New Story

OMERS SC Tables Potential Changes for 2017

June 2, 2017

Changes are sometimes necessary to keep the OMERS Pension Plans current and meaningful.

Under its mandate, the SC has responsibility for benefit plan design – including changes. As part of an annual process, the SC Board assesses potential  benefit changes proposed by various stakeholders, and votes to adopt those changes that it determines to be in the best interest of the Plan. To ensure balanced and careful decision-making, the SC Board is composed of an equal number of employer and member representatives, appointed by unions, employer associations and retiree organizations. 

It all sounds very simple. Truth be told, any plan changes are governed by a highly disciplined process, reflecting the input of Plan sponsors and other stakeholders who represent employer, employee and retiree members of the OMERS Pension Plans. The intent is to ensure that the Plan remains meaningful, affordable and sustainable.

Marianne Love, Co-Chair of the SC Board, confirms that the decision-making process is closely monitored and governed. “We take the plan change process very seriously,” she notes. “When reviewing possible changes, Board members first and foremost consider the interests of the stakeholders and other relevant circumstances. To help ensure appropriateness and broad-based support, the current changes must receive a two-thirds majority vote of the SC Board before they are adopted.” 

Based on the review process, the SC Board is considering four key changes for the coming year:

  • Introduce certain time restrictions related to the payment of commuted values and buy-backs
  • Restrict access to pensions for certain dual members
  • Permit employers with members working in foreign countries to suspend participation in OMERS
  • Allow employers to provide NRA 60 benefits to paramedics.

A fuller description is available by clicking here.  This public posting gives members, employers, sponsors  and other stakeholders an opportunity to provide input before a final vote takes place in June.

“When it comes to Plan changes, we are committed to open and transparent communication with all of our stakeholders,” confirms SC Co-Chair Frank Ramagnano. “We want to ensure the people understand the proposed changes – and have an opportunity to share their thoughts and opinions before things are finalized.”

With that in mind, members are invited to contact Paul Harrietha, Chief Executive Officer of OMERS SC (pharrietha@omerssc.com) or Chris Vanden Haak (cvandenhaak@omerssc.com), Director of Pension Policy & Communications at any time.