What is personal information?
Personal information is defined as information in any form or manner about an
individual, whether or not recorded, that identifies the individual, can be
manipulated to identify the individual, or can be linked to other information
that identifies the individual.
How does OPTrust protect my personal information?
sets out specific rights and obligations including, among others:
- advising individuals of the purposes for which their personal information
is being collected and used
- outlining the circumstances or purposes under which it will be disclosed
to third parties
- obtaining consent of the individual for such collection
- identifying uses and potential disclosure, and;
- ensuring that the information is not used or disclosed for other purposes
without further consent.
Why does OPTrust collect and use personal information?
OPTrust uses your personal information to determine and calculate your
pension benefit. We need this information to make accurate calculations of your
pension entitlements. We also need your personal contact information to be as
up-to-date as possible so that we can contact you and also ensure that your
survivor information is current. OPTrust needs to keep you informed about your
pension and any changes that may affect you. For example, each year we send you
an Annual Pension Statement and other communications which detail Plan
provisions and provide other information that is important to you. We also let
you know when there is an amendment to the Plan (such as the extension of an
early retirement window or a change in your contribution rate) or about other
important pension or tax legislation changes. This is why it is crucial that we
maintain up-to-date information on our members and pensioners, including mailing
Why even have privacy policies?
Privacy is a significant business risk and must be managed like any other
business risk. Creating, transmitting and complying with an organization-wide
regulations and business expectations are met. Rest assured, protecting your
privacy and ensuring the security of your personal information has always been a
major priority at OPTrust.
What are the organizational risks and exposures in not having an effective
privacy program in place?
If an organization does not have a privacy program in place it risks damaging
its standing with its clients and its business relationships.
An effective privacy program protects OPTrustís public image and name. It
also enhances the organizationís credibility and promotes continued confidence
on the part of members, pensioners, survivors and other business contacts.
Having a privacy program in place allows OPTrust to efficiently manage personal
information and, thereby, reducing administration costs and any other
unnecessary financial costs. Simply put, it is ďgood businessĒ to have a privacy
program and is the appropriate way of dealing with personal information.
What has OPTrust done to ensure that your personal information is
As part of the ongoing privacy initiative the OPTrust has done the following:
- designated a Privacy Co-ordinator as the contact person at OPTrust to deal
with privacy issues
- drafted a Privacy Protocol
- continued to provide comprehensive training to staff about privacy
practices at OPTrust
- provided communications to members, pensioners and employers about
- adopted procedures to respond to complaints or queries about privacy from
members and pensioners.
What is the role of the Privacy Co-ordinator at OPTrust?
OPTrust has designated a contact person to facilitate the organizationís
compliance with privacy principles. It is the Privacy Co-ordinatorís
responsibility to ensure that appropriate informational privacy policies and
practices are implemented and maintained. These include:
- developing procedures to protect personal information
- establishing procedures to receive and respond to complaints and enquiries
- training and communicating to staff the information about the
organizationís policies and practices
- developing information to explain the organizationís policies and
The Privacy Co-ordinator also:
- monitors and reports on OPTrustís compliance with both the privacy legislation
and OPTrustís confidentiality policies
- deals with public enquiries and/or complaints
- handles specific privacy queries that originate from regulators or other
- is the first-line contact with regulators or other institutions for any
organizational questions concerning privacy
- assists in the education of OPTrust employees about their responsibilities
with respect to the privacy principles
- prepares privacy policies, procedures and communicate them to employees
- trains staff to manage and protect the privacy of personal information
- develops appropriate documents for disseminating information on privacy
policies and prepares forms/correspondence for responding to enquiries and
Your personal information is protected
OPTrust has conducted a thorough review to determine any steps the
organization must take to enhance its privacy policies. In fact, OPTrust along
with other public sector pension plans already had strict standards in place
about dealing with personal information. We also believe in consistent vigilance
on privacy matters. OPTrust staff have always taken great care and sensitivity
when dealing with member/pensioner personal information.
We will keep you informed
Please be assured that the use, collection and disclosure of member and
pensioner personal information will continue to be very important to OPTrust. We
will continue to assess the impact of any business changes and ensure that our
business practices meet or exceed the established standards. We will also keep
you informed about any steps that we are taking in this regard. If you have any
concerns or questions regarding OPTrustís privacy policies and procedures,
please contact our Privacy Co-ordinator at (416) 681-6161 or toll-free within
Canada 1-800-906-7738 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information, download our booklet Privacy Matters at OPTrust.