Disability Benefits

The OMERS Plan has a disability waiver benefit and a disability pension.

Disability waiver

While on disability waiver (also called “disability waiver of contributions”), you continue to accumulate credited service in the OMERS Plan, as if you are still working. The OMERS Plan covers your contributions and your employer’s contributions. Earnings used to calculate your pension are increased by the lower of the annual increase in the Average Industrial Wage (AIW) or the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

To qualify for a disability waiver you must be totally disabled as defined by the OMERS Plan.

The disability waiver begins on the later of:
  •  the first day of the fifth month after you become totally disabled; or
  •  the day after you cease to make regular contributions. 
The disability waiver benefit continues until one of these events occurs:
  •  You are no longer totally disabled.
  •  You begin receiving an OMERS Plan disability or early retirement pension.
  •  You return to work other than on an OMERS-approved rehabilitation program.
  •  You leave your employer and elect a termination benefit from the OMERS Plan.
  •  You reach your normal retirement age and become eligible for a retirement pension.

Disability pension

If you become totally and permanently disabled as defined by the OMERS Plan, you can begin a disability pension. Your disability pension is an unreduced early retirement pension calculated using the “OMERS Plan Pension Formula.”

The disability pension can begin on the later of:
  • the first day of the fifth month after you become totally and permanently disabled; or
  • the first of the month following the month you elect a disability pension, if you have been on a disability waiver.
Note: If you are on disability waiver immediately before beginning an OMERS Plan disability pension, the waiver benefit ends when your pension begins, and you will no longer accrue credited service in the OMERS Plan.

The disability pension continues until:
  • you reach your normal retirement date, and your disability pension becomes an OMERS Plan normal retirement pension; or
  • you no longer meet the definition of totally and permanently disabled; or
  • you return to work, other than on an OMERS-approved rehabilitation program.

OMERS and Workers Safety Insurance Board (WSIB)

The maximum you can receive from WSIB and the OMERS Plan combined is 85% of your contributory earnings immediately before you were disabled. If you exceed the limit, your OMERS Plan disability pension will be reduced until you reach your normal retirement age, or until WSIB stops.