Before starting any unpaid LOA of more than one month, the member and
employer must complete an Option to Make Pension Contributions While on Leave of
Absence Without Pay (OPTrust1025) form and submit it to OPTrust. This form is
used to indicate whether or not the member chooses to make pension contributions
during the leave. The OPTrust 1025 form cannot be completed once a member
returns to work.
If the OPTrust 1025 is received during the leave, the available payment option
will be compressed to fit the leave period. If the leave ends prior to the
submission of the OPTrust 1025 then the appropriate information should be
submitted on the OPTrust 1036 form.
If the member chooses to contribute during the LOA, the amount of contributions
required from the member and from the employer will depend on the type of leave.
Once OPTrust receives the completed 1025 form, we will calculate the member
contributions that must be made during the leave period and notify the member of
the amount and the available payment options.
For most unpaid leaves of absence, memberís contribution payments during the
leave are made directly to OPTrust, either as a lump sum or in a series of
In certain cases, contributions may be paid through payroll deductions:
- For pregnancy, parental or adoption leaves, the member may have the option of
having pension contributions deducted from the Supplementary Unemployment
Benefit (SUB) paid by the employer.
- For self-funded leave periods, if the member continues to be paid by the
employer, pension contributions are to be paid through payroll deductions.
- For leave periods when the member is eligible to receive LTIP benefits, the
employer pays both the member and employer contributions.
Members who choose not to make pension contributions during the LOA must still
complete and submit the OPTrust 1025 form together with the employer, prior to
the start of the leave.
If the member chooses not to contribute, the unpaid leave does not interrupt his
or her plan membership. However, the member will not receive pension credit for
the leave period. On returning to work, the member may be eligible to buy back
credit for the period of the LOA, subject to the Planís normal buyback rules.
For more information, please see the Employer Manual section on
The Income Tax Act imposes limits on the total amount of pension credit that
members may accrue for leave of absence periods. These limits apply to all
leaves occurring after 1990. The total combined credit a member may obtain for
post-1990 leaves due to illness, or for special or education purposes is five
years.1 Where the leave is due to pregnancy or adoption, the 5-year limit on the total
combined credit can be increased by the period of the pregnancy/adoption leaves,
to a maximum of 3 additional years.
A part-time employee cannot contribute for more credited service during a leave
period than he or she would normally have earned by working during that leave
period. For example, if an employee normally works 50% of full-time hours, he or
she can only accrue credit at half the rate of a full-time employee during a
OPSEU Pension Plan Text,
Revised September 3, 2004