OPTions Spring 2016, Number 62
In this issue:
- We Are Member Driven
Report to Members 2015
- Planning to retire in 2016?
- Getting Ready for Retirement - Information Sessions
- James C. Davis named Chief Investment Officer
- Investing for you
- Planning for your survivors
Interested in providing a larger pension for your surviving spouse?
- Make the change, pay for your buyback through online banking
- Check Your Annual Buyback Statement online
- 2015 Annual Pension Statements are ready
- 5 reasons to visit optrust.com
- OPTrust among Canada’s Top Ten pension funds contributing to economic growth and prosperity
- Follow us on LinkedIn
- The easy way to keep your pension communication confidential
- In memoriam: Linda MacKinnon
We Are Member Driven
Report to Members 2015
To find out OPTrust’s results in 2015, read the Report to Members 2015, a special pull out section in this newsletter.
Planning to retire in 2016?
How to get the process started
If you are planning to retire in 2016, let OPTrust know as soon as possible, but remember that the first step is to inform your employer of your retirement date. It’s your employer who starts the process by sending us the paperwork with your retirement date.
As soon as we receive notice from your employer of your retirement date, we will send you an information kit with forms to complete and a request for any other documents that we need.
In the meantime, you may want to organize the documents that we will need in order to pay your pension. OPTrust will need:
- void cheque or direct deposit form (for depositing your monthly pension)
- Statement of Marital Status form
- federal and provincial TD1 forms
- Pension Beneficiaries form
- copy of your marriage certificate or three proofs of common-law relationship including a copy of your spouse’s proof of birth (both common-law and married couples)
- copy of separation agreement(s)
- group insurance form (if you qualify for post-retirement insured benefits)
When will you be paid?
Choose your retirement date with care. Pensions are paid on the 26th of the month, following your retirement date. For example, if you end your employment on September 30th, you will receive your first pension payment on October 26th. Even if you choose to retire earlier in the month of September, your first pension payment would still be October 26th. Please note: pensions are always effective the first of the month.
Getting Ready for Retirement - Information Sessions
Want to know more about the OPSEU Pension Plan?
Are retirement plans in your immediate future? OPTrust information sessions are a great way to learn more about your pension – directly from an OPTrust representative.
Getting ready to retire: evening seminars
Our evening seminars are tailored for members who are within 10 years of retirement, but all members are welcome to attend.
If there isn’t an information session in your vicinity or you can’t attend, view our posted presentation or sign up for a live webinar. They covers the same information as an in-person session and if after viewing it you have questions or need help with your retirement, please contact us.
View a complete, up-to-date schedule for a session in your area and sign up or call us at 416 681-6100 or 1 800 637-0024.
Important: Space is limited. Please register at least two weeks in advance.
Future sessions will be scheduled for other communities across Ontario.
James C. Davis named Chief Investment Officer
OPTrust appointed James Davis to the role of Chief Investment Officer, in 2015. In this role, Mr. Davis leads OPTrust’s global investment strategy and operations, and our new “member-driven investing” strategy.
James Davis is an accomplished strategic leader with an excellent track record,” said Hugh O’Reilly, President and CEO, OPTrust. “His skills will be a significant asset to OPTrust as we work to pay pensions today and preserve pensions for tomorrow for our almost 87,000 members and retirees."
Mr. Davis brings to the role over 25 years of strategic investment planning and leadership experience, including proven results in liability driven investing (LDI) and portfolio design. Most recently, he held the role of Vice President, Strategy & Asset Mix and Chief Economist at Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (Teachers’) in Toronto, where he led a team providing investment strategy and economic analysis at the total fund level. Before joining Teachers’, Mr. Davis was President of FuturesTrend Capital Corporation in Prince Edward Island and Vice President & Head, Global Fixed Income & Currencies at RBC Global Investment Management in Toronto.
He holds an MBA in Finance from Dalhousie University and is a CFA charterholder.
