A Message from the President and CEO of OPTrust

We are all doing our part to slow down and contain the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

OPTrust has taken a number of steps to protect the health of our team and community as we continue to pay pensions today and preserve pensions for tomorrow. For example, most of our team have been working from home for the last 10 days and by the end of this week every single employee will be doing so.

Our commitment to you

We will continue administering the Plan and paying your pensions throughout this difficult period. Despite the current environment, you can rest assured you will continue to receive your pension payments.

You can find information and the most recent updates here. We are not holding any information sessions but OPTrust’s pension benefits specialists are available to answer your questions or to help you with any life event or personal information changes. Connect with us via our Online Services secure messaging feature or by telephone. You can also review your personal pension information while online.

While appointments are no longer in-person, they can take place online or over the telephone. Please also note, given the current situation, we are no longer able to collect and process paper mail so all communications should be by internet, email or telephone. If you have special needs, please let us know and we will work to find a way to meet them.

For retired members, if you receive your pension payment by cheque, we believe it would be safer for you to switch to direct deposit. Doing so will help us protect the wellbeing of our team and provides a safe, secure and timely way to receive your pension. Call us directly at 1-800-637-0024 to make the switch.

Protecting your security

Unfortunately, there has been an increase in email scams related to COVID-19 where individuals are contacted by others claiming to be from a financial institution or health organization and requesting personal information. Please be aware that OPTrust will never call or email you to ask for your personal information and caution that you be wary of those that do.

Working to serve you

We continue to monitor the latest advice from public health officials and follow their recommendations. OPTrust uses technology that makes it possible for the vast majority of our team members to fulfill their work duties from home instead of commuting to work. Like many other workplaces, we severely restricted travel and have advised those who have recently travelled to self-isolate in line with the recommendations of public health officials.

Secure retirement income you can count on

It's understandable to be concerned about how volatility in today's markets is affecting your pension. We know that market turbulence and periods of low returns are possible, which is why we implemented an investment strategy that assists us to weather times like these. As long-term investors, our horizon is measured over decades rather than weeks or even years. Present circumstances are exactly why we focus on our Plan's funded status rather than annual returns.

Defined benefit pension plans are based on a formula, not on the amount of money you have saved over your career that depends on day-to-day market fluctuations. Despite current circumstances, OPTrust is on a solid footing and positioned to provide our members with secure, predictable income in retirement for life.

Sincerely,

Peter Lindley
President and CEO

March 13, 2020 update: OPTrust is prepared to pay pensions and continue to serve our members

 

In the interest of the health and wellbeing of us all, effective immediately, we are closing the office to all visitors until further notice.

As Canada and the world take measures to slow down and contain the spread of the Coronavirus, we are doing our utmost to ensure that we are being responsible to our members, our team and all Canadians.

We continue to monitor the situation and are taking steps to protect our members and our team. Effective immediately, we are postponing OPTrust’s March and April Pension Information Sessions and closing our office to all visitors until further notice

Paying pensions is one of our core priorities and therefore we continuously plan, prepare and test to ensure that we are prepared to pay pensions under situations outside of normal business operations.  If you receive your pension payment by cheque, we advise that you switch to direct deposit as a convenient and safe way to receive your pension. Call us directly at 1-800-637-0024 to make the switch.

Questions and Answers

 

Why are you closing your office to visitors and postponing the pension information sessions?

We are following the recommendations on how people can best protect themselves and others.  Our objective is to help reduce the spread of Coronavirus.

Please feel free to call us toll free at 1-800-637-0024 or Book an Appointment from our website to schedule a video conference or phone call.

Register for a Webinar – Although you cannot attend a live presentation currently, we regularly run interactive webinars which you can watch from the comfort of your home or a previously recorded webinar.

 

If OPTrust closes the office could there be a delay in my pension being paid? 

No. Paying pensions is one of our core priorities and therefore we continuously plan, prepare and test to ensure that we are prepared to pay pensions under situations outside of normal business operations, including having staff trained to run payroll securely from an alternative work location.

If you receive your pension payment by cheque, we advise that you switch to direct deposit as a convenient and safe way to receive your pension.  Call us directly at 1-800-637-0024 to make the switch.

 

What happens if OPTrust closes the office?

Our team is equipped to work remotely.  OPTrust conducts regular tests to ensure we have sound plans in place to ensure that we can continue to serve our members in the event of an office shut down for a prolonged period.

 

 

From Canada Life:

COVID-19 related claims while out of country

Claims related to COVID-19 that occurred during travel to a country with travel advisory warnings will be assessed like any other claim under your plan. Plan coverages vary, so that's why every claim will be handled on a case-by-case basis. It's important to review your plan coverage details carefully.

If you have out-of-country coverage, you'll be covered for eligible expenses when you have symptoms from a medical emergency and you need to seek treatment.

How to check your plan coverage

Sign in to GroupNet and select Coverage & balances. You can also download our mobile app. Look for GroupNet in the App Store and Google Play.

 

For more information, How Canada Life is supporting you during COVID-19