals Committee will then decide whether party status will be granted.

The documents governing appeals are By-law No. 4 – Appeals Processand Rules Respecting Practice and Procedure for Appeals. These documents allow OMERS to conduct appeals in accordance with a streamlined process that is efficient, transparent and fair.

Three members of the AC Board’s Appeals Committee (the “Panel”) will act as a panel to consider the appeal afresh.  The Panel is an impartial adjudicator that will fully review the issues put before it. It has independent legal counsel to advise on matters such as procedural fairness. The Panel has no jurisdiction to award damages.

The rules of procedural fairness are followed during the appeals process, which means:

  • Once an appeal is initiated, you will be provided with information on how the appeals process works, including any timing requirements for submissions and new documentation. 

  • Copies of all documents and submissions provided to the Panel will be shared with all parties, and you will have an opportunity to reply to claims made by an opposing party.

Usually, the Panel conducts hearings in writing. If you would prefer to have an oral hearing, you must submit the Request for Oral Hearing Form to the Staff Designate. You must satisfy the Panel that there is a good reason to hold an oral hearing – for example, if you have reason to believe that a party’s credibility is an issue. The Panel may also decide on its own that it is appropriate to hold an oral hearing.

After the hearing, the Panel will prepare a written decision which will include reasons. You will receive a copy of the Panel’s decision. The decision of the Panel, acting on behalf of the AC Board, is final. If you wish to review prior decisions rendered by the AC Board since 2005, these decisions are available here. These decisions are redacted (i.e., personal and sensitive information have been removed for privacy purposes) and are referenced by the year of the decision and the appeal subject matter.


What if I Need Someone to Help Me?

You can choose to be represented by a lawyer, union, relative, friend or another person during the OMERS Dispute Resolution Process. If you do, AC will need your written authorization to discuss your case or to release information about you to your representative.  If you choose to be represented in an appeal, you and your representative must complete the Certification form, which is attached to the Request for Hearing Form.

Decisions of the Appeals Panel of the OAC Board since 2005*

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Correction to contributions made to the OMERS Primary Pension Plan .pdf
June 10, 2020
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(318 KB)
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Spousal status for entitlement to post-retirement survivor benefits .pdf
April 5, 2018
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(314 KB)
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Common-law spouse status for entitlement to post-retirement survivor benefits .pdf
April 10, 2017
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(314 KB)
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Common-law spouse status for entitlement to post-retirement survivor benefits .pdf
March 8, 2017
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(235 KB)
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Dual claim for entitlement to pre-retirement survivor benefits .pdf
December 15, 2016
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(255 KB)
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Dual claim for entitlement to pre-retirement survivor benefits .pdf
September 15, 2016
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(240 KB)
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Entitlement to termination benefits .pdf
December 10, 2015
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(219 KB)
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Common-law spouse status for entitlement to post-retirement survivor benefits .pdf
April 15, 2015
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(222 KB)
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Common-law spouse status for entitlement to pre-retirement survivor benefits .pdf
August 22, 2012
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(136 KB)
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Dual claim for entitlement to pre-retirement survivor benefits .pdf
April 3, 2012
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(241 KB)
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Dual claim for entitlement to post-retirement survivor benefits .pdf
February 22, 2012
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(363 KB)
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Common-law spouse status for entitlement to pre-retirement survivor benefits .pdf
November 4, 2011
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(197 KB)
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Dual claim for entitlement to pre-retirement survivor benefits .pdf
September 19, 2011
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(225 KB)
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Calculation of termination benefits .pdf
September 22, 2010
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(383 KB)
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Common-law spouse status for entitlement to post-retirement survivor benefits .pdf
March 25, 2010
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(147 KB)
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Crediting of eligible service .pdf
September 17, 2009
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(247 KB)
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Dual claim for entitlement to pre-retirement survivor benefits .pdf
May 29, 2009
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(143 KB)
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Calculation of transfer amount .pdf
December 12, 2008
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(210 KB)
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Dual claim for entitlement to post-retirement survivor benefits .pdf
December 4, 2008
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(197 KB)
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Pension commencement date .pdf
October 9, 2008
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(274 KB)
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Common-law spouse status for entitlement to post-retirement survivor benefits .pdf
October 3, 2008
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(70 KB)
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Service purchase .pdf
December 19, 2007
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(66 KB)
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Dual claim for entitlement to pre-retirement survivor benefits .pdf
October 30, 2007
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(154 KB)
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Common-law spouse status for entitlement to pre-retirement survivor benefits .pdf
October 30, 2007
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(155 KB)
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Dual claim for entitlement to pre-retirement survivor benefits .pdf
March 8, 2007
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(172 KB)
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Dual claim for entitlement to pre-retirement survivor benefits .pdf
October 25, 2006
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(150 KB)
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Spousal status for entitlement to post-retirement survivor benefits .pdf
September 25, 2006
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(150 KB)
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Repayment of contributions .pdf
February 16, 2006
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(138 KB)

