For pension purposes, leaves of absence can be divided into three broad
categories. Only some of these leaves have an impact on a memberís pension
credit and/or contributions.
Normally, leaves of absence with pay have no impact on a memberís pension.
During an LOA with pay, the member continues to receive his or her regular
salary while he or she is absent from work. For these leaves, both the employer
and the member continue to make regular pension contributions to OPTrust, and
the member continues to accrue pension credit at the normal rate.
Unpaid leaves of absence lasting less than one month also have no impact on the
memberís pension credit. When a member takes an LOA without pay for less than
one month, both the employer and the member must make regular pension
contributions for the period of the leave. Normally, the employer deducts the
amount of contributions that the member would have paid if no leave had been
taken from the memberís salary when he or she returns to work and salary
Unpaid leaves of absence of more than one month do affect a memberís pension.
For these leaves, contributions are not automatically made to the Plan during
the memberís absence from work and the member does not receive pension credit
for any leave period for which contributions are not made.
For leaves that are approved by the employer, the member may elect to contribute
to the Plan during the period of the leave, using OPTrustís Option to Make
Pension Contributions (OPTrust 1025) form. This applies to unpaid leaves of more
than one month, including:
- leaves due to illness, including approved leaves relating to periods when the member receives benefits
from the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB)
- pregnancy, parental or adoption leaves
- leaves for special or educational reasons.
Special rules apply for periods where a member is eligible to receive benefits
under the employerís Long Term Income Protection (LTIP) plan.
Each of these types of leave Ė and the cost to the member and employer should
the member decide to contribute Ė is discussed in more detail in this section.