Buybacks at Enrolment
When employees enrol in the OPSEU Pension Plan, they may be eligible to purchase, or “buy back,” credit for eligible periods of past service. Buying back credit increases the amount of the member’s pension at retirement and may allow him or her to qualify for early retirement, or to qualify sooner.
Under the Plan, there are several types of prior service that eligible members can buy back at enrolment. These include:
- service in the Ontario Public Service or with another employer who contributed to the OPSEU Pension Plan, the Public Service Pension Plan, or its predecessor. This includes both:
- non-contributory service, and
- contributory service that was previously refunded or transferred out of the Plan
- service with another Canadian Registered Pension Plan.
Important! To buy back credit for eligible periods of past service, enrolling members should submit an Application for Past Service Credit (OPTrust 1036) form to OPTrust within 24 months of his or her plan membership date. This will ensure an eligible member will:
- receive a buyback cost quote based on his or her salary at the date of application
- is offered financing options for payment (if applicable)
- has 10 years to complete the buyback, at the original cost plus interest, if the member commits to financing payment options.
If the 24-month application deadline has expired, the member can apply to buy back eligible periods of past service under the Plan's open option buyback. The cost for an open option buyback is calculated on an actuarial basis. As a result, the member pays the full cost of his/her buyback and there is no cost to the Employer or the Plan.
For more information please refer to OPTrust's fact sheet Open Option Buyback.
Employers should make new members aware of the Plan’s buyback rules and that strict time limits apply. OPTrust will provide new members with additional information on buybacks in their Welcome Package.
For more information please refer to the section of this manual on Buybacks.
Automatic quotes for prior non-contributory service
As part of the enrolment process, OPTrust automatically checks whether the member is eligible to buy back a period of a non-contributory government service. We do this by comparing the member’s plan membership date with the date his or her current continuous employment began. If there is a gap between the continuous employment date and the plan membership date, we will automatically send the member a quote for the cost of buying back credit for this period.
In effect, the Plan deems the member to have applied to purchase the prior non-contributory service. This procedure ensures that most members will not miss the application window.
Reminder! The employer must provide accurate plan membership and continuous employment dates when completing the Membership Enrolment form. OPTrust requires this information to provide automatic cost quotes at enrolment for non-contributory buy backs. Please see Employment and Membership Dates for more information.
Cases where buyback applications still required
In cases where OPTrust does not have access to the member’s prior service information, the member should still submit a buyback application within the Plan’s 24-month application deadline. However, if the 24-month application deadline has expired, the member can apply to purchase the prior service through the Plan's open option buyback. For more information, refer to OPTrust's fact sheet Open Option Buyback. This includes members who
- may be eligible to purchase
- prior non-contributory service where there has been a break in employment
- prior contributory service that has been refunded to the member
- past service with an employer who contributed to another registered pension plan.
- work for non-OPS employers.
Important! To ensure that no member misses his or her buyback application deadline, OPTrust still recommends that all members complete and submit a signed Application for Past Service Credit form, whether their prior service is captured by the automatic buyback quotes process or not.