Thousands of OPSEU members and other workers now have an opportunity to get a pension thanks to a deal involving the Broader Public Service (BPS), charitable and non-profit groups.
The finishing touches were put to the agreement on the eve of OPSEU’s Convention and President Warren (Smokey) Thomas signed the deal on stage to the applause of nearly two-thousand OPSEU members.
The OPSEU Pension Trust (OPTrust) Select defined benefit jointly sponsored, jointly trusteed pension plan is a game-changer, said Thomas. Many Ontario workers currently have no access to a workplace pension. This world-class new plan will help fix that.
“I’m as pleased as punch that we can take away some anxiety that some members might have about their retirement income,” said Thomas, who noted many of the members who will benefit are women.
OPTrust Select is an affordable plan that may cover more than 25-thousand OPSEU BPS members as well as some 600-thousand full-time and 300-thousand part-time workers who aren’t union members.
The plan offers matching contributions of three per cent employee and three per cent employer as well as an annual accrual of 0.6% of earnings.
It also includes earnings upgrades and cost of living increases conditional on the plan’s funded status and annual Board approval.
OPSEU Executive Board Members Len Elliott and Gareth Jones were key to the pension negotiations, and they are giving credit to the power of the union movement for the creation of this historic new pension plan.
Thomas said he is proud of OPSEU’s efforts to broker this magnificent achievement, also noting the significant role that union staff played in making a better future for thousands of members.
“This pension option is a chance for better retirement, better security, and a better life for so many working people. A reliable and secure pension is a key part of a good job.”