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The Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System (OMERS) Pension Plan – Everything You Need to Know

The OMERS Pension Plan is a comprehensive retirement plan designed to provide long-term financial security for employees in municipal governments, school boards, and other public sector organizations in Ontario, Canada. With a focus on sustainability and member satisfaction, the OMERS Pension Plan offers a range of benefits and features that make it an attractive choice for individuals planning for their retirement.

One of the key advantages of the OMERS Pension Plan is its stability and reliability. Created in 1962, the plan has a proven track record of delivering stable and secure retirement income to its members. The plan is governed by a Board of Directors who are responsible for its management and oversight, ensuring that it remains financially sound and capable of meeting its obligations to current and future retirees.

Another notable feature of the OMERS Pension Plan is its flexibility. Members can choose from a variety of pension options, allowing them to customize their retirement income according to their individual needs and circumstances. Options include early retirement, delayed retirement, and survivor pensions, among others. This flexibility ensures that members can adapt their pension plan to their changing circumstances and make informed decisions about their retirement.

The OMERS Pension Plan also offers a range of supplementary benefits to enhance the financial security of its members. These include health and dental benefits, survivor benefits, and a bridge benefit that provides additional income before members reach the age at which they are eligible for government benefits such as the Canada Pension Plan. These supplementary benefits, coupled with the stable and reliable pension income, provide members with a comprehensive package of retirement security.

In conclusion, the OMERS Pension Plan stands out as a reliable and flexible retirement plan that offers a comprehensive range of benefits and features. Whether you are a municipal employee or a member of a public sector organization in Ontario, the OMERS Pension Plan can provide you with the financial security and peace of mind you need for retirement.

Tax-Advantaged Retirement Savings

One of the many benefits of the OMERS pension plan is its tax-advantaged nature. Saving for retirement through the OMERS plan allows individuals to take advantage of various tax benefits, helping them maximize their savings.

Contributions made to the OMERS plan are tax-deductible, meaning that individuals can deduct the amount they contribute from their taxable income. By reducing their taxable income, individuals can potentially lower their overall tax liability, allowing them to keep more of their hard-earned money.

In addition to the tax deduction on contributions, any income earned within the OMERS plan is tax-deferred. This means that individuals do not have to pay taxes on the investment growth or any investment income generated within the plan until they start withdrawing funds during retirement.

Furthermore, once individuals reach retirement age and begin receiving pension payments from the OMERS plan, they may be eligible for various tax credits or deductions. These tax advantages can further reduce the tax burden on retirement income received from the plan.

In summary, the OMERS pension plan offers tax-advantaged retirement savings, providing individuals with the opportunity to save for their future while simultaneously reducing their tax liability. This advantageous tax treatment can help individuals maximize their savings and enjoy a financially secure retirement.

Flexible Savings Contribution Options

OMERS pension plan offers flexible savings contribution options for its members, allowing them to customize their retirement savings strategy.

With the OMERS pension plan, you can choose the amount of money you want to contribute towards your retirement savings. This flexibility allows you to tailor your contributions to your financial situation and future retirement goals.

There are several contribution options available to OMERS pension plan members:

Regular Pension Contributions

Members can make regular contributions to their pension plan on a consistent basis. These contributions are deducted directly from their salary, making it easy to save for retirement over the course of their career.

Additional Voluntary Contributions

In addition to regular contributions, members can also make additional voluntary contributions to their pension plan. These contributions can be made on a one-time basis or at regular intervals, giving members the opportunity to boost their retirement savings even further.

Note: Additional voluntary contributions may have tax advantages, so it’s important to consult with a financial advisor to understand the implications.

By offering flexible savings contribution options, the OMERS pension plan ensures that members have the opportunity to maximize their retirement savings and secure a comfortable future.

Employer Matching Contributions

One of the key benefits of the OMERS pension plan is the employer matching contributions. This means that your employer will contribute a certain amount of money to your pension plan based on a percentage of your salary. The percentage may vary depending on your employment agreement, but typically employers will match a certain portion of your contributions.

This feature is designed to encourage employees to actively participate in the pension plan and save for their retirement. By matching your contributions, your employer is effectively doubling your savings, allowing you to grow your retirement funds at a faster rate.

Not all employers offer matching contributions, so it is important to check with your employer to see if this benefit is available to you. If it is, taking full advantage of this feature can significantly increase the amount of money you will have available to you in retirement.

