University of Ottawa pension plan
Defined-benefit (DB) plan
The University of Ottawa Pension Plan (UOPP) is a defined-benefit pension plan which means that, at retirement, you will receive monthly payments (a pension) predetermined by a formula based on your average salary of your best 60 months of earnings, and your number of years of credited service in the Plan.
It is subsequently annually adjusted to reflect the cost of living. There is a guaranteed minimum benefit pension, a maximum pension and a survivor benefit if the member dies before or after retirement.
The normal retirement age is 65 (referce "Pension Benefits" section below), but early retirement and deferred retirement options are available.
Additional information can be found on the Pension plan Publications Site.
Eligibility and membership
Important Note - If eligible to to participate to the Pension Plan The Human Resources (HR) Pension Sector will send an email to the employee’s uottawa.ca email address, within the first month of becoming eligible, with the required documents to complete and return. For any questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Additionally, please note that group insured benefits are handled separately from pension plan.
New regular employees aged 30 or more(mandatory enrolment)
New employees in a regular position and 30 years old or more become a member (must join the plan) as of the effective date of employment.
New regular employees under the age of 30 (mandatory deferred enrolment)
- as of the effective date of employment, or
- the first day of any month before turning 30 years old, or
- if new employees elect not to participate, they are automatically enrolled the first day of the month immediately following two (2) continuous years of service at the University, OR on the first day of the month immediately following their thirtieth (30th) birthday, whichever is the earliest.
Contractual/Term employees - all ages (optional enrolment)
Contractual/term employees who accrue two (2) years of continuous service and either earned at least 35% of the Yearly Maximum Pensionable Earnings (YMPE), or worked at least seven hundred (700) hours in each of the two immediately preceding consecutive calendar years are eligible to become a member (join the Plan).
A member who has retired under the UOPP and is in receipt of a pension benefit, who is re-employed by the University, will not be eligible to become a contributing member again and to accrue further benefits under the Plan.
Contributions to the Plan
For the UOPP to be able to pay pensions, it must collect and invest contributions from members and the employer.
The University's contribution rates are determined based on the most recently filed actuarial valuation to meet the Plans obligations.
Recent yearly member and University contributions are summarized in the Pension plan publications site.
The member contributions are deducted every pay based on the regular salary, excluding special income such as overtime pay, premium pay, bonus pay or second-salary sources.
In 2022, the member contributions are calculated as follows:
7.15% x member salary up to and including $42,745, which is the 2022 integration level. + 10.95% x member salary exceeding the $42,745, which is the 2022 integration level. (Note: 2022 maximum salary is $244,106) ---------- = member contributions The 2022 integration level is set by the UOPP.
As per Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) tax rules, the salary-based contributions made to the UOPP, are not subject to income tax. As a result, the member saves on tax immediately.
The University's contribution rates are applied to the member regular salary every pay.
In 2022, the University contributions (including a provision for adverse deviation are as follows:
9.80% x member salary up to and including $42,745, which is the 2022 integration level. + 15.05% x member salary exceeding the $42,745, which is the 2022 integration level. (Note:2022 maximum salary is $244,106) ___________ = University contributions The 2022 integration level is set by the UOPP.
Normal Retirement Date
- Teaching Staff: The normal retirement date is the first (1) day of July coinciding with or following the date on which the member attains age 65.
- Support staff or Members on Long-Term Disability*: The normal retirement age is the first (1) day of the month coinciding with or following the day on which the member attains age 65.
*Members on Long-Term Disability: Members in receipt of monthly disability payments under the University's Salary Continuance Plan.
Early Retirement Date
- Unreduced Pension: There is no actuarial adjustment (reduction) if a member
- at age 60 or more, or
- when they reach factor 90*.
- Reduced Pension: There is a reduction of approximately 6% for every year of
- between the ages of 55 and 60, or
- or between age 55 and the age at which the member reaches factor 90 (if before age 60).
