Until recently, restrictions under the Pension Benefits Act (PBA) prevented members of our plans whose employment divested from one employer to another from consolidating their pension benefits in their current pension plan. These legislative barriers resulted in members having two separate pensions.
In December 2009, the Ontario government introduced Bill 236 - Pension Benefits Amendment Act, 2010 to address the transfer of pension assets for divested members, among other issues. On January 1, 2014, these new rules under section 80.1 of the PBA and Ontario Regulation 308/13 came into effect.
The new legislation sets out a framework to govern the consolidation of pension benefits for certain public sector divestments that occurred before January 1, 2014.
Under the new framework, administrators of certain public sector pension plans can now negotiate a transfer agreement that will provide eligible members covered by the transfer agreement, who were previously affected by restructuring in the public sector, the option to transfer their pension assets from their former pension plan to their current pension plan.
The following pension plan administrators intend to enter into the transfer agreement in 2014:
OMERS for the OMERS Primary Pension Plan
HOOPP for the Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan
OPB for the Public Service Pension Plan
OPTrust for the OPSEU Pension Plan
Once the transfer agreement is signed by all four pension plan administrators, eligible members will start to receive packages (setting out their transfer options) from their former and current pension plan administrators. This will be done through a staged approach over a period of a few months later in 2014.
Further information will be available on hoopp.com if and when the transfer agreement is signed.