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Taking Time Off

When you return to work from a leave, you may be able to purchase the time you were off – to add to your OMERSand increase your pension. Your employer will provide you with your options and calculate the cost for you.

Cost and payment

The cost of purchasing a leave period is based on the contributions you and your employer would have been paying during the period.

For some types of leave periods, your cost is single contributions (matched by your employer). For example:

  • pregnancy/parental leave

  • emergency, family medical, and organ donor leave periods

  • reservist leave period of postponement

If you choose not to purchase these types of leaves, the period will still count as OMERS eligible service.

For other types of leave periods, your cost is double contributions (your share plus your employer's share). For example:

  • authorized leave of absence

  • ​strike or lockout as defined under the Labour Relations Act, 1995

  • self-funded leave

If you choose not to purchase these types of leaves, the period will not count as OMERS.

Purchase deadline

Your deadline for purchasing a leave period is December 31 of the year following the year in which your leave ended. Please note that, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the deadline to complete a leave purchase has been extended by one year for members who return from a leave of absence in 2020, 2021 or 2022 (i.e., extending to December 31, 2022, December 31, 2023 or December 31, 2024 depending on the return date).

After the applicable deadline, you can purchase the leave period as a, but the cost calculation is quite different – usually more expensive. 

Making the decision

The decision to purchase a leave period is up to you. Weigh the cost of the purchase against how much it will increase your OMERS Plan pension. If you prefer, talk to a professional financial adviser. For an estimate of what your pension will be – with or without purchasing the leave period – please contact OMERS Member Experience.

Once you know the cost of buying the leave, you can use the myOMERS Retirement Income Estimator to see how buying the time you were off work will increase your pension.

Sign in to myOMERS

Are you off due to illness or disability?

You may be eligible for one of OMERS disability benefits. 

time off