  • The employer matching contributions help you build your retirement savings faster
  • It encourages employees to actively participate in the pension plan
  • Not all employers offer matching contributions, so it is important to check with your employer
  • Taking full advantage of this feature can significantly increase your retirement funds

Investment Options and Portfolio Diversification

As a member of the OMERS pension plan, you have the advantage of a variety of investment options to help grow your retirement savings. OMERS manages a diversified portfolio, which includes investments in various asset classes such as equities, fixed income, real estate, and infrastructure.


Equities are one of the investment options available to OMERS pension plan members. This asset class includes shares or stocks of publicly traded companies. Investing in equities provides the potential for capital growth and dividends. OMERS carefully selects a mix of equities that align with their investment strategy and risk tolerance.

Fixed Income

Fixed income investments are another option within the OMERS pension plan. This asset class includes bonds and other debt instruments issued by governments and corporations. Fixed income investments provide a steady stream of income through interest payments. OMERS invests in high-quality fixed income assets to preserve capital and generate income for its members.

In addition to equities and fixed income, OMERS also invests in real estate and infrastructure. These assets offer diversification benefits and the potential for long-term growth. Real estate investments include commercial properties such as office buildings, retail centers, and residential developments. Infrastructure investments involve assets like highways, airports, and energy facilities.

By diversifying its portfolio across multiple asset classes, OMERS aims to reduce risk and maximize returns for its members. This strategy helps protect your pension savings from the fluctuations of any one particular market or sector. It also provides the potential for steady income and long-term growth, ultimately helping to secure a comfortable retirement.

Retirement Income Options

As a member of the OMERS pension plan, you have several options for receiving retirement income. These options are designed to provide you with flexibility and financial security during your golden years.


The main retirement income option available through OMERS is a pension. A pension is a regular, pre-determined payment that you receive from your OMERS pension plan. The amount of your pension is based on factors such as your years of service, salary, and age at retirement.

With a pension, you can choose to receive your payments in different ways. You may opt for a lifetime pension, where you receive a monthly payment for the rest of your life. Alternatively, you can choose a temporary pension, which provides payments for a specific period of time.


OMERS also offers the option of a lump sum payment. With this option, you can receive a one-time payment instead of a regular pension. This payment can be beneficial if you have specific financial needs or if you want to invest the money elsewhere.

It’s important to carefully consider your retirement income options and their implications before making a decision. OMERS provides resources and information to help you make an informed choice that aligns with your financial goals and retirement vision.

Remember, your retirement income is a key component of your financial well-being, and the OMERS pension plan strives to provide you with a stable and secure retirement income stream.

Indexed Pension Benefits

The OMERS pension plan offers indexed pension benefits to help protect retirees from the impact of inflation. An indexed pension ensures that your retirement income keeps pace with the rising cost of living, allowing you to maintain your standard of living throughout retirement.

How does the indexing work?

Once you start receiving your OMERS pension, it is automatically adjusted each year to account for inflation. The indexing is based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI), which measures the average change in prices for a basket of goods and services.

What are the benefits of indexed pension?

Indexed pension benefits provide retirees with peace of mind, knowing that their retirement income will increase over time to keep up with the rising cost of expenses such as food, housing, healthcare, and transportation. This can help retirees maintain their financial independence and meet their changing needs throughout their retirement years.

Are all OMERS pension benefits indexed?

Not all OMERS pension benefits are indexed. Only retirement benefits for members who meet specific eligibility criteria at the time of retirement are eligible for indexing. However, OMERS continuously reviews and evaluates the indexing policy to ensure that it remains fair and sustainable for all members.

What is the guarantee of indexed pension benefits?

OMERS is committed to providing stable and secure pension benefits to its members. The indexing of pension benefits is a key component of this commitment, ensuring that retirees’ income keeps pace with inflation. This guarantee provides essential financial security and peace of mind for retirees, allowing them to enjoy their retirement years without worrying about the eroding purchasing power of their income.

In conclusion, the indexed pension benefits offered by OMERS are a valuable feature of the pension plan, providing retirees with the reassurance that their income will keep up with inflation and allowing them to maintain their standard of living throughout retirement.

Early Retirement Benefits

One of the key advantages of the OMERS pension plan is that it provides early retirement benefits to its members. These benefits allow individuals to retire and start receiving their pension before the normal retirement age.

By participating in the OMERS pension plan, members can choose to retire as early as age 50 with an unreduced pension, provided they have accumulated enough pensionable service. This means that even if a member retires early, they will still receive the full pension amount they are entitled to.

