Responding to the needs of its membership, OMERS is developing several new features and options. These will include:
- A new option allowing members to purchase past service originating from a private sector pension plan to increase their OMERS benefit.
- Online access for retirees and deferred members to their OMERS information.
- Additional Voluntary Contributions (or AVCs) - a new retirement savings feature. AVCs will enable members and retirees (to age 70) to take advantage of OMERS investment returns by making additional contributions to the OMERS Fund, at a reasonable cost. Contributions can include ongoing withdrawals from a bank account (for active members) as well as lump-sum transfers from registered retirement savings accounts (for active and retired members and members who kept their pension with OMERS after leaving their OMERS employer).
"Members have clearly expressed the need for more flexibility to purchase service, greater access to personal pension information, and the ability to invest directly in the Fund," said OMERS Chief Pension Officer, Jennifer Brown.
"Our flexible, expert pension team gives us the capacity to develop these new features. We will be sure to communicate full details as they are finalized."
The private-sector purchase option and the AVC concept were approved by the OMERS Sponsors Corporation (SC) in 2009. Online access for retirees and deferred members will be the latest phase in the introduction of the myOMERS secure online tool.