My AVC Story

Three real OMERS members tell their stories. What may be right for you might not be right for another member. Consider how AVCs factor into your retirement savings and investment plans.
 
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Member Profiles

David

Age 38 - Municipal Traffic Worker
David and his family live in Durham region. David has contributed to OMERS for 16 years. He and his wife Bernadette own their home and their son plays hockey and lacrosse. They make regular payments to his Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP), recently started a Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA), and make monthly RRSP contributions. David is considering an AVC account primarily because he likes OMERS reputation for long-term investment growth. To afford his bi-weekly contributions to his AVC account without putting stress on the family finances, David will likely reduce contributions to his RRSPs. He can modify or stop his AVC contributions at any time through his myOMERS account or by mail. What may be right for David may not be right for you, so carefully consider how the AVC option may fit your plan to save for retirement.

Lynn

Age 34 - Children’s Aid Caseworker
Lynn just bought a house in Waterloo region. Like many people her age, she’s focused on her career, and not particularly interested in talking about her retirement savings plan. However, Lynn likes the fact that the fees and expenses of an AVC account are on a cost-recovery basis. She’s considering making the minimum $40 monthly contribution because it would be relatively painless for her, and also tax-deductible, so why not? The affordability makes the AVC option attractive to her. What may be right for Lynn may not be right for you, so carefully consider how the AVC option may fit your plan to save for retirement.

Mary

Age 57 - Librarian
Mary is very good at saving her money. The Windsor resident is a big baseball fan and knows that consistency at the plate wins games. Mary brings that same sensibility to her retirement savings plan. She prefers to invest her RRSPs in fixed-income assets like GICs that yield lower but guaranteed returns. While Mary is not risk-averse when it comes to baseball, she likes to play it safe with her retirement savings. She’s considered the AVC option but in the end felt the AVC option did not fit her plan for retirement. She doesn’t want to invest her additional retirement savings in something that may fluctuate in value. What may be right for Mary may not be right for you, so carefully consider how the AVC option may fit your plan to save for retirement.

Brent

Age 51 - Firefighter

Brent is approaching 30 years working as a firefighter in northern Ontario. In addition to his OMERS defined benefit pension, Brent has prepared for retirement by buying several investment properties. During his firefighting career, Brent banked a number of sick days and expects to collect about $15,000 in sick-leave gratuity when he retires. He is considering investing that lump sum in an AVC account. When he retires next November, Brent plans to put his $15,000 in an RRSP account with his bank, because he has contribution room, then transfer the amount to his AVC account. He doesn't expect to need the funds for at least 10 years, and understands he can access some or all of the funds in his AVC account during the first six months after retirement and during the annual March/April withdrawal window thereafter. The fact that the fees and expenses are offered on a cost-recovery basis is a key factor in Brent’s decision, as he considers it well worth the trouble of setting up an RRSP account, then later making the transfer to an AVC account. What may be right for Brent may not be right for you, so carefully consider how the AVC option may fit your plan to save for retirement.

Neilson

Age 58 - Accountant
Neilson isn’t sure he’ll need retirement income in addition to his OMERS and government pensions, and he’s not alone. The amount he’ll need depends on his family commitments, health and lifestyle. He also knows that people are living longer and his lifespan will determine how long his additional retirement income will need to last. Having worked as an accountant for an Ottawa-area school board for 26 years, Neilson and his partner are taking a serious look at their retirement savings needs. He’s considering the AVC option primarily because he’s always had confidence in the OMERS Fund investment strategy. The last annual report noted showed the OMERS asset mix policy continues to move assets to private market investments. Neilson thinks that over the long term, an asset mix with greater exposure to private market investments is better positioned to generate strong, predictable returns and consistent cash flow with reduced risk, and he finds this strategy beneficial. What may be right for Neilson may not be right for you, so carefully consider how the AVC option may fit your plan to save for retirement.

Allan

Age 61 - Retired, Building Inspector
After his career as a municipal building inspector ended a few years ago, Alan began his second career as the proud owner/operator of a bed and breakfast near Kingston with his wife Lisa. Their business income, CPP pensions, and Allan’s OMERS pension are more than enough to meet their income needs. They don't foresee needing their RRSP funds for another seven years. Allan is considering transferring a portion of his RRSPs to an AVC account, in part because of the OMERS investment strategy. His RRSP account is held primarily through his financial adviser – also a long-time friend. Allan can transfer some or all of his RRSPs to an AVC account any time. Using myOMERS, he can begin the transfer by downloading and printing the forms for the other financial institution. The only difficult part for Allan will be telling his financial adviser that he wants to transfer some funds from his RRSP account. What may be right for Alan may not be right for you, so carefully consider how the AVC option may fit your plan to save for retirement.
 

The member profiles presented are intended to illustrate the features you may wish to consider before contributing to an AVC account. The profiles are loosely based on frequently asked questions by members.

  • AVC Fact Sheet .pdf

  • AVC Guide .pdf

  • Terms of Participation .pdf