History

OMERS Beginnings

Before OMERS began, most municipalities and local boards throughout Ontario didn't provide their employees with pensions. The few that did often had limited staff and resources available for the complex task of administering their plans and investing their retirement funds. Also, it was difficult for employees to take their pension with them if they moved from one municipal employer to another – without having to go through a complex transfer process – and the benefits varied greatly amongst municipal plans.

These were some of the principal reasons behind the development of the OMERS concept by Paul Hickey, an Assistant Deputy Minister in the Department of Municipal Affairs, and J.E. Davidson of the Wyatt Company, Actuaries.

Paul Hickey was the driving force behind the creation of OMERS. In 1957, when he was Treasurer of the City of Hamilton, Paul successfully amalgamated the city's many pension plans – standardizing benefits and reducing costs. When he later joined the Ministry of Municipal Affairs, he was convinced that bringing together large and small municipal and local board employers into a standardized and centrally administered plan would bring the same benefits to Ontario.

In my opinion, if it were possible to provide retirement for municipal employees in Ontario through the medium of a Province-wide plan, it would lift a vast administrative burden from the municipalities," wrote Paul Hickey in his report detailing the need for the OMERS Plan.

He believed that such an amalgamated plan would:

  • result in better, more uniform pension benefits for municipal employees throughout the province;
  • make it more affordable for smaller municipalities to provide pension benefits to their employees;
  • provide better pension portability, which would enable employees to work in different areas of the province; and
  • save municipalities and local boards, and taxpayers, the costs associated with a complex pension administrative burden and the duplication of efforts.

On April 18, 1962, the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System Act was passed by the Ontario Legislature, under the guidance of the Minister of Municipal Affairs, Frederick M. Cass.

  • The first OMERS Annual Report covered the period from April 18 to December 31, 1962; however, the first day of operations was actually January 1, 1963. That was the first day that employees could be enrolled as members, and over 8,000 employees from 160 participating employers elected to join the Plan. As at December 31, 2015, OMERS represents approximately 461,000 active, deferred and retired employees from nearly 1,000 municipalities, school boards, libraries, police and fire departments, and other local agencies in communities across Ontario.

2015

  • OMERS net assets reached $77 billion, with a net investment return of 6.7%.
  • OMERS Sponsors Corporation and the OMERS Administration Corporation worked together to develop one inclusive, five-year Strategy that sets out OMERS roadmap to 2020.
  • Oxford Properties received top spot in the benchmark Global Real Estate Sustainability (GRESB) survey, for the third year in a row, as the North American Regional Sector Leader in the Diversified office/retail category. 
  • Significant progress continues to be made at OMERS New York Hudson Yards project with its partner, Related Companies. Hudson Yards is the largest private real estate development in the U.S.
  • OMERS made its first infrastructure investment in Germany with an interest in Tank & Rast, the owner of highway services centres on the country's Autobahn network.
  • OMERS acquired Ellevio, one of the two largest electricity distribution networks in Sweden, with the country's National Pension Fund System managers AP1, AP3 and Folksam.
  • OMERS continued its program of value creation with significant renovations and expansions made to Toronto's iconic shopping centre, which will include over 400,000 square feet of new prime retail space by 2017.
  • OMERS expanded its presence in Boston through the acquisition of a managed interest in three additional downtown office towers, becoming the city’s second-largest commercial office landlord.
  • OMERS continued to further diversify its real estate portfolio with its acquisition of premier office space in central Paris, a key global business and cultural centre.
  • OMERS acquired ERM, a market-leading environmental consultancy firm based in the U.K., with co-investment partner AIMCo. This investment is OMERS sixth in the U.K., and brings its capital deployed in Europe to more than $2 billion.
  • OMERS invested in Brit PLC, a U.K. insurance company, alongside Fairfax Financial as part of OMERS relationship investing program.
  • OMERS acquired Kenan, North America’s largest provider of liquid bulk transportation services.

