A GUIDE To Your 2012 Annual Pension Statement
Questions & Answers
What should I do if any of the information on my statement is incorrect or needs to be updated?
If you find any errors in your personal information or inaccuracies in the pension data on your statement, please contact OPTrust. In some cases, we may need additional documentation or we may need to contact your employer before we can make any changes.
Your statement is based on information provided by your employer. If there are errors in this information, your pension estimates may change as more accurate data becomes available. An error on your statement does not entitle you to benefits not provided for by the OPSEU Pension Plan based on your actual situation. Correcting any errors on your statement will give you accurate pension information for your retirement planning.
I noticed my Social Insurance Number is not listed on my statement. Is this an error?
No, it is not an error. OPTrust no longer uses members’ Social Insurance Numbers for personal correspondence and documents. Instead, all members have been assigned a unique OPTrust ID number to identify individual records and personal information on file. Your OPTrust ID further protects the privacy and security of your personal data, and it can also be used to access your personal account through secure Online Services.
Can I view my Annual Pension Statement online?
Yes. Your Annual Pension Statement is available through our secure Online Services. You can view your three most recent statements. Simply sign-in or register for Online Services to view your statement and other personal information. If you have not registered yet, you will need to contact us for your temporary password and have your OPTrust ID number to complete the process. Once registered, you will automatically receive your APS electronically.
My beneficiary information is incorrect, how can I update my records?
You can add a new beneficiary or update your current information through OPTrust’s secure Online Services. Alternatively, you can complete a Pension Beneficiaries form available online or from OPTrust.
Should I name my spouse as a designated beneficiary?
No. Your eligible spouse is automatically your first beneficiary. However, it is a good idea to identify someone else as a designated beneficiary, in case both you and your spouse die at the same time, or your spouse dies before you do. Your designated beneficiary should be someone other than your spouse – consider naming your children, another family member or a friend, for example. You can name one or more designated beneficiaries to share your survivor benefits.
I am single and have no children. Do I need to designate a beneficiary?
The choice is yours. You can choose to name a person or organization. We’ll direct any payment to those named, if you die before you retire. If you don’t designate a beneficiary, we’ll issue the payment to your estate. It may take some time to sort out estate situations, while payments to designated beneficiaries can generally be processed quite quickly.
Why is my pension higher before age 65 than after?
If you take advantage of an early retirement option (retire before age 65), OPTrust pays the full 2% pension benefit until you reach age 65. At age 65, your pension is made up of the OPTrust portion and the CPP portion. Your pension is reduced to reflect the fact that your OPSEU Pension Plan contributions are lower for the portion of your earnings that is also covered by CPP. For an estimated breakdown of your CPP integrated pension at age 65, try out OPTrust’s online pension estimator.
CREDIT AND CONTRIBUTIONS
Why is my total credit different from my plan membership date?
Your plan membership date is not directly linked to your total credit in the Plan. Your credit may reflect a number of factors, such as part-time service, leaves of absence, buybacks, and transfers from other pension plans. Your pension and your eligibility for early retirement are based on your total credit, not your plan membership date.
Why is there a change to my credit listed under “2012 Adjustments?”
Your statement is based on data provided to OPTrust by your employer. If we have found an error in your service record over the past year, any correction to your salary, credit or contribution information will be listed as a “2012 adjustment.” Correcting errors allows us to provide you with more accurate pension estimates to use in planning for your retirement.
Due to a system change, OPTrust rounds any credit adjustments that occurred in 2012 or before to the nearest month. You may notice that you will have either a positive or negative adjustment amount on your 2012 statement. If your statement shows no adjustment, it means that the service is close or equal to one month. This does not affect your accumulated credit in the Plan.
My statement lists my total contributions plus interest. Is this how much my pension is worth?
Your OPTrust pension is not calculated based on your contributions. The OPSEU Pension Plan is a “defined benefit” plan. This means that once you are vested, your pension is calculated using OPTrust’s pension formula. As a result, your pension is based on i) your years of credit in the Plan and ii) your best five-year average annual salary rate.
Why is the average salary listed on my statement different from my current salary?
To calculate your pension, we use an average of your best five-year annual salary earned up to December 31, 2012. If you have been a member for less than five years, your average annual salary is based on your longest period of continuous membership in the Plan. However, we have projected your best five-year average annual salary to calculate your pension estimates.
I work half-time and started contributing to my pension 10 years ago. Why does my statement show only five years of credit?
By working 50% part-time over 10 years, you have earned five full years of credit. Your pension calculation will be based on this amount of credit. The calculation will also use your average annual “full-time equivalent” salary rate, not your actual part-time earnings.
Can I buy back credit for unclassified service or a leave of absence?
You may be eligible to buy back credit for:
- past service – including contract or unclassified service – with an employer who contributed to the OPSEU Pension Plan, the Public Service Pension Plan, or its predecessor
- past service with an employer who contributed to another Canadian registered pension plan, and
- leaves of absence for which you did not contribute to the Plan.
To buy back past service, you must submit an online or written application to OPTrust. For more information on buying back credit, refer to our booklet Your Pension and Buying Back Credit and accompanying factsheet Open Option Buyback.
I’m currently buying back credit, why does my statement only reflect the credit I have purchased?
If you are buying back past credit, your Annual Pension Statement provides you with a current account of your credit. The “total credit” listed on your statement includes any buyback credit that you have paid for as of December 31, 2012. Any remaining credit you have committed to purchase is included in “future credit.” To view a status of your ongoing buyback, sign-in to our secure Online Services where you can track the progress of your payments.
Do you have additional questions about your statement? Contact us through your secure Online Services account or by phone at 416 681-6100 or 1 800 637-0024.