The OPSEU Pension Plan sets out strict time limits for submitting a buyback application. As a member, you are responsible for ensuring that OPTrust receives:
- your online or written application form by the Plan’s deadline, and
- any supporting documents that may be required.
24-month application deadline
FOR PRIOR SERVICE – BOTH CONTRIBUTORY AND NON-CONTRIBUTORY
To be eligible to purchase prior service, you must submit an application within 24 months of the date you first become and continuously remain a member of the OPSEU Pension Plan or the PSPP. To apply you must complete OPTrust’s Application for Past Service Credit form (OPTrust 1036). Copies are available from the OPTrust website at www.optrust.com, OPTrust or your Human Resources representative.
CONTRIBUTIONS DURING A LEAVE OF ABSENCE (LOA)
To submit an application to purchase service during an unpaid LOA:
- First, finalize the start and end dates of your LOA with your employer.
- Advise OPTrust of your decision to either contribute or not contribute during your LOA by applying online. By applying online you immediately obtain your cost quote and you will be given an opportunity to select a payment option if you choose to make payments. You may also fill out the Application to Contribute During an Unpaid Leave of Absence form (OPTrust 1025).
Please note that to be eligible to make contributions during your LOA you must submit your application before your LOA begins.
BUYBACKS AFTER A LEAVE OF ABSENCE
To be eligible to buy back credit after the LOA ends, you must submit your application within 24 months of the end date of the LOA. Please submit the Application for Past Service Credit form (OPTrust 1036) within the deadline. This form is available at www.optrust.com.
IMPORTANT: If OPTrust does not receive your application within the 24-month time limit, you will not be eligible to complete your buyback. Please note that your application is not considered a commitment to purchase. Your application simply permits OPTrust to provide you with a purchase agreement, which details the eligible service and related cost. It also provides you with the option to begin and complete payments over 10 years, if you so choose.
What is a “complete application”?
To make contributions while on an LOA, only the Application to Contribute During an Unpaid Leave of Absence form (OPTrust 1025) or online application is required. For all other buybacks, the Application for Past Service Credit form (OPTrust 1036) is the essential document that must be received within the 24-month deadline. However, additional documents may be needed to complete your application. OPTrust would contact you if additional documents were required.
One factor in the cost calculation is your salary rate at the time OPTrust receives your complete application. We cannot calculate the cost of your buyback – or process your purchase – until we have received all the required documents. If your salary increases before we receive this information, your cost will increase as well. So, it is in your best interest to ensure OPTrust receives these documents as quickly as possible.
The documents needed to complete your application depend on the type of service you are buying back.
PRIOR SERVICE WITH AN EMPLOYER WHO CONTRIBUTED TO THE OPSEU PENSION PLAN, THE PSPP OR ITS PREDECESSOR
For most members who work in the OPS (and are paid through the Government’s CORPAY system), providing the Application for Past Service Credit form (OPTrust 1036) is all you will need to do to complete your application. OPTrust will confirm your current salary rate and eligible service directly with your employer.
If you work for an agency, board or commission, you may also have to provide OPTrust with a copy of OPTrust’s Employment Information form (OPTrust 1035), completed by your Human Resources representative. This form is required if your buyback is for a period of non-contributory service, including contract or unclassified employment.
If your employer cannot provide the necessary information, you may be able to complete your application if you have other supporting documents – e.g., pay stubs, T4s, employment contracts or letters from your employer.
UNPAID LEAVES OF ABSENCE
Contributions During a Leave of Absence
To make contributions during an unpaid LOA, apply online at www.optrust.com (Secure Online Services) or fill out the Application to Contribute During an Unpaid Leave of Absence form (OPTrust 1025). You may download this form at www.optrust.com, or get it from your HR representative. This is your complete application.
Buybacks After a Leave of Absence
If you decide not to contribute during your leave, you can apply to buy back credit later, subject to the 24-month application time limit. The Application for Past Service Credit form (OPTrust 1036) is the only form you will need to provide.
SERVICE WITH ANOTHER PENSION PLAN
If you are applying to purchase service with another Canadian registered pension plan, you will need to provide documentation from your previous employer and/or your previous pension plan. OPTrust will need the following information:
- the name of your previous employer
- the name of the pension plan and its CRA registration number • the dates of your membership in the plan
- the details of any periods when you did not work full-time
- your total credited service your pensionable earnings and “pension adjustment” amounts, for service after 1989
- confirmation that the funds are still in the previous plan, for service before 1992
- details of any benefits paid.
Buyback quotes and payment options are available online!
Want to see how you could benefit?
You can use OPTrust’s online pension estimator to see how buying back credit could increase your pension and affect your retirement eligibility date. To use the pension estimator, visit the OPTrust website.