LTIP & Short Term Disability

There may come a time when an employee becomes ill and is unable to work. In the event that happens, an employee may need to go on short-term disability (STD) and then qualify for long term income protection (LTIP).

Short-term disability

Members may be eligible to receive benefits for a certain period of time under short-term disability programs. The method of payment for these benefits can vary.

If your organization has a STD program for employees, your responsibilities can vary depending on whether the member is paid directly by the employer during their participation in the program or by a third party.

If the member is paid directly by the employer during short-term disability – There is no impact to your pension reporting responsibilities. You are to continue to deduct the full contributions as normal. This period of service doesn't need to be reported to us as a leave of absence. In other words, you must continue to deduct contributions based on the member's full salary, even if the member's pay is reduced during this period.

If the member is paid by a third party during short-term disability – Please report this period as an unpaid leave of absence, even if the member is receiving a portion of their income from an insurance company. Since the member isn't being paid by the employer during this period, it's considered an unpaid leave of absence for pension purposes. We will provide the member with a costing if they want to continue contributing during their leave.

If your organization does not provide STD benefits – Please report this period as an unpaid leave of absence through OPB’s Employer Portal.

Long Term Income Protection

There are two types of LTIP rules that can apply depending on when an employee incurred a disability and who their employer is and/or what bargaining group they are part of. The old rules apply to certain members who incurred a disability before January 1, 2016 and new rules apply to certain members who incurred a disability on or after January 1, 2016. Please note: Effective dates can vary for some employers; please see below for more details.

Pre-2016 LTIP rules for all employees & post-2015 LTIP rules for certain members

The following applies to an employee if either:

  1. They have been approved for LTIP as a result of a disability that occurred before January 1, 2016 (January 1, 2017 for Case Management Masters; January 1, 2018 for TVO employees; September 1, 2018 for Walkerton Clean Water Centre) or
  2. They have been approved for LTIP as a result of a disability that occurred on or after January 1, 2016, and they are:
    • An employee of a ministry (including Cabinet Office), commission public body or the Lieutenant Governor's office, and represented by one of the following:
      • The Association of Management, Administrative and Professional Crown Employees of Ontario (AMAPCEO)
      • The Ontario Crown Attorneys' Association (OCAA)
      • The Association of Law Officers of the Crown (ALOC)
    • An employee of a First Nations police force
    • An employee of the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan Board
    • An employee of certain public bodies
    • The Office of the Ombudsman of Ontario
    • The Financial Accountability Office of Ontario
    • The Office of the Chief Electoral Officer
    • The Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario
    • The Office of the Integrity Commissioner of Ontario
    • The Office of the Legislative Assembly (including Offices of Members of Provincial Parliament)

For more general information about LTIP old rules, please read LTIP existing rules. For information about employer responsibilities, keep reading.

Post-2015 LTIP rules for certain members

The following applies to an employee if:

  1. They have been approved for LTIP as a result of a disability that occurred on or after January 1, 2016 (January 1, 2017 for Case Management Masters; January 1, 2018 for TVO employees; September 1, 2018 for Walkerton Clean Water Centre employees; April 1, 2020 for Justices of the Peace), and
  2. They are:
    • A non-bargaining* employee of
      • A ministry (including Cabinet Office)
      • A commission public body
      • The Lieutenant Governor's office
    • An employee of a minister's office
    • An employee of the Office of the Auditor General
    • An employee of the Algonquin Forestry Authority
    • An employee of the Workplace Safety and Insurance Appeals Tribunal (WSIAT)
    • An employee of TVO
    • A Case Management Master
    • A full-time appointee to a tribunal or regulatory body
    • An employee of Walkerton Clean Water Centre
    • A Justice of the Peace

*Employees represented by the Association of Ontario Physicians and Dentists in Public Service are considered non-bargaining employees for LTIP purposes.

PSPP provisions allow Agency employers to opt into the new LTIP rules. For more information about the new rules, please review the employer bulletin (PDF) and the LTIP new rules page.

To see the list of public bodies and commission public bodies that are subject to the old rules, please read the LTIP organizations page.

For employers subject to old rules (employees who incurred a disability before January 1, 2016), here is what you need to know about how to report under the old rules:

When a member is approved for LTIP, you must notify us. How you report this information depends on whether you remit an electronic interface or a manual spreadsheet.

If you report pension information electronically (by pay pension file) - Enter the Disability Start Date and the LTIP Start Date (the insurance company provides these dates) into your payroll system. This information is then sent to us on your pension pay file. Once we receive the LTIP information, we'll calculate the required contributions and send out a monthly LTIP invoice.

Please remove the member from the pension file to ensure that regular contributions aren't deducted. You only need to report and remit contributions up until the last day that the member was on payroll.

If you report pension information manually (using an Excel worksheet) - Enter the Disability Start Date and the LTIP Start Date (the insurance company provides these dates) in the ‘Comments’ section for the member.

