Pensions and Benefits
Pensions and Benefits Unit
What we do
The Pension & Benefits unit provides OPSEU members and staff with valuable information on various benefit programs and pension entitlements, including government sponsored benefits. A large portion of our work centres on advocating for entitlements for members with the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB), or insurance companies, for members who have had their benefits denied or terminated.
The Pension & Benefits unit employs two permanent full time support staff and six permanent full time Benefits Officers who have different areas of expertise.
Joint Insurance Committees are committees that have been negotiated under a collective agreement. Joint Insurance Committees are typically responsible for reviewing a plan’s financial experience, communicating on benefit issues, and reviewing contentious claims that have not been resolved through discussions with the insurer. They also are responsible for the tendering of group benefit plans. They are usually comprised half of bargaining unit members and half management members.
Unit staff often sit on such Joint Insurance Committees with OPSEU members to serve as a resource person and directly assist members in the appeal process for insured benefits on the following joint committees:
Colleges of Applied Arts and Technology (CAAT): There are three Joint Insurance Committees representing OPSEU Members in the colleges. One for Academic Faculty, one for Support Staff and one for retired members who belong to the Colleges' Retiree Group Insurance Plan.
CAAT Retiree - Insurance Advisory Committee
Pension & Benefits unit staff help members with pension issues such as understanding how their pension benefit is calculated, what the features of their plan are, how their plan is governed, and how contribution amounts are arrived at. They can also assist with any pension issues that members are unable to resolve on their own.
Unit staff also act as a resource to bargaining teams where pensions are negotiable and may also sit on the Board of Trustees or Sponsors Committee of some pension plans as required.
OPSEU is a sponsor of several jointly sponsored pension plans. They are:
College of Applied Arts and Technology (CAAT) Pension Plan
The CAAT Pension Plan is a jointly-sponsored, multi-employer pension plan providing retirement security to the full-time and participating part-time, active and retired employees of Ontario's college system.
Regular full time employees in the college system are required to participate in the CAAT Pension Plan. Part-time employees have the option of joining the plan upon commencement of employment. Part time workers can learn more about joining the CAAT Pension Plan by visiting their website at https://www.caatpension.on.ca/en/members/part-time
Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan (HOOPP)
The Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan (HOOPP) is a jointly-sponsored, multi-employer pension plan for Ontario's hospital and community-based healthcare sector with 470 participating employers and more than 286,000 plan members and retirees. The HOOPP defined benefit plan is a formula based benefit that provides security and peace of mind to Ontario's healthcare workforce.
Regular full-time employees whose employers participate in HOOPP are automatically enrolled in the pension plan. Part-time employees can also join the plan under certain circumstances.
You can learn more about joining the plan by visiting their website at http://hoopp.com/Joining-HOOPP.
OPSEU Pension Trust
The OPSEU Pension Trust (OPTrust) invests and manages one of Canada's largest pension funds and administers the OPSEU Pension Plan, a defined benefit plan with almost 84,000 members and retirees.
You can join the plan if you work in an unclassified or contract position in the OPSEU bargaining unit in the LCBO, OPS or at an agency, board, or commission or organization that contributes to the OPSEU Pension Plan under certain circumstances.
You can learn more about joining the plan by visiting their website at http://www.optrust.com/jointheplan/default.asp.
Canadian Blood Services Pension Plan
The Canadian Blood Services (CBS) Defined Benefit (DB) Pension Plan is jointly sponsored by Canadian Blood Services and the Participating Unions, and administered by a Board of Trustees representing both.
Employees who are represented by the Participating Unions enroll in the DB plan when they meet the eligibility requirements. Other employees may also enroll in the DB plan, if they wish.
You can learn about joining the plan by visiting their website at https://cbs.hroffice.com
Ontario Municipality Employees Retirement System (OMERS)
OMERS is a Defined Benefit Pension Plan established in 1962 for employees of municipal governments, school boards, libraries, police and fire departments, Children's Aid Societies and other local agencies throughout Ontario.
- If you are a permanent, full-time employee with a participating OMERS employer, membership in OMERS is generally mandatory.
- If you are a part-time or seasonal employee with an OMERS employer, you may be required to join OMERS; but if you are not required to join OMERS, you may choose to join under certain conditions.
You can learn more about joining the plan by visiting their website at http://www.omers.com/pension/Members_Joining_OMERS.aspx.
Pension Plan for Employees of Pathways to Independence
The Pension Plan for the Employees of Pathways to Independence is a jointly-sponsored, jointly trusteed single employer pension plan that provides retirement security to the employees of Pathways to Independence.
Full-time employees of Pathways to Independence are required to join the pension plan upon hire, part-time employees can join under certain circumstances. For more information please contact one of your union Pension Committee members:
Shiobhan Harrison: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sharon Boldrick: email@example.com
Cheri Hearty: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you need information on the on the Canada Pension Plan, Disability, Employment Insurance and Old Age Security; please see our “Fact Sheets” listed below. There you will find helpful information about these government programs.
For assistance with an insurance, pension or WSIB issue, please contact the Pensions & Benefits unit at 1-800-268-7376 or by email at email@example.com.
Workplace Safety & Insurance Board (WSIB) Appeals
Unit staff assigned to the WSIB portfolio assist both members and staff in understanding the rules and policies around WSIB and are available to assist in several areas, from answering simple questions to representing OPSEU members at both the WSIB and the Workplace Safety and Insurance Appeals Tribunal (WSIAT).
If the WSIB denies or terminates your claim and you do not agree with the decision, you have the right to appeal. There are definite appeal time limits that need to be met according to the issue under dispute. Failure to meet the appeal deadlines will prevent you from proceeding with your appeal. Below are fact sheets that provide more information about the appeal process.