The total membership in the OPSEU Pension Plan increased to 83,064 in 2010, from 82,342 the previous year.
The Plan’s active membership declined to 46,893 over the year, down from 47,316 at the end of 2009. In 2010, 3,018 active members retired or left the Plan, while a total of 2,595 new members joined. Of these new members, more than 1,000 were fixed term or temporary employees, many of whom enrolled after learning about the Plan’s benefits and their option to join through OPTrust’s outreach program.
Restructuring in the Ontario Public Service continues to have an impact on the Plan’s active membership. In November 2010, 95 members were transferred from Ontario’s Ministry of Revenue to the Government of Canada as part of the implementation of the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) in Ontario. As a result, these individuals ceased active membership in the Plan and had the option of transferring their OPTrust pension entitlement to the federal Public Service Pension Plan or keeping their entitlement with OPTrust in the form of a special deferred pension. In March 2012, up to another 725 OPTrust members are expected to move to the federal government - and end active membership in the Plan - in the second phase of the HST implementation.
The Plan’s active membership may be affected over the next several years as the provincial government implements plans to reduce total employment in the Ontario Public Service by up to 4,900 positions overall, as announced in the 2009 and 2011 provincial budgets. The total number of OPTrust members who may be affected by these changes is not yet known.
The number of OPTrust pensioners increased by more than 1,000 in 2010, to 25,813 at year-end. Of these new pensioners, more than 80% retired with an unreduced pension, including 63% who retired under one of the Plan’s early retirement options and 21% who retired at age 65 or older. The average age of our overall pensioner population increased to 67.9 years, from 67.4 in 2010.
In 2010, the ratio of active members to pensioners fell slightly to 1.8 to 1, down from 1.9 to 1 in 2009. This change reflects both the normal growth of our pensioner population and the impact of staffing changes at participating employers on the Plan’s active membership. As part of our strategic approach to managing the Plan’s funding, OPTrust will continue to monitor changes in the Plan’s active membership and our pensioner population, and model the potential impact on the Plan’s funding outlook over the long-term.
In 2010, OPTrust’s active membership decreased to 46,893, down by 423 from the previous year, while the number of pensioners increased by 1,055, to 25,813. As a result, the ratio of active members to pensioners has declined slightly to 1.8:1.