Transfers from the Public Service Pension Plan/Ontario Pension Board

posting date Updated: March 2022 print page Print this page Email link to page Email the link

When employees join OPTrust, they may be eligible to transfer credit from a previous pension plan. As with a buyback, transferring credit increases the amount of the member’s OPTrust pension at retirement and may allow him or her to qualify for early retirement, or to qualify sooner.

Determining Plan Membership

Special transfer arrangements exist for employees who change membership from the Public Service Pension Plan (PSPP) to the OPSEU Pension Plan, or vice versa. Members of the PSPP include management and excluded staff and employees represented by other bargaining agents in the Ontario Public Service (OPS) and certain provincial government agencies. The PSPP is administered by the Ontario Pension Board (OPB).

Bargaining unit status is a criteria used in determining whether an employee is eligible for membership in the OPSEU Pension Plan or the PSPP. As a result, a permanent change in an employee’s employment and/or bargaining unit status can result in a change in plan membership. For example, if an OPS employee who is represented by AMAPCEO accepts a permanent position that is part of the OPSEU bargaining unit, he or she would cease to be a member of the PSPP and would be automatically enrolled in the OPSEU Pension Plan.

icon Note: An employee’s plan membership is not affected when he or she accepts a temporary or acting assignment to a position that is covered by another pension plan.

Mandatory vs. Optional Transfers

Under the rules of both Plans, when a change to a member’s employment or bargaining unit status results in a change of pension plan affiliation, the transfer of their accumulated credit from the former to the new plan may be either mandatory or optional. This depends on whether the employee moves to the new position without terminating his or her employment.

Mandatory Transfers from OPB

A mandatory transfer from the PSPP to the OPSEU Pension Plan is required whenever an employee moves directly from a management, excluded or AMAPCEO position to a position in the OPSEU bargaining unit without terminating employment.

Optional Transfers from OPB

If there is a break in service between the employee’s membership in the PSPP and enrolment in the OPSEU Pension Plan, transferring pension service from the OPB to OPTrust is optional. To transfer this credit, the employee must:

  • have been a member of the PSPP and subsequently terminated employment
  • be entitled to a deferred pension benefit or a refund of contributions from the PSPP
  • not be receiving a pension from the PSPP
  • become a member of the OPSEU Pension Plan and complete the Membership Enrolment form (OPTrust 1005), and
  • complete and submit an Application for Past Service Credit form (OPTrust 1036), and provide the details of his or her past service for his or her pension service in the PSPP.

OPTrust will confirm that the member qualifies for a pension service transfer and follow up with the member and/or OPB.

icon Important! Employers should remind new OPTrust members that there is a strict 24-month time limit for submitting an application to transfer pension service from the PSPP to the OPSEU Pension Plan, when a break in service has occurred. Employees who are interested in transferring pension service should submit their Application for Past Service Credit form (OPTrust 1036) or contact OPTrust directly as soon as possible after their enrolment.

If the Plan's normal 24-month application window has expired, the member can apply to purchase the prior pension service through the Plan's open option buyback. form more information, please refer to the Buyback section of this manual and the fact sheet Open Option Buyback.