2014

  • OMERS net assets reach $72 billion, with a total Plan net investment return of 10%.
  • In January, Borealis Infrastructure announced it had increased its interest in Bruce Power, through an investment of $450 million in Bruce Power B.
  • On April 1st, Michael Latimer assumed his duties as OMERS President and CEO.
  • OMERS entered into a co-investment agreement with Japan's Government Pension Investment Fund (GPIF), the world's largest pension fund, and the Development Bank of Japan (DBJ) in March. The first direct outcome of the co-investment agreement was the participation by GPIF and DBJ, at a capital commitment of USD $2.5 billion, in the Global Strategic Investment Alliance (GSIA). Developed by OMERS, the GSIA sets out a framework for participation in a range of investment opportunities that are sourced and actively managed by Borealis Infrastructure.
  • In May, Borealis officially opened an office in Sydney, recognizing Australia as a strategically significant market.
  • For the second year in a row, Oxford Properties Group, OMERS real estate arm, was recognized as an industry leader in sustainability by being ranked first in the North American Regional Diversified-Office and Retail category of the 2014 Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark ('GRESB') survey released in September.
  • Oxford Properties Group expanded its portfolio in Toronto, Washington, Boston, New York City, Paris and London.
  • In November, OMERS was named one of Canada’s 50 best employers in an annual list published by Maclean’s magazine.
  • OMERS announced that pensions will increase by 1.80% as of January 1, 2015. This increase reflects the change in the cost of living as measured by the Canadian Consumer Price Index (CPI).

2013

  • OMERS announces that pensions will increase by 0.9% as of January 1, 2014. This increase reflects 100% of the change in the cost of living as measured by the Canadian Consumer Price Index (CPI).
  • OMERS net assets reach $65.1 billion, with a total Plan gross investment return of 6.53%
  • Put in place a more diversified and better balanced portfolio for investing in public markets.

2012

  • OMERS net assets surpass $60 billion, with total Plan investment return of 10% – driven by strong performance of private market portfolio and solid public market performance in line with expectations and market conditions.
  • OMERS announces that pensions will increase by 2.84% as of January 1, 2012. This increase reflects the change in the cost of living as reported by Statistics Canada in its Canadian Consumer Price Index (CPI).
  • OMERS Sponsors Corporation (SC)'s second of three-year temporary contribution rate increases introduced. Rate increases for members and employers go in effect with first full pay in January 2012, and average 1% of a member's earnings per side.
  • Kathleen Wynne, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing announces on May 15 the appointment of Tony Dean, under the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System Review Act, 2006, as the independent Reviewer of the governance model created by OMERS Act, 2006.
  • OMERS Enterprise earns its fifth consecutive, annual recognition as one of the 50 Best Employers in Canada – due to its focus on employee development and engagement. (Survey conducted by Aon Hewitt and published in the October 18th edition of Maclean's magazine.)
  • OMERS and Japan's PFA and Mitsubishi Corp announce first close of Global Strategic Investment Alliance (GSIA).
  • Oxford Properties updates plans for RBC Waterpark Place to achieve first LEED Platinum Core and Shell Certification for an office tower in Toronto.
  • Borealis Infrastructure buys equity stake in four US wind farms from Spain's EDP Renovaveis, and buys Midland Cogeneration Venture (MCV) from EQT Infrastructure and MCV.
  • OMERS Private Equity Brings together Golfsmith and Golf Town to create largest golf specialty retail business in the world, and acquires Lifeways – the UK's market-leading provider of supported living services for adults with learning disabilities.
  • OMERS Ventures increases portfolio by investing in several technology-based firms, including Wattpad, Desire2Learn, Vision Critical, Hopper, BuildDirect.com and HootSuite.

