While we focus on executing our strategy, we also know that our actions impact more than our immediate stakeholders.

Billion pension benefits paid 

Billion contribution to Ontario's economy from
OMERS activities

Jobs in Ontario
communities are supported
through OMERS pension payments

Jobs in Ontario
communities supported through
OMERS activities

We know that our direct economic impact to the province of Ontario is meaningful. In 2019, OMERS paid $4.6 billion of pension benefits to more than 170,000 members, most of whom live in Ontario. These payments, combined with OMERS investments in the province, contributed over $10 billion to the Ontario economy. Our retired members’ spending also helps support some 63,000 jobs in communities across Ontario.

These economic benefits are just one reason that OMERS has become an increasingly vocal advocate for the defined benefit pension model. We know that:

  • Defined benefit and particularly, jointly sponsored pension plans, provide financial benefits to communities. They compel members to save for retirement. They pool risks from multiple investments and from thousands of individuals – those entering the workforce and those enjoying retirement – into one diversified, lower-risk plan. They also provide professional investment management while lowering costs.

  • Defined benefit pensions benefit society: our research shows that on average, our members are healthier, more financially secure, and more likely to volunteer in their communities, than those without a defined benefit pension. These qualities reduce the demand that would otherwise be met by government services.

For these reasons, we have made it a priority to promote our defined benefit pension model: our Senior Executive, government relations and communications teams actively seek out opportunities to engage with decision-makers to advocate the advantages of the jointly sponsored, defined benefit pension system.

OMERS and its Members: Ontario Economic Contribution. Canadian Centre for Economic Analysis. February 2020.

Wherever they live and work, OMERS teams contribute to the communities they're a part of. In Australia, the Oxford Properties team raised critical funds to support emergency response efforts to the New South Wales bushfires. Our New York team volunteers with a not-for-profit whose aim is to meet pressing community needs by mobilizing caring New Yorkers in volunteer service. In the U.K., we support organizations including the Rainbow Trust Children’s Charities and hosted youth from underprivileged communities in our offices to provide a glimpse of the business world. And here in Ontario, employees from our head office take part in Volunteer Days, spending part of a day onsite to lend a hand. In 2019, we gave back to four local charities.

Over the last few years, expectations of organizations to act responsibly, ethically and thoughtfully have increased. These expectations are not new to OMERS.

We apply high ethical standards in our investing approach and we fully comply with the laws and regulations in the communities where our controlled investments operate. We support those local communities through the proper payment of taxes.

OMERS has long believed that well-run organizations with sound environmental, social and governance practices will perform better, particularly over the long term. In 2019, we adopted a refreshed Sustainable Investing policy, and we also made new commitments to address climate change. We have become a signatory to the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures. We have begun to introduce these disclosures in this Annual Report.

Our efforts in 2019 and our ongoing goal – which we acknowledge and embrace – is to link economic value to social value. We recognize we have this responsibility to our members, employers, stakeholders, employees and our partners and communities, promoting social sustainability for generations to come.

We are pleased with our accomplishments in 2019 and over the past five years. Still, we are aware of the challenges that lie ahead. Our strategy sets out a realistic plan to face the future with optimism.

We seek the support of our members and our stakeholders as we navigate the complexities the Plan faces. Working together, we believe that we can continue to make OMERS a sustainable, affordable and meaningful defined benefit pension plan for you.
Download the Full
2019 Annual Report