In June, five Plan changes were approved, including adjustments to the availability of commuted values and buy-backs, access to pensions by dual members, Plan membership for international workers, and technical amendments to the Additional Voluntary Contributions (AVC) Income Option. These changes are subtle, but important – balancing the needs of affected members with the needs of the whole Plan membership.
These changes include transition measures that will give affected members time to adjust. Further details are available here.
Employers play an important role in the Plan, partnering with OMERS to administer pension benefits for members and matching members’ contributions. We strive to keep employers informed on key strategic and administration matters.
During 2017, OMERS senior management met directly with more than 60 employers across the province. We discussed OMERS 2020 Strategy, funded status, investments, workforce trends, Plan demographics and pension administration, and we asked for feedback on our progress. These meetings provide critical input toward our efforts of continuous improvement.
OMERS enhanced its service model and support for employers in a number of ways. We created a focused Employer Support Services team to assist with the most complex employer questions, and launched new e-learning and e-tutoring offerings.
We also continued to offer webinars and learning forums, which were well-attended with 2,800 participants.
As a number of Plan administrators are approaching retirement, OMERS is ready to support new Plan administrators get quickly up to speed on OMERS administration matters, using a number of tools and approaches to suit different needs.
During 2017, OMERS held meetings with sponsor organizations. We also had sessions with unions, associations and other groups of members. These meetings provide an opportunity to achieve a deeper understanding of important issues, to build stronger relationships, and to further partner in connecting with members.
Following OMERS SC announcement of a Comprehensive Plan Review being led by the SC, a Sponsors Forum was held in November to discuss more about the Plan. We are open to all views, concerns and ideas.