2011

  • On January 1, OMERS launches Additional Voluntary Contributions (AVCs) allowing members to invest their discretionary retirement savings into OMERS to take advantage of the same investment expertise, strategy and diversified funds they rely on for their OMERS pension.
  • In March OMERS is once again chosen by UK based World Finance magazine as Global Pension Fund of the Year, Canada 2011.
  • OMERS Private Equity acquires CBI Health Group- Based in Toronto, CBI is the leading provider of outpatient rehabilitation and community health care services in Canada, as well as home health services in parts of Ontario and Alberta.
  • Oxford Properties Group enhanced its already significant profile in Toronto’s business core with the September acquisition of the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. The Complex includes the Metro Toronto Convention Centre (MTCC), the 277 Front Street office tower, the InterContinental Hotel and a 1,200 stall parking facility.
  • Consistent with our strategy to acquire large scale high quality assets, Oxford Properties completed the purchase of Green Park in Reading, U.K. As the most recent acquisition for our growing U.K. portfolio, Green Park is a complement to MidCity Place, Watermark Place and the office development project at 122 Leadenhall. Covering a total of 190 acres, Green Park occupies a prime location on the M4. One of the largest developments of its type in Europe, Green Park offers 1.3 million square feet of Grade A office space and first class amenities.
  • RBC WaterPark Place, AAA LEED Gold Development and Oxford Properties are joint venturing with CPP Investment Board in a major new office and retail development overlooking Toronto’s waterfront. The tower will be the national headquarters for the Canadian banking business of the Royal Bank of Canada, building on Oxford’s 50-year relationship with the RBC.
  • Our New York presence is underscored by strategic relationships such as our joint venture with Related Properties in the 12 million square foot Hudson Yards redevelopment. In 2011, luxury leather goods company Coach Inc. chose Hudson Yards for its global corporate headquarters.
  • In joint partnership with Boston-based private equity firm Berkshire Partners, OMERS Private Equity (OPE) acquired Husky International, a leading global supplier of injection molding equipment and services to the plastics industry. Described as a “Canadian success story,” the Ontario-headquartered company has manufacturing plants in Canada, the U.S., Luxembourg and China, serving customers in over 100 countries through more than 40 service and sales offices. Its equipment is used to make an array of products from beverage bottles and food containers to medical devices and consumer electronics parts.
  • For the second consecutive year, OMERS Private Equity is a winner of the Canadian Dealmakers program. The Dealmakers Mid Market Private Equity Award was presented to OPE in recognition of its acquisition of two platform companies in the North American outpatient rehabilitation sector: CBI Health Group (CBI) and Accelerated Rehabilitation Centers (ARC).
  • The world leader in the robust and growing segment of outsourced ship management was acquired by OMERS Private Equity in September. V.Group is also a leading player in crew provision and related marine services. The profitable, U.K.-based company runs and maintains over 700 vessels and operates via 70 international offices in 34 countries. Combined with OMERS extensive international network, V.Group’s experienced and talented management team will be able to pursue further growth in emerging markets.
  • In October 2011, OMERS Worldwide officially opened an office at 320 Park Avenue in New York City, a permanent home to our team of 30 investment professionals in real estate, infrastructure, private equity and capital markets.
  • For the fourth year in a row, OMERS employees placed our organization among the 50 Best Employers in Canada, as surveyed by Aon Hewitt and published in the October 2011 edition of Maclean’s magazine. OMERS ranked 16th among more than 260 organizations. In November, OMERS also ranked 11th among larger employers for Best Employers in the Greater Toronto Area – the only pension plan on the list.

2010

  • OMERS announced that pensions will increase by 1.61% as of January 1, 2011. This increase reflects the change in the cost of living as reported by Statistics Canada in its Canadian Consumer Price Index (CPI).
  • OMERS Sponsors Corporation (SC) approves temporary contribution rate increases for members and employers that average 1% of a member's earnings per side in 2011, 1% in 2012, and 0.9% in 2013.
  • In June, Oxford acquires a 50% interest in Hudson Yards, investing alongside New York-based Related Companies in a 12 million square foot master-planned, mixed-use development. Related and Oxford will act as the General Partner for the project. As a co-developer of the site, Oxford is actively involved in development, leasing and fund-raising activities, and upon completion is expected to participate in the operations of the 26-acre development.
  • Borealis Infrastructure and Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan agree to acquire HS1, UK's only high-speed rail network to the Channel Tunnel, following a competitive tender process. The acquisition values HS1 at £2.1 billion.
  • Oxford Properties purchases UBS Global Asset Management's 50% stake in Watermark Place in London, England. Upon completion, Oxford Properties has 100% control of the City Riverside redevelopment. Oxford Properties and UBS-SERF had been joint owners of Watermark Place since mid 2007.
  • OMERS launches INKEF Capital with pension fund ABP from The Netherlands. INKEF Capital is planning to deploy €200 million in Canada and the Netherlands over the first five years. The pension money that INKEF Capital will invest in start-ups with innovative ideas and technologies will not only contribute to the returns for the pension holders of ABP and OMERS, but also to the development of the high-level knowledge economy.
  • OMERS Private Equity acquires United States Infrastructure Corporation (USIC). USIC is the leading provider of outsourced sub-surface utility locating services in the U.S. The Company provides locating services across 20 states on behalf of over 400 telecom, electric, gas, cable and water utilities, including all major national and regional utilities throughout the midwest, southeast, southwest and northwest of the United States.
  • OMERS Awarded Pension Fund of the Year, Canada by World Finance Magazine. The World Finance Pensions Awards judging panel used a wide range of criteria to reach its decision for the 2010 Global Pensions Funds Awards, lending the critical eye of a collective 175 years of business journalism to the exhaustive information gathered by the award body's research team. The judges looked for a company that provided a genuinely valuable service, in particular the focus was placed on the financial stability of the company, enhancements to their core service(s), approach to risk and corporate governance and the development of their staff.