Investing for you
Navigating uncertainty in global economies, low interest rates and market volatility are becoming increasingly challenging for long-term investors. As a pension management organization, OPTrust seeks to ensure that our investment decisions position the Plan for long-term sustainability for you and over 87,000 members. Through this lens, OPTrust is introducing a “member-driven investing” (MDI) strategy to align the interests of the members with our overall organizational mandate.
Our MDI strategy is designed to help preserve the Plan’s fully funded status by employing risk in a purposeful and efficient way. In doing so, we target the delivery of sustainable returns with stable contribution rates, which together help provide benefit certainty. It means investing with a focus on the pension promise and sets OPTrust on a path to becoming a first class pension management organization.
We have built a diversified portfolio spanning the globe with public market, private market and real estate assets in North America, Europe, Developed Asia and emerging markets led by our team of investment professionals in Toronto, London and Sydney.
Planning for your survivors
Interested in providing a larger pension for your surviving spouse?
Under the normal plan provisions, when you terminate your employment and start your pension right away, upon your death, your eligible surviving spouse receives 60% of the pension you were receiving*. Only you and your spouse can decide if that will be enough for your surviving spouse. If you decide your surviving spouse may need more, you have the option of increasing the survivor pension in increments of 5% (that is 65%, 70% or 75%). Your pension will be actuarially reduced to pay for the cost of the increased survivor pension.
To get an idea of the possible reduction to your pension, see our website for more information: go to Members > Planning for survivors.
* If you die after you have started receiving an OPTrust pension, under the current terms of the Plan, your eligible spouse will receive a survivor pension based on 60% of the pension you were receiving when you died. If you die before age 65, you would be receiving a CPP bridge pension in addition to your retirement pension. The CPP bridge ends on the date you would have turned 65. On that date, your survivor’s pension is adjusted to 60% of what you (the member) would have received upon turning 65.
How to apply
If you do want to provide a larger survivor pension for your spouse, you need to decide before you retire. If you apply two or more years before your retirement date, you are automatically approved. If you apply within two years of retirement, we require a Certificate of Health and OPTrust must approve your application.
When you can cancel the higher benefit
You can cancel the higher survivor benefit up to one month before your pension starts. Once your pension begins, you no longer have the option to cancel the increased survivor pension. This means even if your spouse dies before you do or your spousal relationship ends, you continue to receive a reduced pension in retirement.
If you’re interested in this option and want to find out how it will affect your pension, please contact us.
Make the change, pay for your buyback through online banking
It is now more convenient than ever to buy back your pension service. Using online banking you can set up an automatic payment schedule, save time with immediate payments and never worry about a cheque being lost or stolen. If you are registered for online banking with a Canadian financial institution, you can complete and track your buyback payments securely and easily from your bank account.
If you are planning to buy back service, let us know and we’ll send you instructions on setting up payments through online banking.
If you bought back pension service in 2015, you can check your 2015 payment activity online. You can get a quick view of how much you have contributed, and the outstanding balance as at December 2015. To view your statement go to OPTrust’s secure Online Services. Once you register or sign in, click “My Pension Statements” from your secure home page to view records for up to three previous statements.
2015 Annual Pension Statements are ready
See a snapshot of your future pension and earliest retirement dates on your 2015 Annual Pension Statement, now available on the secure Online Services section of the OPTrust website. The annual statement outlines your pension benefit, so it is important for you to review it carefully.
If you are still receiving your pension statement by mail, think about switching to the online version. You’ll get your statement sooner and you’ll be contributing to OPTrust’s green initiatives. Mailed statements are scheduled to go out from February to the end of April. Please check the online schedule on our website to find out when you can expect to receive your statement.
5 reasons to visit optrust.com
Remember to add OPTrust’s website to your bookmarks. When online you can:
- log in to your secure Online Services account
- keep up-to-date with news about your pension plan
- access a wide range of online forms and tools
- view different retirement scenarios using the pension estimator
- download publications including OPTions.
