I am a member of the OMERS pension plan and am writing to express my concern that, yet again, the OMERS Sponsors Corporation (SC) is considering plans to modify the benefits in OMERS, including guaranteed indexing.
After yet another high performing year, OMERS is well ahead of schedule to be fully funded by 2025, keeping our plan in a strong position to maintain core benefits like guaranteed indexing.
2017’s investment returns of a net 11.5 per cent are almost double the required discount rate of 6.2 per cent and well above the strategic rate. With $9.9 billion in earnings this year, the plan was able to both lower the discount rate for 2018 and increase the plan’s funded status.
We are in a very strong position to stay the course and, as a member of the plan, that is what I want OMERS to do as it goes through the Comprehensive Plan Review.
Most OMERS pension members make modest salaries, but we defer a portion of our wages to the plan because we know it is critical for our retirement. We also know that our modest salaries turn into modest pensions. Maintaining OMERS benefits, like guaranteed indexing, is critical to us keeping up with the constant increases in the cost of living once we retire.
Guaranteed indexing, survivor benefits and early retirement are some of the key benefits of being an OMERS plan member. They are features of our pension plan that make us proud to be members – features for which I have willingly contributed more to my pension to guarantee they will be there when I retire.
I know the current proposal is to do a Comprehensive Plan Review, looking at all plan benefits based on “what if” versions of the future. I also know this comes less than a year after previous attempts to erode guaranteed indexing. Any attempt to reduce OMERS’ current benefits puts my own retirement planning in jeopardy. That is not an unknown future “what if” – that is a fact.
I am asking all members of the OMERS SC to do the right thing and vote against any proposals that reduce OMERS benefits, and request that, as the CEO, you ensure this correspondence is shared at the next meeting of the OMERS SC Board.