2009

  • New contribution rates became effective January 1, 2009.
  • Maximum age limit for active membership in the Plan extended from 69 to 71, the new maximum under the Income Tax Act.
  • OMERS Act, 2006 amended by the Province of Ontario, granting OMERS expanded powers to manage other public and private sector capital pools, and provide third-party investment management services.
  • OMERS Strategic Investments becomes long-term partner of ADC & HAS Airports. HAS Development Corporation (HASDC), an affiliate of the Houston Airport System, and Airport Development Corporation (ADC), a Canadian airport developer, announced the the formation of a long-term strategic partnership with OMERS Strategic Investments (OSI). The partnership was formed specifically to pursue airport acquisition and operation opportunities in the growing airport privatization market, initially in Latin America. The partnership's long-term strategy is to deliberately expand its current focus on the Americas to other regions of the world to become a key global airport owner and operator.
  • OMERS Private Equity Acquires Nordco Inc. Nordco, based in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, is the leading designer, manufacturer, and supplier of critical products and services that help maintain rail infrastructure throughout North America. Nordco has been manufacturing maintenance-of-way equipment for over 80 years and provides comprehensive solutions for the Class 1 North American, regional and short-line railroads, equipment leasing companies and a broad variety of industrial customers.
  • In February OMERS announced that OMERS Strategic Investments, a member of the OMERS Worldwide group of companies, has completed the purchase of the business of Guard Resources Ltd. (GRL). This investment operates under OMERS Energy Services LP comprised of GRL's employees and assets, including management contracts. GRL has been associated with OMERS direct investments in the oil and gas sector since 1984 and currently provides management services to OMERS Energy Inc.
  • In January low-cost wireless carrier BMV Holdings, later to become Public Mobile, announced that OMERS Private Equity, the private equity arm of the OMERS Worldwide group of companies, has signed an agreement to invest up to $50 million in the business. BMV will launch value-priced wireless services to Canadians in specific markets in Ontario and Quebec during the third quarter of 2009.

2008

  • Effective January 1, 2008: new method of calculating inflation increase. The new inflation increase method aligns with the way Canada Pension Plan (CPP) increases pensions.
  • In September, Borealis Infrastructure Management Inc. announced its intention to make an offer, through an acquisition entity, to acquire all the outstanding trust units of Teranet Income Fund (TSX: TF.UN) and Class B limited partnership units of Teranet Holdings Limited Partnership for $11 in cash per unit. With a total value of more than $2 billion.
  • OMERS Private Equity acquires Maxxam Analytics International Corporation (“Maxxam”). Maxxam is Canada’s largest privately owned analytical laboratory services network.
  • In October, OMERS Capital Partners changes its name to OMERS Private Equity as part of the launch of the OMERS Worldwide brand.
  • OMERS Worldwide, the investment brand recently launched to support the OMERS pension fund's global reach, announced that OMERS investment entity Borealis Infrastructure Management Inc. is furthering its expansion into private market investments in a deal valued at approximately $1.254 billion US by closing the purchase of a 19.75% equity interest in Oncor, a leading supplier of electricity in the state of Texas.
  • In November, OMERS announces that one of Canada’s leading corporate finance lawyers will head up a new entity to invest in a select portfolio of private companies that have global reach. Jacques Demers, a senior partner with Ogilvy Renault LLP in Toronto, will start as President and Chief Executive Officer of OMERS Strategic Investments effective January 1, 2009.

2007

  • OMERS Sponsors Corporation (SC) introduces a "deemed termination" option for OMERS members who apply for a shortened life expectancy benefit.
  • In February the OMERS Board of Directors announces the appointment of Michael Nobrega, a veteran financial and investment executive for more than 30 years, as the new chief executive officer at the pension plan.
  • OMERS Private Equity the entity responsible for the private equity investments of OMERS announces the completion of the acquisition of the operating business of Golf Town Income Fund (TSX:GLF.UN) for a cost, including the assumption of debt, of approximately $240 million.

