Pension Connection | Spring 2023

A Clear Vision

"Together, we have a clear vision to deliver peace of mind in retirement for our members, to invest sustainably for the long-term health of the Plan, and to create an inclusive and fulfilling work experience for our people."

Peter Lindley
President and Chief Executive Officer

The 2022 Funded Status Report is available on our website.

2022 Highlights

  • Member service rating of 8.7/10
  • Almost $25 billion in net assets
  • -2.2% one-year net investment return
  • 7.8% 10-year average net investment return
  • Welcomed our employees back to the office in a flexible hybrid work model
  • Released our enhanced climate change strategy

In early March, OPTrust released its 2022 Funded Status Report, A Clear Vision, which details the Plan’s financial results and fully funded status.

In one of the most challenging years for markets in decades, OPTrust achieved a net investment return of -2.2 per cent and remained fully funded for the 14th consecutive year. Over the past 10 years, the Plan’s average net investment return is 7.8 per cent.

“Our long-term investment horizon means we are well positioned to navigate short-term volatility and instability as we continue to capitalize on long-term trends and opportunities, and most importantly, deliver a secure retirement to our members,” said Peter Lindley, OPTrust’s president and chief executive officer. “Our ability to weather a turbulent global economy and maintain our fully funded status reflects our exceptional team and their extraordinary commitment to our more than 106,000 members.”

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In recognition of members’ growing interest in environmental, social and governance (ESG) matters and the role of responsible investing at OPTrust, the annual Responsible Investing Report is now integrated into the Funded Status Report.

Our 2022 responsible investing highlights include the release of OPTrust’s enhanced climate change strategy and announcing the ambition to achieve a net-zero portfolio by 2050, engaging over 500 companies on key ESG issues, and piloting a total fund ESG data program.

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At the start of this year, we launched a new five-year strategic plan, titled Building a Better Future.

From 2023 to 2027, this strategy will advance our vision – which is to deliver peace of mind in retirement for our members, invest sustainably for the long-term health of the Plan and to create an inclusive and fulfilling work experience for our people – by focusing on three priorities. These priorities are 1) enhancing plan sustainability, 2) investing in our people and 3) strengthening our capabilities.

Visit our new Purpose and Strategy page to learn more about these strategic priorities and how we plan to build a better future for our people, our members and for the communities where we live and work. The page also details our mission, vision and values.

Want to know more about the benefits of a defined benefit pension plan, including how it supports local communities and the economy?

Watch our new People for Pensions video:

In 2022, we implemented the first year of our three-year inclusion, diversity and equity (IDE) strategy because we know organizations with diverse workforces outperform those that are less diverse.

As part of our IDE strategy, we introduced three employee resource groups for Black employees, women, and LGBTQ2S+ community members and their allies, provided unconscious bias training program for the entire organization and built stronger relationships with diverse organizations, among other initiatives.

While our IDE work is far from complete, gender equity at OPTrust grew by nine per cent during 2022 compared to the end of 2021.

OPTrust Select marked its fifth anniversary in April. On April 20, 2018, we launched a defined benefit pension offering for Ontario’s charitable, nonprofit and broader public sectors to great success.

Today, we have 61 employers who have joined OPTrust Select, which represents over 3,400 members.

As the pension plan of choice for the Ontario Nonprofit Network, OPTrust Select delivers secure retirement income to thousands of workers helping those who do good, do well in retirement. And these members serve diverse and often very underrepresented communities across the province.

In a recent People for Pensions newsletter, OPTrust Select member Teresa Guillem voices the value of retirement security for employees at her organization, Job Skills, and how it’s better equipping them to deliver on their mission.

"This is our first time offering a retirement benefit, and [it] has delivered the stable, secure path that we wanted to be able to provide our staff."

Teresa Guillem
Special Projects Manager, Job Skills

OPTrust Select creates greater sustainability for all Plan members over the long term through the allocation of risk and costs over a broader membership base.

Effective April 1, 2023, the definition of an eligible child has been expanded so a member’s disabled dependent children may be entitled to receive a survivor pension.

New definition of child: Previously, a member’s children were only eligible for a survivor pension if they were under the age of 18, or older and in continuous full-time attendance at a secondary school or a post-secondary school for up to five years immediately following secondary school.

Under the new rules, disabled dependent children who meet certain eligibility criteria will now also be entitled to a survivor pension, regardless of their age or enrolment in school, after the death of a member and their surviving spouse.

What do I need to know? A child’s eligibility for survivor benefits cannot be determined until after your death, or after the death of your surviving spouse (if applicable). However, if you have a dependent child with a severe and prolonged disability who may be eligible for survivor benefits in the future, you can notify OPTrust by submitting a completed Disabled Child Information (OPTrust 1065) form. This will help OPTrust locate your child in the event they may be entitled to survivor benefits after your death.

If you are receiving a spousal survivor pension you may also submit a 1065 form to OPTrust if the member was the parent of a disabled dependent child at the time they died, and the child continues to be dependent and disabled.

For more information, read our survivor benefit fact sheet.