Overview

This section includes these topics as a general introduction to enrolment and membership:

Membership eligibility

Membership is determined primarily by the employee's

  • employment type (e.g. Full time, part-time, seasonal, contract, Order-in-Council), or
  • position.

Membership in the Public Service Pension Plan (PSPP) may be either

  • mandatory, or
  • optional.

Restrictions to membership

In general, PSPP membership is mandatory for permanently employed employees, subject to the following restrictions.

Restriction Description
OPSEU membership An employee whose position is eligible for membership in the Ontario Public Service Employees' Union (OPSEU) Pension Plan cannot join the PSPP.
Minimum and maximum age
  • Minimum age: There is no minimum age to join the PSPP.
  • Maximum age: Membership must end no later than November 30th of the calendar year in which the member reaches age 71.
Enabling OICs and Enabling Legislation Individuals whose positions are subject to an Order-In-Council or legislation have their PSPP membership restricted by the requirements of the Order-In-Council or legislation. 
 
Re-employed pensioners Pensioners who are re-employed may join the PSPP under certain conditions. 

See Re-Employment of Pensioners.

 

Enrolling an employee

This section details the steps employers should follow to enroll an employee as a member of the PSPP and includes these topics:

What the employer does

The employer follows these steps to enroll a member in the PSPP.

Step Action
1 Suggest the employee bring originals of the following documentation to the enrolment meeting. The employer will take copies of the originals to forward to OPB. 

Supporting Documentation Important: The above documents are not mandatory at enrolment, but the member must provide them to OPB before pension benefits are payable (e.g., at termination, retirement, divestment or death).
2 Submit an enrolment transaction through OPB's employer portal.

Important: Please submit an enrolment transaction within two weeks of the member's hire even if the member has not provided any supporting documentation. OPB will follow up with the member regarding missing documentation/forms at a later date.
3 Set up the member on payroll for PSPP contributions. 

Please refer to Contributions.

 

Enrolment tips for employers

The following are tips when enrolling employees in the PSPP:

  • When preparing an Enrolment transaction in OPB's employer portal, please ensure all of the following information is included:
    • Member Social Insurance Number (required field)
    • Plan Membership Date
    • Continuous Service Date
    • Regular Salary Rate
    • Start Date (of Regular Salary Rate)
    • Bargaining Unit Affiliation (optional)
  • Submit the transaction through the employer portal and process the new member contributions through the data interface.

What OPB does after the member is enrolled in the Plan

1. Welcome package for new members

OPB sends new PSPP members a welcome package within 2-4 weeks of their enrolment in the Plan. The package highlights key Plan provisions, timelines for time-sensitive opportunities such as buyback and transfers, and instructions regarding OPB's suite of e-Services.

2. Enrolment courtesy call for new members

New members receive a welcome call from OPB within 1-2 weeks of receiving their welcome package. An OPB representative will highlight key plan provisions and timelines of relevance to the member as well as request any outstanding documents that weren’t submitted with the enrolment transaction.

OPB is the primary resource

As the PSPP administrator, OPB is the member's primary resource for Plan information.

Please refer members directly to OPB regarding any questions concerning plan membership.

Release of member information

OPB Privacy Policy (PDF) governs release of member information.

 

Mandatory membership

This section provides details about

Criteria for mandatory membership

An employee is required to be a member of the PSPP if they are

  • under age 65, and
  • one of the following:
    • a civil servant as defined by the Public Service Act (with the exception of term-classified employees),
    • a person employed in the Office of the Auditor General of Ontario,
    • a person required to be a member by an
      • Act of the Legislature or
      • Order-In-Council, or
    • a member of a designated class employed by an Ontario agency, board, commission, foundation or organization such as those listed below, requiring the employee to be a member of the PSPP.

When an employee who joined the PSPP under the mandatory membership reaches age 65, membership in the PSPP is optional.

Member organizations

A current list of Ontario ministries as well as the agencies, boards, commissions, foundations, and organizations whose employees must become members of the PSPP may be found in the Related Information. Click here for a list of Participating Employers (PDF).

Important: The list of Participating Employers is subject to change from time to time. Therefore, contact OPB directly if you have a question regarding a particular agency, board, commission, foundation or organization not listed above.

Conditions when PSPP membership continues

PSPP membership continues when the member is

Note : Special rules apply to Divested members. See Divestment.

 

Optional membership

This section provides details on

Who are optional members?

Membership in the PSPP is optional for any employee who is age 65 or above. In addition, regardless of the employee's age, they are an optional member if they are:

  • employed under Section 32 of the Public Service of Ontario Act (e.g., they are a fixed-term employee),
  • employed under Section 47 of the Public Service of Ontario Act (e.g., Minister's employees),
  • employed by an agency, board, commission, foundation, organization or public body whose enabling statute or Order-in-Council permits optional membership,
  • appointed to an agency, board, commission, foundation, organization or public body by an Order-in-Council that permits optional membership, or
  • a Deputy Minister.

Important: Please contact an Employer Relation Specialist at OPB if you have any questions about which employees at your organization are considered optional members of the PSPP.

Turning age 65

When an employee who joined the PSPP under the mandatory membership reaches age 65, membership in the PSPP is optional.

Enrolment impact on retirement pension

An employee entitled to optional membership is under no obligation to join the PSPP immediately upon start of employment and may choose to enroll at a later time.

However, choosing to defer membership may impact an employee's retirement pension. The following impacts may occur:

  • It may cost the employee more to purchase credit for prior non-contributory employment.
  • It may cause the employee to miss the deadline to transfer credit from another plan.
  • It may prevent the employee from attaining sufficient credit to qualify for insured benefits at retirement.

"Opting out" of the PSPP

Opting out of the PSPP allows optional Plan members to terminate membership in the Plan without terminating employment.

Implications

There are implications to opting out. For procedural details regarding opting out of the Plan, please see Termination.