Postponed Retirement Date
- A member terminates service, or the member's service is terminated, after the normal retirement date; OR
- A member is still employed by the University on November 30 in the calendar year in which the member attains age 71, or any other age limi as defined in the Income Tax Act.
The member is considered to have retired for the purposes of the Plan on the postponed retirement date, which is the first day of the calendar month coinciding with or following the earlier of the above events.
Leaving before age 55
If an active plan member leaves the University before age 55, the plan member may elect to transfer the commuted value of the pension benefits already earned or, subject to the Plan provisions, leave their earned benefits in the plan. Earned benefits left in the plan are called deferred pensions.
How to calculate your UOPP pension
Two calculations must be made and summed: one for the share of service prior to 2004 and the other for the service following 2003; the formula is the same for both calculations except that the integration levels differ. The pension formula is:
1.3% x 2003 integration level x years of credited service prior 2004 + 2% x (average salary* - 2003 integration level) x years of credited service prior 2004 PLUS 1.3% x 2022 integration level x years of credited service post 2003 + 2% x (average salary* - 2022 integration level) x years of credited service post 2003 *Average salary: member's best sixty (60) months of pensionable earnings Integration levels: 2003 intergration level: $31,790 Service prior to 2004 2022 integration level: $42,745 for service post 2003
Minimum guaranteed pension
The Plan provides a minimum guaranteed pension benefit which is calculated as follows:
1.5% x average salary x years of credited service
If the result of this calculation is greater than the pension calculated per the pension formula, the pension benefit paid will be the higher of the two.
Under the rules of the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), the maximum pension payable by a Canadian Defined Benefit Plan, as of January 1, 2022 is, $3,420 per year of pensionable service.
Pension plan personalized information site
The Pension plan personalized information website contains personalized information and interactive tool to help plan for retirement.
- Annual statement: Member's can download their most recent annuel pension statement. It is updated once a year (usually by June 30th) and it reflects the member's own personal data as of December 31st of the previous year.
- Personal file: Members can view information on their pension plan membership such as their salary and contribution history, credited service, and accrued pension.
- Pension projection tool: In just a few quick steps, members can see their estimated pension at various retirement ages.
- Retirement Horizon: Only accessible by members, their user-friendly site provides tools to help them build a complete financial plan for their retirement, along with more retirement planning information.
If membership in the Plan started before January 1, 1988, the member will be deemed to have acquired voluntary contributions of $200 per year of participation before 1988. These contributions, along with accrued interest, can be transferred to a registered retirement savings plan (RRSP) or refunded to the member when they leave the University, when they die or when they retire, whichever comes first. Note that the transfer or refund is mandatory if the member leaves the University or takes their retirement package.
If upon termination of employment, retirement, or death, member contributions plus interest are greater than fifty percent (50%) of the value of their earned pension, these ''excess contributions'' can be refunded to the member or transferred to a registered retirement savings plan (RRSP) subject to the requirements of the Income Tax Act (ITA).
Buy-back or transfer of service from another employer
Members of the Plan may be able to buy back previous service or transfer service from another employer to the UOPP.
Service Buy-backs (a few examples)
- years of University service where the member could have contributed but did not;
- years of University service where the member contributed, but then received a refunded to;
- periods of leave without pay with no pension contributions;
- periods of parental leave or special educational leave with no pension contributions;
- Additional service following a transfer of service from another employer where there were not enough funds to recognize the full period in the University of Ottawa Pension Plan.
Transferring pension service from former employer
Reference the Fact Sheet:Transferring pension service from former employer to the University's pension plan (PDF).
Should you wish to receive more information on the possibility of buying back service or a pension transfer from your previous employer, please send your request indicating buy-back or pension transfer in the subject line with your employee number to email@example.com. If eligible, the HR-Pension Sector will then proceed with the detailed review and/or calculations. It is important to note that there are different timlines associated to each process for the UOPP, as well as the previous employer for pension transfers.