OPTrust among Canada’s Top Ten pension funds contributing to economic growth and prosperity
OPTrust, one of Canada’s ten largest public pension funds, collectively called the Top Ten, participated in a study conducted by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG). The study, which was released in December 2015 concluded that the Top Ten continue to drive impressive investment returns and remain key players on the global stage despite challenging economic conditions.
OPTrust is proud to be a part of the Top Ten who are key players in Canada’s retirement income system. Together the Top Ten help to provide financial security in retirement to over 18 million Canadians.
- Over $1.1 trillion in managed assets – equivalent to over 45% of Canada’s GDP.
- Tripled total assets under management between 2003 and the end of 2014 – 80% of the increase in value was driven by investment returns.
- Approximately $600 billion invested across various asset classes in Canada – directly employing almost 11,000 professionals.
- Approximately one third (32%) of investments are in alternative asset classes – infrastructure, private equity and real estate – in Canada and abroad.
Follow us on
Want to stay up-to-date with OPTrust and learn about our latest news, investments or jobs? Follow us on LinkedIn and get information about your pension. From our results to our approach to responsible investing and more, you have access to a range of news and events on our LinkedIn page.
Simply go to LinkedIn and search for OPTrust. If you are a LinkedIn member, click the “Follow” button and you will be notified of any time any new information is posted to our page. We encourage our members to share OPTrust’s news articles, comment on and “Like” our posts because this is your pension plan.
The easy way to keep your pension communication confidential
When you have a question about your pension, it usually involves confidential information. It could be your retirement date, pension amount or marital status. At OPTrust, we take the safeguarding of your personal information very seriously. You can help keep your information safe by using the tools we offer through your Online Services account.
When you are registered for Online Services, the email exchange between you and OPTrust is encrypted for both incoming and outgoing messages so you can be assured that no one else will see your personal communication with us.
In addition to the confidentiality feature of secure messaging, all your incoming and outgoing messages are stored in your online account so you have a record of the correspondence.
If you have a printer that can scan your signed forms or documents or a smart phone to take a picture, simply attach the scanned documents or the images to your secure message and send them to us. No more fussing with stamps, envelopes and mail delivery.
Two-way secure messaging
If you use the secure messaging in Online Services, we can send you personalized electronic documents – such as a cost quote for a buyback or confirmation of your pension estimate. We often get requests for personal information that we cannot send by regular email so if you don’t have an Online Services, we would have to mail it to you. With an online account you can get your document much quicker and it’s stored for you in a secure location.
Other online features
Besides the secure messaging feature, you can run your own pension estimates and retirement dates. Within the secure site, you can also update personal information such as your address and check your beneficiary information.
Not registered yet?
Registering for Online Services is quick and easy. You’ll need your nine digit OPTrust ID which appears on most personalized correspondence from OPTrust. If you don’t have it, contact us and we’ll provide you with the number and further instructions to help you register.
It’s a good security precaution to change your password as soon as possible after registering.
In memoriam: Linda MacKinnon
Linda MacKinnon, a lifelong activist and a member of OPTrust’s Board of Trustees, passed away on December 15, 2015. She was appointed to the Board by OPSEU in 2013 and was strongly committed to ensuring the interests of the Plan’s members were considered and represented in the Board’s decisions.
Outside of her work with OPTrust, Ms. MacKinnon was a believer in community service, chairing four United Way campaigns, serving as Chair of the Board of Directors of the Toronto Humane Society and on the boards of the Timmins District Hospital and Kingston General Hospital, and acting as lead panelist on the School Community Safety Advisory Panel that investigated the shooting death of student Jordan Manners at C.W. Jefferys Collegiate Institute in Toronto.
Ms. MacKinnon’s contributions to OPTrust and the community were many and she will be missed by all who had the privilege of working with her and knowing her.