The OMERS Sponsors Corporation (SC) has the responsibility to determine changes to plan benefits and/or contribution rates.  The levels of benefits and contributions are the two levers that are used by the SC to manage the sustainability of the OMERS Primary Pension Plan.   

In mid-August, the OMERS SC Board reviewed its existing Primary Plan Statement of Plan Design Objectives and Strategy (SPDOS) approved in January, 2011.  The SPDOS contains a funding management strategy that sets out what actions should occur, related to deficit and surplus management and the establishment of a contribution stabilization reserve, when various plan funding levels are reached.  The review objective was to increase the effectiveness of the SPDOS so that, with broad SC Board buy-in, it serves as the strategy driving plan design decisions.  The MEPCO Board provided input to the review, through the AMO SC representatives, which recommended specific revisions related to the operation of a contribution rate cap, temporary benefit reductions when necessary and a reserve, all actions which have been consistently advocated by municipal employers.   

As a result of the review, the SC Board has approved a new, more meaningful Funding Management Strategy  which outlines how benefits and contributions will be modified as the OMERS Primary Plan cycles through periods of funding deficit and surplus.  Key elements of the strategy include a cap on blended contribution rates at 22.6% (11.3% per side), provisions for benefit reductions for rate increases above 21.5% and the provision for a reserve once the OMERS Plan is fully funded.   The Funding Management Strategy is a major step forward in ensuring the sustainability of the OMERS Primary Pension Plan and in providing greater certainty to municipal governments, other employers and employees in managing their budgets.

In the Spring of 2015, the OMERS Sponsors Corporation will be implementing the specific steps and actions to be undertaken in the operation of the Funding Management Strategy, in the context of the 2015 Specified Plan Change Process (SPC).  

Information about the process to be followed is also available at the weblink noted above.  The OMERS Sponsors Corporation will provide targeted, timely communications at each step as it moves through the process for the first time in 2015.