2006

  • The Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System Act, 2006 (OMERS Act, 2006) was proclaimed on June 30, 2006. The legislation established a new governance model for OMERS that eliminated the role of the Province of Ontario as Plan sponsor. Under the terms of the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System Review Act, 2006 (OMERS Review Act, 2006) the OMERS governance model will be reviewed in 2012 to assess its fairness, accountability and efficiency.
  • Read more about the OMERS Act and OMERS Review Act.
  • In October OMERS, through its investment entity Borealis Infrastructure Management Inc., announces an agreement to purchase MDS Diagnostic Services, the Canadian laboratory services arm of MDS Inc., in a $1.325 billion transaction.
  • OMERS Private Equity, the private equity arm of one of Canada’s largest pension funds, has agreed to purchase CCNMatthews, (later named, Marketwire) a leading distributor of news releases, multimedia content and photos to the media and investment communities worldwide, in an all-cash deal. Manulife Capital, the private equity group of Manulife Financial, assumes a minority stake in the newswire as a portfolio investment.

2005

  • Plan changes take effect January 1, 2005: child survivor benefit extended to age 25 for students; OMERS bridge benefit paid to all retired members to age 65; disability benefits extended to members who become disabled due to a "pre-existing" condition (one they had before they joined OMERS); members holding two or more OMERS-covered positions at the same time are no longer required to retire from all positions to receive a pension.
  • In June, Scotia Gas Networks plc (SGN) completed the acquisition of the Scotland and South of England gas distribution networks from National Grid Transco plc. SGN, a holding company for the businesses being acquired, is owned by Borealis Infrastructure Management Inc., an OMERS company; the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan; and Scottish and Southern Energy. Ontario Teachers’ and Borealis each invested approximately C$555 million for a 50 per cent combined stake in SGN; Scottish and Southern Energy owns the remaining 50 per cent of the consortium.
  • Oxford Properties Group announces the closing of the strategic sale of a 50% interest in a portfolio of 11 core office assets to the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board. The portfolio is comprised of 8.2 million square feet of commercial ‘Class A’ office space in prime central business district locations in Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal. The portfolio includes the following properties: Guinness Tower, Marine Building and Oceanic Plaza (Vancouver); Canterra Tower (Calgary); Edmonton City Centre and Bell Tower (Edmonton); Royal Bank Plaza, WaterPark Place and One Financial Place (Toronto); Constitution Square (Ottawa); and Place de la Cathédrale (Montreal).
  • OMERS announced in September that it will purchase CEDA Holdings Ltd. from Precision Drilling Corporation for $274 million. The investment is being made through Borealis Investments Inc.
  • In October OMERS, through its investment entities BPC Generation Infrastructure Trust and Borealis Infrastructure, announced that Bruce Power will launch a $4.25 billion investment program to secure the long-term future of its site, beginning with the restart of Bruce A Units 1 and 2.

2004

  • Full contribution rates return beginning with first full pay in 2004. (The full rates are slightly higher than OMERS former full rates.)
  • January 1, 2004: early retirement window partially closes; early retirement age requirements and penalty return to normal.
  • The Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan and Borealis Infrastructure announced in August that they hold 50 per cent of a consortium that has an agreement to acquire the Scotland and the South of England gas distribution networks from National Grid Transco plc. Teachers’ and Borealis Infrastructure each hold 25% of the consortium and Scottish and Southern Energy plc (SSE) holds the remaining 50%. SSE will also provide certain corporate and management services for the consortium.
  • December 31, 2004: early retirement window closes; enhanced factors end.

