OPTrust continues to be a success story. Since it was created by OPSEU/SEFPO and the Province of Ontario in 1995, thousands of OPSEU/SEFPO-represented Ontario Public Service retirees have enjoyed the outstanding pension benefits that OPTrust has provided. But many more broader public sector (BPS), non-profit and charitable members also seek the reliable, trustworthy pensions that OPTrust provides. That is exactly why OPTrust Select was created.
Since April 2019, when OPTrust began receiving employers into the new defined-benefit (DB) pension offering, the plan has continued to grow and has seen significant interest from employers and staff looking for options that provide greater retirement security. A defined-benefit pension is often viewed as the gold-standard in terms of saving for retirement. DB pensions like OPTrust Select provide members with a set amount of money every month for life, regardless of how much they invested in the plan during their working lives. This amount is based on a formula that takes into account a member’s years of service and their annualized pensionable pay over their careers.
OPTrust Select is now proudly offered by 46 employers across the province and has welcomed some 1,500 members since it was launched – many of whom have never had access to the predictable lifetime benefit of a DB pension before. Recently, OPTrust Select admitted Central Toronto Youth Services, the Canadian Environmental Law Association and Brockville and Area Community Living, all members of the OPSEU/SEFPO family. Not only that, 57 more organizations are currently in the application process.
OPSEU/SEFPO President Warren (Smokey) Thomas agreed, saying the growth of OPTrust Select was encouraging news for OPSEU/SEFPO members without a pension and for all Ontario workers.
“I’m a big supporter of defined-benefit pensions,” said Thomas. “Every Ontario worker needs and deserves a reliable source of income in their retirement. OPTrust Select is proof positive that private sector employers can offer their employers financial peace of mind in retirement.”
OPTrust, which manages and administers both OPTrust Select and the OPSEU Pension Plan, also recently announced its 2020 investment results. The plan is fully funded for a 12th consecutive year and achieved a net-investment return of 8.9 per cent in 2020 – notwithstanding a year rife with challenges and uncertainty. That’s because OPTrust’s investing strategy is designed to weather the ups and downs of the stock market.
“This is more great news for our members enrolled in OPTrust,” said Eduardo (Eddy) Almeida, OPSEU/SEFPO First Vice-President/Treasurer. “Having a good, reliable source of income in retirement is one of the most important things in anyone’s life. I’m very proud to see that OPSEU/SEFPO, as the joint sponsor with the government, has done a solid job getting results for our members, even during such a bumpy year.”
We congratulate OPTrust on its latest performance, outstanding management, stellar reputation and growing number of employers and members. We also welcome the new employers and members of OPTrust Select. This is just further proof of the vital role that unions play in improving the working lives of individuals and families everywhere.