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Privacy at OPTrust

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?

OPTrust has in place a privacy policy, principles and supporting processes which set 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 addresses.

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 informational privacy policy is essential to ensuring that legislation, 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.

Why is it important OPTrust administers a robust privacy program?

An effective privacy program protects OPTrust's public image and name. It also enhances the organization's credibility and promotes continued confidence on the part of members, retirees , 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 'good business' to have a privacy program and is the appropriate way of dealing with personal information.

Guiding Principles of our privacy program

OPTrust carries out the privacy function based on the following principles:

  • Accountability: OPTrust acknowledges that it is responsible for personal information under its control.
  • Identifying Purposes: OPTrust identifies the purposes for which personal information is collected at or before the time the information is collected.
  • Obtaining consent: The consent of Plan members is required for the collection, use or disclosure of personal information (other than where disclosure is required by law). Consent may be express or implied from the circumstances (e.g., consent to use information for purposes of administering the Plan may be implied from a member’s enrollment in the Plan).
  • Limiting Collection: OPTrust limits the collection of personal information to that which is necessary for purposes identified by OPTrust. Personal information is collected by fair and lawful means.
  • Limiting Use, Disclosure and Retention: OPTrust does not use or disclose personal information for purposes other than those for which it is collected, except with the consent of the individual or as required by law. OPTrust retains personal information only as long as necessary for the fulfillment of those purposes, or as required by law.
  • Accuracy of Personal Information: OPTrust makes reasonable efforts to keep personal information as accurate, complete and up-to-date as is necessary to fulfil the purposes for which the information is to be used.
  • Security Safeguards: OPTrust protects personal information with security safeguards appropriate to the sensitivity of the information.
  • Openness Concerning Policies and Practices: OPTrust makes readily available specific information about its personal information management policies and practices to its members and the public upon request. Questions or concerns of members will be addressed by OPTrust’s Privacy Officer.
  • Access to Personal Information: OPTrust informs members of the existence, use and disclosure of his or her personal information upon request, and gives the individual access to that information. A member or employee is given the opportunity to challenge the accuracy and completeness of their information and have it amended as appropriate.
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 OPTrust's privacy policies and procedures, please contact our Privacy Officer  at (416) 681-6161 or toll-free within Canada 1-800-906-7738 or by e-mail at privacy@optrust.com.

For more information, download our booklet Privacy Matters at OPTrust.