Unpaid leaves of absence
If you take a leave of absence (LOA) without pay and do not make pension contributions while you are away from work, you will be eligible to buy back credit for the period of your leave, if you apply within the 24-month deadline.
Under the OPSEU Pension Plan, contributions for an unpaid LOA of one month or less are mandatory and are deducted automatically by your employer upon your return to work. These leaves do not affect your pension.
If you take an unpaid leave of longer than one month for illness, family medical leave, Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB), pregnancy, parental, adoption or special or educational purposes, you have the option of continuing to pay contributions – and earning credit – during your leave. If you don’t make contributions during your leave, you can apply to buy back this service after the leave of absence ends
Under Ontario’s Employment Standards Act there are special rules concerning pregnancy, parental and adoption leaves. During these leaves, you and your employer are required to make pension contributions, unless you elect in writing or online not to contribute. During these leaves, you can arrange with your employer to continue to have your contributions deducted from any Supplementary Unemployment Benefit (SUB) allowance that is paid to you by your employer.
If you take a family medical leave of four consecutive weeks or less, then both you and your employer are required to continue making regular contributions to the Plan. If you take a family medical leave of five to eight weeks, you have the option of not making contributions. However, you must notify OPTrust, in writing or online, if you do not wish to contribute to the Plan for the period of the family medical leave. Please notify us before your leave begins.
This category includes service with an employer that did not contribute to the OPSEU Pension Plan, the PSPP or its predecessor. To be eligible, you must have been a member of your previous employer’s pension plan for the period you want to buy back.
Under CRA rules:
- For periods before 1992, you must still have credit in the prior plan for the service you are buying and transfer the funds directly to the OPSEU Pension Plan. If you don’t have sufficient funds remaining with your previous pension plan, then to complete the buyback, you will be permitted to make a top up payment directly.
- For post-1991 service, your purchase must be approved by CRA.