Early retirement can be an attractive option for individuals who want to start enjoying their retirement lifestyle sooner. It provides financial security and peace of mind, knowing that there is a guaranteed income stream to support their needs.

However, it’s important to note that early retirement benefits may come with certain trade-offs. For example, retiring early may reduce the overall pension amount received over the course of retirement, as the pension is paid out for a longer period of time. Additionally, there might be limitations on the amount of pensionable service a member can accrue before being eligible for early retirement benefits.

Overall, the OMERS pension plan offers members the flexibility to choose early retirement if it aligns with their personal and financial goals. It’s important for individuals to carefully consider their options and consult with a financial advisor before making any decisions regarding their retirement.

Joint and Survivor Pension Benefits

One of the advantages of the OMERS pension plan is the option to receive joint and survivor pension benefits. This means that if you were to pass away, your spouse or partner would continue to receive pension payments.

By choosing this option, you can provide financial security for your loved one even after you’re gone. It ensures that your spouse or partner will have a steady stream of income to rely on in retirement.

A joint and survivor pension pays a reduced amount while both you and your spouse or partner are alive. However, if one of you passes away, the survivor will continue to receive a portion of the pension, typically a percentage such as 60% or 75%, depending on the option you choose.

This feature of the OMERS pension plan offers peace of mind and can help protect your family’s financial well-being in the event of your death. It provides a lifetime income for your spouse or partner, alleviating financial worries during what can be a difficult time.

It’s important to carefully consider your options when planning for retirement and choosing a pension plan. The joint and survivor pension benefits option of the OMERS plan is a valuable feature that can provide additional security for you and your loved ones.

By taking advantage of this benefit, you can ensure that your spouse or partner is taken care of financially, allowing them to maintain their quality of life and peace of mind in retirement.

Advantages Disadvantages
Financial security for the surviving spouse or partner Reduced pension amount while both are alive
Peace of mind knowing your loved one will have income after your death Limit on the percentage of pension received by the survivor
Protection for family’s financial well-being

Disability Benefits

The OMERS pension plan offers disability benefits to its members in case they become disabled and are unable to work. These benefits provide financial support to members who are facing a long-term disability and cannot continue in their current employment.

Here are some key features of the disability benefits provided by OMERS:

  • Income Replacement: The disability benefits provide income replacement for members who are unable to work due to a disability. The amount of income replacement is based on the member’s average earnings prior to the disability.
  • Eligibility: To be eligible for disability benefits, members must meet certain criteria, including having a disability that is expected to last for at least one year, being under the age of 65, and being an active member of the OMERS pension plan.
  • Medical Assessments: OMERS may require members to undergo medical assessments to determine their eligibility for disability benefits. These assessments help to ensure that the disability is genuine and that the member is unable to work due to the disability.
  • Continued Pension Contributions: While on disability, members are not required to make pension contributions. However, OMERS continues to make contributions on their behalf, ensuring that their pension continues to grow during the disability period.
  • Rehabilitation and Return-to-Work Support: OMERS provides support to members with disabilities to help them in their rehabilitation and return-to-work efforts. This includes access to vocational rehabilitation programs, counseling, and other support services.

Overall, the disability benefits provided by OMERS help to ensure that members who become disabled are financially supported and have access to resources to assist in their recovery and return to work.

Portability and Transfers

One of the great benefits of the OMERS pension plan is its portability. As a member, you have the ability to transfer your OMERS pension to another registered pension plan if you change jobs or if you leave your current employer. This allows you to continue building your retirement savings without any interruption.

When you transfer your OMERS pension to another plan, the total value of your OMERS contributions and investment returns will be transferred to the new plan. This ensures that you don’t lose any of the benefits you have accrued over the years.

Transferring your OMERS pension is a straightforward process. You simply need to notify OMERS of your intention to transfer, and provide the necessary information about the receiving plan. OMERS will then work with the receiving plan to facilitate the transfer.

Benefits of Portability and Transfers
1. Flexibility: Portability allows you to take your pension savings with you when you change jobs, providing you with flexibility and peace of mind.
2. Continued Growth: By transferring your OMERS pension to another plan, you can continue growing your retirement savings and maximizing your investment returns.
3. Protection: Transferring your pension ensures that you are protected against any potential financial issues that may arise with your previous employer.
4. Simplified Administration: Transferring your pension is a simple and efficient process, thanks to OMERS’ streamlined transfer procedures.