2003

  • Contribution holiday ends with contributions reinstated, at one-third of full rates, with the first full pay period in 2003.
  • Early retirement window partially closes: early retirement age requirements and reduction factor return to normal on January 1, 2004; enhanced factors continue to December 31, 2004.
  • Four e-Forms added to OMERS e-access, enabling employers to request pension estimates, enrol members, and report leave periods and contribution remittances online.
  • Online Pension Estimator expanded to estimate income from other sources and compare post-retirement income to pre-retirement income.
  • Province approves return to full contribution rates beginning with first, full pay in 2004. (To reflect the actual cost of benefits, the new full rates are slightly higher than OMERS full rates were before the contribution holiday.)
  • In June, OMERS announces that its subsidiary, BPC Maritime Corporation, has reached agreement with Ballast Nedam Canada Developments Inc. to acquire a 34% share of Strait Crossing Development Inc. (SCDI). The transaction represents a strategic acquisition for OMERS. Its investment in SCDI will provide a steady, reliable, long-term return for the fund. The other SCDI shareholders are Vinci Concessions Canada Inc., with 49.9%, and Strait Crossing Inc., with 15%. Ballast Nedam will continue to own 1.1%. These three shareholders also comprise the original consortium that built the Confederation Bridge.

2002

  • Early retirement window changes: factors changed to 82/77 (for normal retirement age 65/60).
  • OMERS e-access gives employers instant online access to member database; e-Form 143 follows, enabling employers to notify OMERS of member events online.
  • Online Buy-back Estimator joins Pension Estimator.
  • OMERS awarded "AAA" enterprise and counterparty credit rating by Standard & Poor's and Dominion Bond Rating Service.

2001

  • Early retirement window extended: gradual increases in early retirement factors, returning to normal December 31, 2004; retirement within 15 years of normal retirement age to end December 31, 2003.
  • Oxford Properties Group Inc. and OMERS have announced in August that an agreement has been reached whereby BPC Properties Ltd., a related company of OMERS, will make a cash bid to acquire 100% of Oxford common shares at $23.75 per share for a total equity value of $1.5 billion.

2000

  • Reduction to OMERS bridge benefit to age 65 results in a higher lifetime pension: 0.7% to 0.675%; transition to five-year average YMPE.
  • Member and employer contribution holiday extended through to December 31, 2002.

1999

  • Member and employer contribution holiday extended through to December 31, 2001.
  • Early retirement window, January 1, 1999, through December 31, 2001: early retirement factors changed to 80/75 (for normal retirement age 65/60); early retirement for all members within 15 years of normal retirement age.
  • Guaranteed inflation protection increases to 100% of annual CPI increase (max. 6%).
  • Survivor pensions increase: 66 2/3% plus 10% for each eligible child (up to 100% of member's pension).
  • Contributions made after 35 years of credited service refunded.
  • 50% Rule repayment required to merge service on re-enrolment.

1998

  • Member and employer contribution rates decrease by two percentage points from 1st pay period of 1998, through December 31, 2002.
  • Member and employer contribution holiday begins pay period including August 1, 1998, through July 31, 1999.
  • All pensions, deferred pensions, and disability waiver benefits increased to reflect at least 100% of CPI increases since they began.
  • Survivor pensions increase: 66 2/3% plus 8 1/3% for each eligible child (up to 75% of member's pension).
  • Same-sex spouses become eligible to receive OMERS survivor benefits.
  • Members with shortened life expectancy now able to "unlock" and receive a cash refund of their pension's commuted value.
  • OMERS becomes able to transfer pensions to private sector pension plans.
  • Organizations providing local government services, and other related organizations, become eligible to participate in OMERS.
  • OMERS announced in November that an agreement has been reached with Hammerson plc of the United Kingdom whereby OMERS Realty Corporation will acquire Hammerson Canada, Inc. Hammerson Canada has six principal developments in Canada, including Square One Shopping Centre in Mississauga, Ontario and three office buildings in downtown Toronto.
  • In August, OMERS purchases 5,248,275 shares of Oxford Properties Group Inc. ("Oxford")-TSE (OXG)-raising the Fund's ownership level in this company to approximately 12% of the outstanding common shares. OMERS is now one of the largest shareholders in Oxford. The transaction is a strategic real estate investment representing a further step in the implementation of the OMERS real estate strategy which includes ownership of real estate through public equities in addition to direct property and debt instruments.

1997

  • Early retirement window, November 30, 1997, through December 31, 2002: early retirement factors changed to 85/80 (for normal retirement age 65/60); early retirement reduction changed from 5% per year to 2 1/2% per year member falls short of the lesser of normal retirement age, 30 years of service, or the early retirement factor.

1996

  • Deadline for employers to enter into an extended early retirement window (Revised Type 7) extended to March 31, 1999.

1995

  • Ryerson Polytechnic University and Colleges of Applied Arts and Technology (CAAT) Pension Board begin to manage their respective pension plans.

