Q: Can I apply for free accrual if I have ended my membership in HOOPP or retired?
A: No, if you have ended your membership in the Plan or retired, you are not eligible to apply for free accrual.
Q: What happens if I don’t submit the medical evidence forms to HOOPP by the end of the qualifying period? Does it mean I won’t get free accrual?
A: No, it does not mean you won’t get free accrual. The end of the qualifying period is not a deadline – it’s the earliest date that free accrual can begin. If you get the forms to us after the qualifying period, you’ll still receive free accrual if HOOPP determines that the medical evidence confirms your disability – but there could be a gap in your contributory service if free accrual begins later than the end of the qualifying period.
Q: If I don’t receive full earnings during the 15-week qualifying period can I make top up contributions?
A: Yes. You can make top-up contributions for this period within six months of the end of the 15-week qualifying period.
Q: Can I build my benefits if there’s a gap between the end of the qualifying period and the start of free accrual?
A: Yes. If your employer allows you to make contributions during such gap periods, then, you will build service. You need to pay these contributions to your employer no later than six months from the end of your health leave. If contributions aren’t allowed or you choose not to make them, you will not build any pension benefits during the gap unless you purchase this period under HOOPP's buyback rules.
Q: If I don’t qualify for free accrual, but my employer allows me to remain on a health leave beyond the 15-week qualifying period and make contributions, when do I have to make them?
A: You can make contributions while you are on the health leave or within six months of the end of your leave if you have returned to work and resumed making regular contributions with your employer. Once that deadline has passed, this period is available for purchase under HOOPP’s buyback provisions.
Q: If I need more medical forms, where can I get them?
A: The Member’s Statement of Disability and Physician’s Statement of Disability forms are available online. You may also contact HOOPP.
Q: If my application for free accrual is denied, can I appeal?
A: If you are on an employer-approved health leave and still employed but not approved for free accrual, you cannot appeal the decision, however, you may use new medical evidence to apply again at any time during your four-year health leave. If you have reached the end of the fourth year of your health leave or if your employment relationship has ended, you can appeal the Plan’s decision within 60 days. Simply contact HOOPP if you wish to do so.