Overall, the portability and transferability of the OMERS pension plan provide members with flexibility, protection, and continued opportunities for growth. Whether you change jobs or leave your current employer, you can rest assured that your retirement savings will remain intact and will continue to work for you.

Benefit Calculation and Predictability

As a member of the OMERS pension plan, you can expect to receive a retirement benefit that is calculated based on a formula. This formula takes into account various factors, including your length of service, your average salary, and the accrual rate of the plan.

Factors that Impact Benefit Calculation

  • Length of Service: The longer you have been a member of the OMERS plan, the higher your pension benefit is likely to be. This is because your benefit is calculated as a percentage of your average salary multiplied by your years of service.
  • Average Salary: Your average salary is an important factor in determining your pension benefit. The OMERS plan uses the highest average salary over a specific period of time, typically the five highest earning years, to calculate your benefit.
  • Accrual Rate: The accrual rate is the percentage of your average salary that you earn for each year of service. For example, if the accrual rate is 2%, you would earn 2% of your average salary for each year of service. The higher the accrual rate, the higher your pension benefit will be.

Predictability of Benefits

One of the key advantages of the OMERS pension plan is the predictability of the retirement benefits it provides. The plan’s defined benefit structure ensures that you will receive a reliable and stable income throughout your retirement years. This is in contrast to other types of retirement plans, such as defined contribution plans, where your benefit amount can fluctuate based on the performance of your investments.

The OMERS plan provides retirees with a guaranteed lifetime pension, which means you can count on a steady income stream for as long as you live. This predictability allows you to plan for your retirement with confidence and peace of mind, knowing that your financial needs will be met.

Additionally, the OMERS plan offers inflation protection to help ensure that your pension benefits keep pace with the rising cost of living. This means that your benefit amount will be adjusted each year to account for inflation, providing you with greater financial security in the long term.

In conclusion, the OMERS pension plan offers a benefit calculation formula that takes into account factors such as length of service, average salary, and accrual rate. This formula provides retirees with a predictable and reliable income stream throughout their retirement years. The plan’s guaranteed lifetime pension and inflation protection further enhance the predictability and financial security of OMERS pension benefits.

Cost-of-Living Adjustments

One of the key benefits of the OMERS pension plan is the cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) that are made to provide retirees with an income that keeps pace with inflation. These adjustments help to ensure that your pension dollars maintain their purchasing power over time.

OMERS takes into account the Consumer Price Index (CPI), which measures changes in the cost of a basket of goods and services, when determining the annual COLA. The COLA is applied to your pension each year, and the increase is based on the percentage change in the CPI.

By receiving COLAs, your OMERS pension will continue to provide you with a stable and reliable income throughout your retirement years. This means that you won’t have to worry about your purchasing power diminishing as the cost of living increases.

Benefits of Cost-of-Living Adjustments:

  • Your pension income will increase each year to keep pace with inflation.
  • You can confidently plan and budget for your retirement years.
  • Your purchasing power will be protected as the cost of goods and services rises.
  • You will have peace of mind knowing that your pension will provide a consistent income stream throughout your retirement.

OMERS understands the importance of providing retirees with a pension that adapts to the changing economic landscape. By offering cost-of-living adjustments, OMERS ensures that your pension continues to meet your financial needs, regardless of how the cost of living changes over time.

Member Support and Resources

At OMERS, we understand that navigating the world of retirement planning can sometimes be overwhelming. That’s why we offer a range of member support and resources to help you make the most of your pension plan.

Our dedicated team of experts is available to answer any questions you may have about your pension plan. Whether you need guidance on contribution requirements, investment options, or retirement benefits, our knowledgeable staff is here to assist you every step of the way.

In addition to personalized support, we also provide a variety of educational resources to help you better understand your pension plan. Our online portal features articles, videos, and interactive tools that cover topics such as retirement planning, investment strategies, and pension payout options. These resources are designed to empower you with the knowledge and confidence you need to make informed decisions about your retirement.

Furthermore, we offer workshops and seminars throughout the year to give our members the opportunity to learn more about their pension plan in a group setting. These events cover a range of topics, from retirement planning basics to more advanced strategies for maximizing your pension benefits. Participating in these educational sessions not only provides valuable information but also allows you to connect with other OMERS members and gain insight from their experiences.

Whether you prefer personalized support, online resources, or in-person workshops, OMERS is committed to providing you with the tools and resources you need to confidently navigate your pension plan. We are here to support you every step of the way on your journey to a secure and fulfilling retirement.

