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Recent legislative change may affect transfer options for former members

posting date Posted: November 16, 2010

Toronto (November 16, 2010) – New legislation may provide some former OPSEU Pension Plan members with an option to transfer their deferred OPTrust pension entitlement.

Since OPTrust’s inception in 1995, a number of former Government of Ontario employees transferred employment to successor employers, through a series of divestments.  Some were subject to Section 80 of the (Ontario) Pension Benefits Act (PBA).  For these groups of former employees who transferred employment to successor employers, their employment was deemed not to have terminated for pension purposes.  As a result, these former pension plan members have a deferred pension entitlement in the OPSEU Pension Plan.  When they transferred, they joined their successor employers’ pension plans and became contributing members to that different pension plan.

Under this new legislation, the Pension Benefits Amendment Act, 2010, this group may have the option to consolidate their two separate pension entitlements in their current (successor) employer’s pension plan.

The new legislation received Royal Assent on May 18, 2010.  However, the applicable provisions are not yet in force. Further, we note that any such transfer will need to be done in accordance with the requirements set out in supporting regulations, which have not yet been passed. 

OPTrust will continue to monitor the regulations’ progress and provide more information to affected members as details become available.

OPTrust’s limited role re post-retirement insured benefits

Some members have made inquiries to OPTrust about post-retirement insured benefits. Except for enrolment services provided under contract, the OPSEU Pension Trust has no involvement in or responsibility for the sponsorship, funding or administration of employer-provided post-retirement insured benefits programs. This responsibility remains with the Ontario Government.

Next steps

OPTrust will continue to monitor the regulations’ progress and provide more information to affected members as details become available, including providing eligible former members with specific information regarding their pension entitlements and any other factors they should consider in making an informed decision regarding their transfer option.

The regulations to the Pension Benefits Amendment Act, 2010 are key to definitively determining the specific rules under which any transfers can be undertaken.

More information

We will post any new information, once it becomes available, in the “News Highlights” section of our website.