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Frequently Asked Questions

Pension Transfer Options for Eligible Retired and Eligible Members Involved in a Past Divestment

posting date Posted: August 14, 2014
Who is eligible?

In accordance with the terms of the transfer agreement the following minimum eligibility criteria must be met:

  1. You were affected by a divestment that occurred prior to January 1, 2014.
  2. You terminated employment with your successor employer or membership in that employer’s pension plan on or after May 18, 2010.
  3. You are currently in receipt of a pension or have a deferred pension with OPTrust.
  4. You are currently in receipt of a pension or have a deferred pension with your successor employer’s pension plan or are actively employed with your successor employer.
  5. You return a completed application form to the importing pension plan by the deadline that appears on the application form.

Other conditions may apply depending on your personal circumstances and the terms under each of the pension plans.

What are my options?

Under the terms of the transfer agreement, this is a one-time opportunity to transfer the value of your pension benefits from your former employer’s pension plan (OPTrust) to your successor employer’s pension plan (OMERS, HOOPP, OPB) to consolidate your pension benefits.

You may also keep your pension entitlements separate (as they are today) and receive two separate pensions.

When will I receive my application form?

Application forms for eligible OMERS members were sent in September 2015. Eligible HOOPP members received an application form in November 2015. Eligible OPB members will receive an application form in spring/summer 2016.

Why do I need to complete an application form?

OPTrust and the other pension plan administrators require information about each member’s spousal status to perform the necessary calculations and to prepare each member’s personalized transfer options package. Without this information, a transfer options package cannot be prepared. Eligible members must complete and return their application form to their successor pension plan to receive more information about their transfer options.

I’m happy with my pensions the way they are and want to keep them separate. What should I do?

If you don’t want to proceed any further with the one-time transfer option, simply do nothing. By not returning the completed application form to the importing pension plan you will not proceed any further through the process.

When will I receive my personalized information package?

If you satisfy the eligibility criteria for a transfer and sign and return the application form to the importing pension plan by the deadline that appears on the application form, you will receive a personalized information package in 2016. The process may take several months given the potentially high volume of applications.

When will I have to make a decision?

Your personalized information package will contain an election form that you will need to complete, sign and return to your current pension plan by the due date indicated on the form, which will be 90 days from the date the package is sent to you.

What happens to my spouse’s survivor pension?

If you have started receiving your OPTrust pension, your spouse at retirement will be required to provide written consent to the transfer of your pension. By electing a transfer, you are forfeiting all entitlements under the OPSEU Pension Plan, including the survivor pension.Your eligibility for insured benefits coverage will be forfeited (i.e. will cease) if you transfer to OMERS or HOOPP. If you choose to consolidate your pension, any survivor pension will be based on the importing pension plan’s rules.

If I elect to transfer, how will this affect my pension?

Your personalized information package will show you the impact each option will have on your pension amount so that you can compare and determine which one makes sense for you. The packages will also include additional information about other factors you may need to consider before making a decision. After you receive your packages, client service representatives from both pension plans will be available to discuss your options in more detail.

What happens to the post-retirement insured health benefits I’m eligible for from the Government of Ontario?

If you choose to transfer your pension out of OPTrust and into OMERS or HOOPP, you will forfeit any post-retirement insured health benefits you were entitled to with the OPSEU Pension Plan. If you are retired, your spouse at retirement will also forfeit insured benefits coverage on the survivor pension that he or she would be entitled to upon your death.

I am eligible for post-retirement insured health benefits. Is the value of those health benefits included in the transfer value of my pension from the OPSEU Pension Plan?

No. The amount provided in the OPTrust notice reflects the transfer value of your pension benefit only. Health benefits are not part of your pension benefit entitlement and are not provided by OPTrust. They are additional benefits provided by the Government of Ontario to eligible members receiving a pension from the OPSEU Pension Plan or the Public Service Pension Plan.

Is there anything I can do prior to receiving my personalized information package?

If your mailing address has changed or will be changing, be sure to notify both OPTrust and your other pension plan as soon as possible.

How will I know which option is best for me and my family?

The personalized transfer options package that will be sent to eligible members who submit a completed application form will include pension estimates. These figures will show the amount of pension that will be payable to members if they consolidate their pensions or leave them separate so that they can compare their options and determine which one makes sense for them.

Additional information will also be included in the package about other factors that members may need to consider before making a decision. After receiving their personalized transfer options package, client service representatives from each member’s former and successor pension plans will be available to discuss their options in more detail.