Remember: Your pension plan is an important part of your financial future, and we are here to help you make the most of it.

Pension Administration and Governance

The OMERS pension plan is administered by a team of dedicated professionals who ensure the smooth operation and management of the plan. The administration of the plan is governed by a comprehensive set of rules and regulations that are designed to protect the interests of plan members.

The pension administration team oversees various aspects of the plan, including the calculation and payment of pension benefits. They work closely with employers to ensure that accurate and timely information is provided, and that member contributions and employer contributions are collected and allocated properly.

Pension Plan Governance

OMERS has a robust governance structure in place to ensure the plan is managed in the best interests of its members. The plan is governed by a Board of Directors, which is responsible for setting the overall strategic direction and overseeing the management of the plan.

The Board of Directors is comprised of representatives from plan members, employers, and the government. This balance of perspectives ensures that decisions are made in a fair and equitable manner, taking into consideration the interests of all stakeholders.

Transparency and Accountability

OMERS is committed to transparency and accountability in its operations. The plan’s financial information is regularly audited by an independent auditor to ensure compliance with relevant regulations and best practices.

Members of the plan also have the opportunity to participate in the governance of the plan through their representation on the Board of Directors and other committees. This ensures that their voices are heard and that their interests are protected.

In conclusion, the OMERS pension plan is administered with meticulous care and is governed by a robust framework to ensure transparency, accountability, and the best interests of its members.

Pension Freedom and Flexibility

The OMERS pension plan offers a great deal of freedom and flexibility when it comes to accessing your retirement savings. With this plan, you have the option to choose how you want to receive your pension payments.

  • You can opt for a regular monthly pension payment, providing a consistent income stream that can help cover your living expenses in retirement.
  • If you prefer, you can choose a variable payment option, which allows you to vary the amount you receive each year based on your financial needs.
  • Another flexible option is the ability to take a partial lump-sum payment while still receiving a guaranteed monthly pension.

This flexibility allows you to customize your retirement income to fit your unique financial situation and goals. Whether you need a steady income to cover basic expenses or want to have more control over your finances, the OMERS pension plan lets you make the choices that work best for you.

OMERS Retirement Seminars and Workshops

As part of the OMERS pension plan, members have access to a range of retirement seminars and workshops. These educational sessions are designed to help plan members prepare for a financially secure retirement.


OMERS offers retirement seminars that cover a variety of topics related to retirement planning. These seminars are led by knowledgeable experts who provide valuable insights and guidance. Plan members can attend these seminars to learn about topics such as:

  • Understanding the OMERS pension plan structure
  • Options for taking a pension
  • Income sources in retirement
  • Managing finances in retirement
  • Understanding healthcare and insurance options

Attending these seminars can provide plan members with a better understanding of their retirement options and help them make informed decisions.


OMERS also offers retirement workshops that provide more hands-on and interactive learning experiences. These workshops allow plan members to dive deeper into specific retirement topics and engage in practical exercises and discussions. Some of the workshop topics include:

  • Creating a personalized retirement income plan
  • Understanding tax implications in retirement
  • Estate planning and transferring wealth
  • Long-term care and healthcare planning

These workshops provide plan members with the opportunity to gain practical skills and knowledge that can directly benefit their retirement planning process.

Overall, the OMERS retirement seminars and workshops are valuable resources for plan members. They offer comprehensive education and guidance to help individuals make informed decisions and achieve a financially secure retirement.


What is the OMERS Pension Plan?

The OMERS Pension Plan is a retirement plan that provides income to eligible members after they retire.

Who is eligible for the OMERS Pension Plan?

Eligible members of the OMERS Pension Plan include employees of participating employers in Ontario, such as municipal employees, school board employees, and emergency service workers.

What are the benefits of the OMERS Pension Plan?

The benefits of the OMERS Pension Plan include a secure source of retirement income, cost-of-living adjustments to protect against inflation, survivor benefits for spouses and dependents, and the ability to retire early with reduced benefits.

How is the OMERS Pension Plan funded?

The OMERS Pension Plan is funded through contributions from both participating employers and members. These contributions are invested to generate returns that help pay for the pension benefits.

What other features does the OMERS Pension Plan offer?

In addition to the basic pension, the OMERS Pension Plan offers supplemental pensions for members who have reached a certain number of years of service, as well as bridge benefits to provide income until members are eligible for government benefits.