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Additional Voluntary Contributions FAQs

The idea for the AVC option grew from member requests. Members asked if they could invest their personal retirement savings in the OMERS Fund. In response, OMERS delivered AVCs.

No, the funding shortfall and AVCs are mutually independent. The funding shortfall is related to the defined benefit (DB) component of the OMERS Plan, not to AVCs.

No, OMERS strategy to return the DB component of the OMERS Plan to a fully funded position is separate from AVCs.

OMERS funding strategy includes:

  • OMERS investments

  • temporary contribution rate increases

  • benefit reductions.

Learn more about OMERS funding

No, AVCs do not increase your OMERS pension. Your OMERS pension is abased on your earnings and service in the OMERS Plan. 

No, AVCs are offered on a cost-recovery basis.

AVC fees and expenses are based on a cost-recovery model, and could go up or down.

You’re investing in the OMERS Fund. Its globally diverse asset mix includes public and private market investments, such as Bruce Power, Metro Toronto Convention Centre, and more.

No, AVCs are invested in the OMERS Fund, so you do not need to select an asset mix.

Yes, AVCs are a retirement savings option for retired members. Retired members can transfer funds from a registered retirement vehicle such as an RRSP or LIRA to an AVC account to age 70, and through the AVC Income Option, retired members can keep non-locked-in funds in an AVC account beyond age 71.

Yes, automatic contributions to your AVC account are treated like contributions to an RRSP and are tax-deductible in the year they’re made.

Note: Automatic contributions made before the end of February cannot be applied towards the previous year like regular RRSP contributions.

Yes, you can keep your AVC account provided you keep your defined benefit (DB) pension with OMERS. You can continue to transfer funds from a registered retirement vehicle such as an RRSP or LIRA to your AVC account.

Note: If you transfer your DB pension out of the OMERS Plan, you must withdraw your entire AVC account balance.

Yes, you can use funds in your AVC account to buy back service in the OMERS Plan anytime during the year. There are no window restrictions in this case.

No, only RRSPs registered in your name (the OMERS member) can be transferred to an AVC account, even if you contributed to the RRSP in question.

Visit myOMERS and click Start or Modify Contributions and you will see the payroll deduction option in Step 2 if your employer has elected to offer the AVC payroll deduction option or you can contact OMERS Member Services or your HR or payroll department.

Yes, in the event of your death, your eligible spouse is entitled to a refund of the full balance of your AVC account.

Note: The 66 2/3% survivor benefit rule relates to the DB pension for your eligible spouse.

If the OMERS return for the year is negative, your AVC account will decrease in value as a result of this loss.

To learn more about how the rate of return is applied to your account, check out our Rate of Return Examples.

No, the funds you contribute are not guaranteed to earn a positive rate of return. These funds form part of your AVC account and earn the OMERS Fund net rate of return from the date they are received.

Yes. The administration fee funds the cost of managing the AVC program and is still required even if the net rate of return is negative.

The rate of return for the year is determined once per year and announced on or
around March 1 of the following year. For example, the rate of return for 2019 was announced late February 2020.