OMERS Tax Strategy

Introduction

Established in 1962, OMERS is a defined benefit pension plan that invests and administers pensions for employees of municipalities, non-teaching staff of school boards, emergency services and local agencies across Ontario, Canada. OMERS investment strategy is intended to build long-term value that supports our obligation to pay pensions today and in the future.

Canadian pension plans, including OMERS, are exempt from Canadian income tax on investment income. This tax status was designed to encourage retirement savings by deferring the tax on pension contributions and investment returns until payments are received by pensioners, at which time the retirement income is fully taxed at an individual level. Globally, several other governments also provide similar tax exemptions on investment income to pension plan investors, including OMERS.

The tax strategy outlined below applies to all OMERS businesses across all locations where we operate.


Attitude towards tax planning and level of risk

As a global investor, OMERS is subject to tax laws in each of the countries where we have offices or hold investments. Integrity is a core value at OMERS and we comply with all tax laws, regulations and obligations in the jurisdictions in which we operate and invest, taking a sustainable approach to tax risk and tax planning. Consistent with our approach to risk management, OMERS has procedures, processes and policies in place to ensure that tax risk is maintained at an acceptably low level. In keeping with our obligations as a pension plan, we plan our tax affairs to be efficient – to support the business activities of the enterprise and our ability to pay pensions to our members.

OMERS supports the various OECD initiatives, including the Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) project which creates a framework to ensure that profits are taxed where economic activities are performed and value is created.  In accordance with enhanced BEPS filing obligations, OMERS produces Country-by-Country Reporting, to promote tax transparency globally.


Governance and management of tax risk

OMERS governance framework includes tax-risk management. The Audit & Actuarial Committee assists the Board of Directors in fulfilling oversight responsibilities for the organization’s processes for monitoring compliance with tax laws and regulations. The Chief Financial Officer has executive responsibility for tax matters and is supported by a team of tax professionals led by the Head of Tax. Given the evolving external tax environment in which we operate, we actively monitor global tax developments to ensure continued compliance. We are committed to upholding high standards of business conduct and ethics, as reflected in our published Code of Conduct and Ethics PDF.

Tax law is complex.  OMERS uses reputable external tax advisers to obtain expert, objective advice on the application and interpretation of tax law.  In the event that a difference of opinion arises between OMERS and tax authorities, we will openly engage in discussions with authorities and support our position as appropriate.


Approach to dealing with tax authorities

When we engage with tax authorities, we are transparent in disclosing all relevant facts, striving to maintain positive long-term working relationships. We believe there is value in actively participating in consultations with tax authorities and policy makers to promote certainty in tax-law interpretation.

OMERS regards the publication of this document to comply with the requirements set out in U.K. legislation, under Schedule 19, Finance Act 2016, for the fiscal 2020 year.


OMERS Social Media Community Guidelines

When you engage with OMERS on social media, you’re agreeing to these Community Guidelines, which may be updated from time to time, in addition to the terms and conditions of the respective Platform(s), which may be updated from time to time.

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OMERS Social Media Community Guidelines .pdf
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(70 KB)