Frequently Asked Questions
New Pension Transfer Options for Eligible Members Involved in a Past DivestmentPosted: June 3, 2014
Who is eligible?
In accordance with the terms of the transfer agreement the following minimum eligibility criteria must be met:
- You were affected by a divestment that occurred prior to January 1, 2014.
- You are still employed by your current employer and an active member of your current pension plan.
- You are currently entitled to pension benefits from both your former pension plan and your current pension plan.
Important! Divested members who terminate employment with their current employer and/or who start to receive a pension from either pension plan before the current pension plan administrator receives their completed election form will no longer be eligible to transfer under the terms of the transfer agreement.
Other conditions may apply depending on your personal circumstances and the terms under each of the pension plans.
Why didn't I get a personalized information package?
There are some other factors that affect your eligibility for this pension transfer option:
- If you had less than 15 days of Credited Service in the OPSEU Pension Plan, you received a refund of your contributions and interest. You no longer have a pension benefit in the OPSEU Pension Plan and are therefore ineligible to transfer.
- If your employer offered a group RRSP, a Deferred Profit Sharing plan or no pension plan at all, you were not part of a divestment.
What are my options?
Under the terms of the transfer agreement:
- You are eligible for a one-time opportunity to transfer the value of your pension benefits from your former pension plan to your current pension plan to consolidate your pension benefits.
- You also have the choice to keep your pension entitlements separate (as they are today) and receive two separate pensions when you retire.
When will I receive my personalized information packages?
Your personalized information packages will be mailed to you between August and October 2014. If you have not returned your election form and currently belong to HOOPP, you will receive a reminder notice letter in mid September from HOOPP. Here is a sample of the letter, with all the variable information.
When will I have to make a decision?
Your personalized information packages 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.
If I elect to transfer, how will this affect my pension?
You will receive pension estimates for each option in your personalized information package that will be sent to you later this year. These estimates will outline your pension entitlement(s) if you elect to transfer the value of your pension benefits from your former plan into your current plan or continue to keep them separate, so that you can compare your options 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 your former and current pension plan 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?
Your eligibility for insured benefits from the Government of Ontario will be confirmed in your personalized information package. If you choose to transfer and consolidate your pension benefits to your current pension plan, you will forfeit any post-retirement insured health benefits you might have been entitled to with the OPSEU Pension Plan.
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.
My employer provides a supplemental benefit to top up my total pension. How will this benefit be impacted if I transfer?
Your choice to transfer to your current pension plan may affect the supplemental benefit paid by your employer outside of the OPSEU Pension Plan. For more information about this benefit, contact your employer’s Human Resources directly.
Is there anything else I need to consider regarding my post-retirement insured health benefits?
On February 18, 2014, the Ministry of Government Services announced proposed changes to the eligibility criteria and terms for post-retirement insured health benefits for members of the OPSEU Pension Plan, to take effect on January 1, 2017. Although announced, these changes have not been finalized.
If these changes are implemented:
- If you are eligible for insured health benefits and intend to start your pension before January 1, 2017, you continue to qualify for insured benefits and there are no additional costs to you.
- If you are eligible for insured health benefits and intend to start your pension on or after January 1, 2017, you would be required to pay 50% of the premium costs to participate in the insured benefits program. Based on current premium costs, the estimated annual cost to participate is approximately $1500 for family coverage or $800 for single coverage.
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 current pension plan as soon as possible.
My statement shows Jan-01-2014 as my retirement date. What does that mean?
If your OPSEU Pension Plan Pension Information Statement shows an assumed retirement date of Jan-01-2014 for either your earliest unreduced or normal retirement, you are already eligible to retire under that provision. You are eligible to receive an unreduced pension from OPTrust once you terminate employment with your current employer.
I was impacted by two divestments – from OPTrust to HOOPP and then from HOOPP to the OMERS Primary Pension Plan. When will I receive my personalized information package from OMERS?
You will receive a personalized information package in October 2014 from OMERS that will provide you with a one-time opportunity to transfer the value of your pension benefits from the OPSEU Pension Plan and HOOPP to OMERS.
You may have received a personalized information package from HOOPP and OPTrust dated July 30, 2014 that indicated you have the option to transfer the value of your pension benefits from the OPSEU Pension Plan to HOOPP. That information is incorrect; please do not return the Member Transfer Election form to HOOPP. You should have received a letter from HOOPP dated August 13, 2014 with a detailed explanation of your situation.
My Credited Service isn't the same amount on my OPSEU Pension Plan Pension Information and current pension plan's statements. Why is there a difference?
Your OPSEU Pension Plan Pension Information statement provides your exact Credited Service in the Plan, rounded to 2 decimals. Your current pension plan may have rounded the Credited Service in that plan, resulting in a small difference. For instance, OPTrust may display your Credited Service as 10.82 years, whereas your new pension plan displays it as 10.84 years.
Have more questions? Contact OPTrust’s Member Services at (416) 681-6100 or toll-free at (800) 637-0024 from 8 am. to 6 p.m. Monday to Thursday and from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday.