Your Options When Leaving

If you leave your job with an OMERS employer, you have to decide what to do with the OMERS pension you've built up.

These will include some of the six options as follows:

  1. Keep your pension in the OMERS plan until you retire 
    This gives you a future stream of OMERS Plan retirement income for life.
  2. Transfer your benefit to another OMERS employer 
    If you go to work for another OMERS employer anywhere in Ontario, you may elect to combine your OMERS memberships – from your former and current employers.
  3. Begin to receive your OMERS pension 
    You may already be eligible to begin to receive your OMERS pension.
  4. Transfer your OMERS benefit to another registered pension plan 
    If your new employer is another Canadian employer with a registered pension plan, you may be able to transfer all, or part, of your OMERS Plan credited service to your new employer’s plan.
  5. Transfer the commuted value (CV) of your pension 
    The commuted value of your OMERS Plan pension is the estimated amount of money you would have to put aside today, to grow with tax-sheltered investment earnings, to provide you with a future benefit similar to the OMERS pension you’ve earned. You may choose to transfer your commuted value to a locked-in retirement savings vehicle such as a locked-in retirement account (LIRA) or for the purchase of an annuity from a licensed annuity provider.
  6. Elect a cash refund of the commuted value of your pension if your pension is less than 4% of $57,400* 
    You can take a cash refund of the commuted value of your benefit if the annual pension you have earned is less than 4% of $57,400*. You may also make a tax-deferred transfer of the cash refund to your RRSP. 

    *Year’s maximum pensionable earnings (YMPE) in the year you leave your OMERS employer – YMPE for 2019 = $57,400, 4% of  $57,400 = $2,296

Early Retirement Birthday

Your early retirement birthday is:

  • your 55th birthday if your normal retirement age is 65; or
  • your 50th birthday if your normal retirement age is 60.

Options available when you leave your OMERS employer change on your early retirement birthday.

If you leave your OMERS employer before your early retirement birthday, you are eligible for termination options. This means the CV option (option #5 above) is available. On/after your early retirement birthday, you are eligible for retirement options only – the CV option is not available.

In addition, starting January 1, 2013, benefit calculation changes will affect you if you leave your OMERS employer before your early retirement birthday.

Benefit calculation changes

Starting January 1, 2013, benefit calculation changes will affect you if you leave your OMERS employer before your early retirement birthday.

If you have not yet reached your early retirement birthday when you leave your OMERS employer, your benefit will be calculated in two parts:

  • The benefit based on pre-2013 credited service includes pre-retirement indexing (inflation protection) and early retirement subsidies (including the OMERS Plan bridge benefit).
  • The benefit based on post-2012 credited service does not include pre-retirement indexing or early retirement subsidies.

Note: 
The benefit calculation changes do not affect you if you leave your OMERS employer:

  • before January 1, 2013; or
  • on/after January 1, 2013 and you leave your OMERS employer on/after your early retirement birthday.

For more about the OMERS benefit changes, see the Member Handbook.

Example

Sam has a normal retirement age of 60, 18 years of pre-2013 credited service and 4 years post-2012 credited service and his "best five" earnings used to calculate his pension is $75,000.

His early retirement birthday is March 10 when he turns age 50.
 

Sams 50th Birthday graph

Annual pension amounts include lifetime pension plus bridge benefit to age 65. 
1Early retirement subsidies on ALL  service. 
2Early retirement subsidies only on pre-2012 service.