1994

  • Further early retirement window (Type 7) benefits introduced for members with a normal retirement age of 60 during Social Contract period: age 45 retirement; 75 Factor.
  • Other Social Contract benefits introduced: cost of Social Contract Broken Service may be shared between members and employers; phased-in retirement allowed within last five years; temporary Social Contract lay-off purchasable as Broken Service; up to 12 Social Contract leave days, or equivalent wage reduction, per year credited at no cost.

1993

  • Enhanced early retirement window (Type 7) introduced: 80 Factor; age 50 for members with a normal retirement age of 65; unreduced pension at age 60. Window is funded by plan surplus during Social Contract period.
  • Retirement Compensation Arrangement (RCA) introduced.

1992

  • Guaranteed inflation protection introduced - 70% of annual CPI increase (max. 6%).
  • Members stop making contributions when they reach 35 years of credited service.
  • Changes due to Income Tax Act introduced: definitions of "disability" and "dependent child;" limits to leaves of absence and maximum pension.
  • OMERS Board expands to 13 members - adding one retired member and one employer representative.
  • Plan changes require members and employers to share any funding shortfall or surplus equally.
  • Employers now able to change the normal retirement age of a class of their police or firefighter members.
  • Retired members who become re-employed may re-enroll in OMERS and maintain their pension.
  • Disability benefits resume if member's relapse occurs within six months. Earners have their pensions based on their full earnings.

1991

  • All pensions increased to reflect at least 75% of CPI increases since they began.
  • Date pensions are increased for inflation moves from July 1 to January 1.
  • 30 Year provision introduced: early retirement without penalty for members within 10 years of normal retirement age who have at least 30 years of service.
  • Members now able to "buy back" their previous eligible public service.
  • Spouses of members who (re-)marry after retirement become eligible to receive OMERS survivor benefits.

1989

  • OMERS Realty Corporation created.

1988

  • All pensions increased to reflect at least 60% of Consumer Price Index (CPI) increases since they began.
  • Survivor pension increases to 60% of member's pension.
  • Changes to Ontario Pension Benefits Act take effect: OMERS contributions become locked in after two years of plan membership; 50% of a member's pension must be paid by employer; guidelines for safe pension investing ("prudent person" rule).

1987

  • 85 Factor introduced (version of 90 Factor for members with a normal retirement age of 60).

1983

  • 90 Factor introduced: early retirement without penalty for members within 10 years of normal retirement age whose age plus service equals at least 90.

1981

  • Survivor benefits become available to spouses of remarried members, and are no longer reduced based on the spouse's age.

1979

  • OMERS begins investing all new funds in marketable securities.

1978

  • Pension formula changes to 2% of average of member's highest five years of earnings, integrated with CPP.
  • Member and employer contribution rates increase by 1.5%.
  • Disabled members who qualify no longer have to make contributions.

1976

  • Employers now able to offer their members service purchase arrangements ("Optional Service") through OMERS.

1975

  • OMERS begins investing part of Fund in marketable securities.
  • Widowers become eligible to receive 50% OMERS survivor pension.

1972

  • Municipal councillors become eligible for OMERS membership.

1971

  • Surviving spouse's pension increases: additional 10% for each dependent child (up to 75% [max.] of member's pension).

1969

  • Disabled widowers become eligible to receive OMERS survivor pension.
  • Payments to children of deceased members extended from age 18 to age 21.

1968

  • All municipal employees hired after July 1 join OMERS.
  • Minister of Municipal Affairs transfers responsibility for OMERS to 11-member Board.
  • Pension formula increases to 2.2% of the average of a member's career earnings.

1967

  • Employers now able to offer members enhanced "supplementary" benefits through OMERS.
  • OMERS begins to manage Colleges of Applied Arts and Technology (CAAT) Pension Plan.

1966

  • OMERS contributions and benefits become "integrated" (blended) with newly created Canada Pension Plan.
  • Utility commissions and children's aid societies become eligible to join OMERS.

1965

  • Ontario Pension Benefits Act locks in OMERS contributions when members reach age 45 and 10 years service.
  • OMERS begins to manage Ryerson Pension Plan.

1963

  • First members enrolled January 1.
  • Pension formula based on 2% of the average of a member's career earnings.

 

(as at December 31, 2014)