- Purchasing past service can increase a member's total pension and/or allow them to retire earlier with an increased pension.
- For the 2.33% benefit, purchasing past service may increase the total pension paid. The same applies for the “best three” or “best four” earnings benefit provided the member's “best three” or “best four” earnings exceed their “best five” earnings.
- Members can contact OMERS to request a pension estimate with and without the purchase once the employer provides coverage.
- For the Factor 85/80 benefit, purchasing past service may allow a member to retire earlier with an increased total pension amount, provided the member takes an immediate pension. It depends on how much service the member already has in the plan. If the member already meets (or is close to) the requirements in the Primary Plan (i.e., already has 30 years of service or an 85 or 90 Factor), purchasing past service may not be beneficial.
- The decision to buy past service is a personal one. It depends on many factors including when a member plans to retire, income, other assets, life expectancy, risk, and personal savings. There may also be tax considerations as the Income Tax Act (ITA) limits the benefit a member can receive for some periods of service. When establishing the limit, the member's Primary Plan benefit and Supplemental Plan benefit must be taken into consideration.
Supplemental Plan benefits are not automatically provided. Employers can set up Supplemental Plan coverage for a class or classes of members in the police sector, firefighters and paramedics.