Summary - The basic pension plan
The University of Ottawa basic pension plan (UOPP) is a defined-benefit pension plan which means that, when you retire, you receive payments (a pension) predetermined by a formula based on your earnings and contributions history, rather than depending directly on investment returns.
The normal retirement age is 65, but early retirement and deferred retirement options are available.
As a staff member appointed for a specified period, you can start contributing to the pension plan after two years of continuous service at the University. You can decide to join the Pension Plan on the first day of any month immediately following two consecutive calendar years in which you worked without interruption and if during each of two consecutive calendar years, you have reached one of the following levels:
- You have earned at least 35% of the yearly maximum pensionable earnings (YMPE) or,
- You have worked at least 700 hours.
For a plan to be able to pay pensions, it must collect and invest contributions from you and your employer.
Your contribution is determined by a specific formula according to the text of the pension plan. Note that contributions are deducted from your salary before other calculations to reduce your taxes straightaway.
For its part, the University makes a contribution based on the total payroll. The exact rate is determined annually after actuarial analysis. Contributions paid by the University are mentioned in the pension plan annual reports
Your pension benefits are determined by a formula that takes into account years of service and your best 60 months of earnings; it is subsequently adjusted to reflect the cost of living - Take note that there is a guaranteed minimum benefit, a maximum pension and a survivor benefit if you were to die before or after your retirement.
Your personal pension statement
You can always consult the online version of your pension statement - It is updated once a year (usually in June) and it reflects your own personal data as of December 31st of the previous year.
Employee benefits while in retirement
Once retired, pensioners are entitled to certain benefits in addition to their pension benefit. Depending on the group to which you belonged, these benefits can include group insurance (health, dental, life, hospital, etc.), email access, a medical credit account, a tuition fee exemption, library and sports facility access, etc.
The Supplemental Pension Plan
There is also a supplemental, non-registered pension plan, which provides participants with an additional benefit to the maximum prescribed by the Income Tax Act. Eligibility conditions include an average salary exceeding $185,960.75.