OPTions | December 2023

Did you know that you could earn full pension service if you entered an arrangement with your employer to temporarily reduce your regular working hours? You can also buy back periods when you worked on a temporary part-time work arrangement in the past.

If you were on a temporary part-time work arrangement with your employer before February 1, 2022, a special 24-month buyback window is available until January 31, 2024. This will allow you to buy back pension service for the hours you did not work, and your employer will match your contributions.

To apply, you and your employer must complete the Temporary part-time work arrangement contribution/buyback application (OPTrust 1030) form and submit it to OPTrust before January 31, 2024.

If you apply to buy back pension service after the 24-month window closes, the cost can be significantly higher. For more information, read our fact sheet.

Earlier this month, OPTrust released a one-year update on its 2022 enhanced climate change strategy. Over the past year we have developed a comprehensive approach for tracking climate-related data across our investments and setting targets to support our ambition to have a net-zero emissions portfolio by 2050.

"Our climate change strategy is designed with one purpose in mind: to protect our pension promise over the long term," said Peter Lindley, President and CEO.

The climate strategy directly supports our overall investment strategy to help ensure the longterm sustainability of the Plan, with a focus on building out the tools and capabilities to better understand, measure and manage climate risk and opportunity across all asset classes.

Visit OPTrust's climate change site.

Are you new to the OPSEU Pension Plan, mid-career or nearing retirement? OPTrust offers a series of pension information sessions that you can watch online from the comfort of your home. It's your choice, you can sign up to watch an upcoming live session or watch a pre-recorded webinar anytime you wish. Check them out here.

It's never too early to start thinking about your financial future. As part of Financial Literacy Month in November, OPTrust launched a three-part educational video series to help our Gen Z and younger millennial members better understand the value of their pension.

The videos covered what it means to be part of the OPSEU Pension Plan, how pension contributions work, and how your future self will thank you for investing in a secure lifetime pension for your retirement.

Watch the videos:

Guess what? We have relocated our Toronto office to a new floor within the same building. Starting December 18, we will open the doors to our new office on the 29th floor of the 1 Adelaide building. This new space offers a modern and inviting environment for our members.

For employees, it better aligns with our flexible, hybrid work model. It also provides more collaboration spaces and new features such as an internal staircase, universal washrooms and a multi-faith room.

The pensions of OPTrust retirees will increase by 4.8%, starting January 1, 2024. The adjustment is an important feature of the Plan that helps your pension keep pace with inflation in retirement. For example, a retiree who started receiving a $20,000 pension in January 1995, would receive $36,332 from OPTrust in 2024. This is an 82% increase over a 29-year period.

The inflation rate is measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI), reported by Statistics Canada. The CPI reflects the cost of a weighted basket of goods and services that are typically purchased by Canadian consumers every month. It is widely used as an indicator of the change in the general level of consumer prices and the rate of inflation.

During the year, our employees raised more than $12,800 for The Stop Community Food Centre to help tackle the growing need and cost of providing programs and services that address food insecurity in Toronto. Many employees also volunteered their time at The Stop.

The funds were raised through OPTrust Cares, a grassroots charitable giving program. Each year, OPTrust Cares partners with a new charitable organization to help raise awareness and promote our values through fundraising events.