Credited and Eligible Service

Your years of service are a key component of your OMERS Plan pension. While you work for an OMERS employer, you earn service in the OMERS Plan. You may also have other types of service that could help to increase your OMERS Plan pension or help you to retire sooner.

What is credited service?

Credited service is the number of years and months of paid service you have in the OMERS Plan. The maximum amount of credited service a member may have is capped at 35 years. 

Note: Effective January 1, 2021, OMERS will no longer cap your credited service. If you have not reached 35 years of credited service prior to this date, you will continue to contribute and accrue credited service in the Plan. If a member meets the 35-year cap before January 1, 2021, the limit will continue to apply. 

We use your years of credited service and your earnings to calculate your pension.

Credited service includes periods of time for which:

  • you contributed to the OMERS Plan (and have not had a refund of contributions);
  • you earned pension during a contribution holiday (an OMERS Plan surplus period when contributions are not required);
  • you purchased leaves or previous service;
  • you transferred funds from another pension plan; and
  • you earned pension while on an OMERS-approved disability leave from your OMERS employer.

Credited service does not include service for which your contributions were refunded.

Full-time employment

If you work full-time, you earn one year of credited service for every full year you work.

Full-time credited service example

Melinda works a standard 40-hour full-time schedule. She earns $70,000. 

We calculate Melinda's credited service for one year as follows:
2,080 hours = 1 year
Melinda has earned one year of credited service. We record her earnings for that year as $70,000.

Non-full-time employment

If you don't work full-time, we calculate your credited service as a proportion of what a full-time member would earn. Also, when we calculate your pension, we annualize your earnings – giving you the equivalent of full-time earnings.

Non-full-time credited service example

Mike works 20 hours a week, compared to Melinda's standard 40-hour full-time schedule. Mike earns $35,000, which is half of Melinda's annual salary rate of $70,000 for her position. 

We calculate Mike's credited service for one year as follows: 

1,040 hours ÷ 2,080 hours = 0.5 years 
Mike has earned half a year of credited service. We record his annualized earnings for that year as $70,000.

When we calculate Mike's pension, we use his credited service and the average of his annualized earnings – to ensure that his pension is accurate and fair.

What is eligible service?

Eligible service is service with any OMERS participating employer that isn't credited service. Although this doesn't increase your normal retirement pension, it can help bring you closer to an unreduced early retirement pension. We add your eligible service to your credited service when we calculate your early retirement pension factor. 

Examples include:

  • summer-student work with an OMERS employer
  • service that was refunded when you left an OMERS employer
  • unpurchased pregnancy/parental leave since December 1990
  • unpurchased waiting periods.

You may be able to purchase some eligible service, converting it into credited service.

Tell us if you have eligible service

Your credited and any eligible service is listed on your annual Pension Report. If you think you have eligible service that is not on your OMERS Plan record, let us know as soon as possible.

There are several ways to notify us: