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Society monitoring ORPP impact on members

As the provincial government gets closer to implementing the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan (ORPP) as a way of bolstering retirement security, The Society continues to monitor the impact it will have on members.

While the vast majority of members are and will continue to be covered by the pension negotiated through their collective agreement, as it stands now many workers in Society-represented workplaces — including new Society members that don’t yet meet the service time requirement for inclusion in the pension plan in which other members are enrolled — will be required to contribute to the ORPP along with their employer. Among exceptions to inclusion in ORPP are workers employed by fully federally regulated employers such as Bruce Power and Nuclear Waste Management Organization.

Given the requirement that any worker eligible for the ORPP and not included in a comparable workplace pension plan, members’ employers may seek to negotiate future collective agreements with an eye toward adapting to the ORPP in the most efficient manner possible.

Society Labour Relations Staff Officer and in-house pension specialist Laura Brownell assessed what issues that may raise at bargaining tables.

“Members’ employers may see enrolling all employees in the ORPP as a chance to manage their risk and reduce the cost of the current pension plan,” said Brownell. “It would work like CPP integration; members have multiple sources of retirement income but employers may ask them to maintain the same level of benefit by integrating the ORPP with the workplace pension plan.”

“If presented with a request for ORPP integration, local representatives may wish to negotiate offsetting adjustments to employee contributions and bridging that accounts for those interested in retiring before 65 as well as seeking improvements to our collective agreements in other areas.”

The legislation that creates the ORPP is expected to pass at Queen’s Park in June. In a recent briefing that Brownell attended with provincial officials, they informed The Society that the regulations for the bill are expected to be ready for stakeholder consultation and review this summer. The ORPP would then be implemented over three years, beginning in 2018. The implementation phase that includes Society members is not slated to begin until 2020.

The Society will continue to monitor this issue closely.