Approved Plan Changes

Reservist Leave Plan Change

Posted May 29, 2012

On April 26th, 2012 the OMERS Sponsors Corporation (SC) approved this plan change.  By-Law #27 details the changes to the OMERS Primary Plan and the OMERS Supplemental Plan.

Posted March 22, 2012

Ontario employees who are reservists in the Canadian Armed Forces and who are deployed to an international operation or an operation in Canada that is providing assistance in dealing with an emergency or its aftermath are entitled under the Employment Standards Act, 2000 to an unpaid leave for the time necessary to engage in that operation (effective December 2007). During this time, their jobs are protected. The OMERS Sponsors Corporation (SC) is considering a plan change that would allow members and employers to share the cost of purchasing this leave period in the OMERS pension plans.

Current

Under the current plan provisions, a member who takes a reservist leave can purchase the period of leave by paying both the member and employer contributions that would normally have been paid during the period, provided that the election and payment are made within a certain period.

Proposed

The proposed change would provide employers with the option of sharing the cost of purchasing reservist leaves in the OMERS plans (provided that the election and payment are made within a certain period).

Where an employer has made such a decision, for all employees or a class of employees, affected members would pay their share of the contributions and the employer would pay its share.

The SC will be considering the amendment to the plans at its April 26, 2012 meeting. The proposed effective date of the amendment is January 1, 2013.

For more information about leave period purchases, see the OMERS Member Handbook, Your OMERS Pension.

 

Death-Date Spouse Change

On February 21, 2012, the OMERS Sponsors Corporation (SC) approved this plan change.  By-Law #26 details the resulting changes to the Plan Text of the OMERS Primary Plan and the Supplemental Plan.

 The information below was posted on January 20, 2012

Bill 133 made significant changes to Ontario’s rules for pension division on marriage breakdown, effective January 1, 2012. In considering the changes needed to implement the new rules, the OMERS Administration Corporation has identified, and is recommending, a Plan change that would clarify and provide consistent rules regarding entitlement to a spousal benefit on the death of a Plan member.

Current

Under the current Plan provisions, if a member dies prior to retirement, the spouse is disqualified from receiving survivor benefits if the spouse was living separate and apart from the member at the date of death. A similar disqualification occurs if the two parties were living separate and apart on the member’s retirement date.*

Proposed

The proposed change would treat the benefits of members who die after retirement similarly to those in the first two situations – i.e., a spouse living separate and apart from the member would not be entitled to receive a survivor benefit. This change will not affect the benefit entitlements of a retirement-date spouse or a spouse living with the member at the date of death.

Background

The provision of a spousal benefit is dependent on the existence of an eligible spouse at the date of the member’s death as follows:

Spouse Eligible Spouse Disqualification Criteria
Death before retirement Pre-Retirement Spouse Married or common-law at date of death If living separate and apart at date of death
Death after retirement Retirement-Date Spouse Married or common-law at retirement date*

If living separate and apart at retirement date*

Death-Date Spouse Married or common-law at date of death (provided there is no retirement-date spouse)

Proposed new rule:
If living separate and apart at date of death

* "Retirement date" means the date that the first pension payment is due.

Without the proposed change, a separated but still legally married spouse could be entitled to a spousal benefit.
The SC will be considering the Plan amendment at its February 21, 2012 meeting. The proposed effective date of the amendment is May 1, 2012.

For more information about survivor benefits, see the OMERS Member Handbook, Your OMERS Pension, in the Members section at www.omers.com.

 

Plan Changes Under Consideration from December 2010-March 2011
Primary & Supplemental Plans Restatement

On March 24, 2011, the OMERS Sponsors Corporation (SC) approved the amended and restated plan texts for the OMERS Pension Plans via By-Law #21 [461 KB] (Primary Plan Restatement) and By-Law #22 [787 KB] (Supplemental Plan Restatement), with effective dates of January 1, 2011.

To ensure the pension plan text is current and easy to reference, it is common practice to regularly consider whether to amend and restate plan texts. The OMERS Primary Pension Plan (Primary Plan) text was last amended and restated as of April 30, 2007. The OMERS Supplemental Plan for police, firefighters and paramedics (Supplemental Plan) came into effect on July 1, 2008. Since then, the SC approved a number of amendments.

As part of the restatement process, the OMERS Administration Corporation identified a number of "housekeeping" amendments that it recommended be made to the plan texts.

Information on proposed changes was posted for Stakeholder information throughout the process as it became available

The following is a summary of the changes:

The housekeeping amendments listed below would:

  • Ensure the Primary Plan text explicitly reflects strict compliance with the Pension Benefits Act (PBA) or the Income Tax Act (ITA) and other legislation, as the case may be (even though the administration of the Primary Plan is already in compliance with these requirements); and
  • Address oversights or inconsistencies within the Primary Plan text. The specifics of the proposed changes are as follows:
    • Reflect that the latest age of enrolment in the Primary Plan is 71 years of age or at such other time as prescribed under the ITA;
    • Reflect that payments to minors (survivor child pension, beneficiary payments) will be according to the Children's Law Reform Act (CLRA);
    • Reflect that Employment Standards Act (ESA) protected leaves (e.g. pregnancy, parental leave) require employer matching contributions;
    • Clarify indexing provision to reflect parts of years;
    • Clarify pre-retirement death benefits so that indexing is addressed for deferred members who die prior to retirement; and
    • Clarify the timing of the indexing of deferred pensions and disability benefits.

    The above changes do not impact the benefits or contributions of any member, employer or retiree.

    These changes were approved, in principle, at the SC meeting of December 15 and posted for information on December 17.

    In addition to the above changes, the OAC requested that the SC consider the following housekeeping change:

    • Clarify the definition of a Continuous Full-Time (CFT) employee to clearly provide that an employee who is on a fixed-term contract and fills a full-time permanent position with an OMERS employer is a CFT employee for the purposes of the Primary Plan.

    This change was tabled at the SC meeting of January 27 and posted for information on February 3, 2011.

    One further change was requested by OAC as part of the Plan restatement process, as follows:

    • Clarify the distribution of assets under administration by the OMERS Administration Corporation in the unlikely event that the Primary Plan is wound up.

    This change was tabled at the SC meeting of February 24 and posted for information on March 2, 2011.

    The eight changes were approved and became effective in the Primary Plan restatement with corresponding changes reflected (where applicable) in the Supplemental Plan restatement, both dated January 1, 2011.