If the member was still on payroll prior to their approval, please remove them to ensure that regular contributions stop. You only need to report and remit contributions up until the last day that the member was on payroll.

When a member is approved for LTIP retroactively - Members may elect to continue contributing during their leave of absence if they aren't certain that their disability claim will be approved or if they're appealing the insurance company's initial decision to deny their claim.

In both cases, if the member is later approved for LTIP, we'll review their records to determine whether they paid any contributions after the reported LTIP Start Date. If we determine they did make the payments, they'll receive a refund and you, the employer, will get a credit which you can apply to the following month's remittance to us.

Once we receive the member's LTIP information, we'll invoice you regarding the outstanding LTIP contributions within the first two weeks of the following month.

When a member is paying for a buyback through payroll deductions - Payroll deductions for buybacks cannot continue when the member is on LTIP. Please stop payroll deductions on the pay period where the member's LTIP starts.

We'll contact the member to provide them with payment options for their buyback. If the member wants to continue their buyback payments, we'll invoice you the month after the member makes any payment if the employer is required to match the buyback cost.

When LTIP ends – You must notify us electronically or manually when a member's LTIP ends.

If you report pension information electronically (by pension pay file):

  1. Enter the LTIP End Date in your payroll system. The date will be sent to us on your pension pay file.
  2. Please remember to start remitting regular contributions when the member returns to work.

If you report pension information manually (by Excel spreadsheet):

  1. Put the member back on your spreadsheet.
  2. Indicate the LTIP End Date in your spreadsheet's ‘Comments’ section.
  3. When the member returns to work, restart regular contributions.

If the member doesn't return to work when their LTIP ends - If the member remains on an authorized unpaid leave of absence after their eligibility for LTIP ends, report this service as a leave.

When a member returns to work while on LTIP - Employers must continue paying both member and employer contributions for as long as the member qualifies for LTIP. So, even if the member works part-time as part of a return to work arrangement, they continue earning full credit and the employer remains responsible for member and employer contributions. Members only start paying contributions if they return to work at full capacity when their LTIP ends.

When to pay LTIP contributions - We invoice for LTIP on a monthly basis. If you have a member on LTIP, you'll receive your monthly invoice around the first or second week of each month. Your invoice will reflect contributions required for the previous month plus any arrears payment. Please make the payment (by cheque or electronic funds transfer) within two weeks of receiving an invoice.

Contribution adjustments while the member is on LTIP - Contributions during the LTIP period are determined using the member's salary in effect on their date of disability. If the member remains on LTIP into the following year, we will increase the member's salary by OPB's annual cost-of-living adjustment. This is required under our Plan text.

Each February, your LTIP invoice will reflect the adjusted salary rates for any members continuing on LTIP from the previous year. However, we only use the adjusted salary to calculate the member's contributions as long as they qualify for LTIP. When the member returns to work and LTIP ends, please calculate contributions according to the member's actual rate of pay.

Important: If you remit all contributions (regular, buybacks, LTIP) in one lump sum payment, please email a payment breakdown of the contribution types along with the electronic remittance/payment advice to Finance@opb.ca.

Once Great-West Life approves the member for LTIP, they will send an LTIP decision letter and a completed employee consent form to the member and the employer, and will notify us of the member’s approval by email. We will then calculate the required deduction and indicate it on a summary report that is sent to Great-West Life on the 17th of each month. Once Great-West Life receives the report, contributions will be deducted from the member’s benefits and remitted to OPB.

LTIP contributions are mandatory. If the member contributions paid by Great-West Life are insufficient to cover the full amount required, the member must remit the remaining contributions directly to us.

For employers subject to new rules, here is what you need to know about how to report under the new rules for members who become eligible for LTIP:

  1. Update the bi-weekly interface file with the LTIP information indicated.
  2. Send us a secure message (message type: New LTIP Rules) through the Employer Portal with the following information:
    • the member’s name
    • OPB client number, if available, and WIN number (OPS members only)
    • the Date of Disability
    • the LTIP Start Date
    • the effective date of the member’s current salary rate
    • the employment ratio, if the member is part-time, and
    • confirm if the member is on WSIB
  3. Once we receive this information, we’ll calculate the required contributions and generate an invoice for your matching portion after receiving the member’s contributions from Great-West Life; this is done on the 16th of each month for the prior month’s contributions. Please remit the employer portion of the contributions within two weeks of receiving the invoice.

When a member is approved for LTIP retroactively - Members may elect to continue contributing during their leave of absence if they aren't certain that their disability claim will be approved or if they're appealing the insurance company's initial decision to deny their claim.

In both cases, once we are notified that the member is subsequently approved for LTIP, we'll review their records to determine whether they paid any contributions after the reported LTIP Start Date. If the member did make contributions, they will receive a refund and you, the employer, will receive a credit that you can apply to the following month's remittance to us.

When a member is paying for a buyback through payroll deductions - Payroll deductions for buybacks cannot continue when the member is on LTIP. Please stop payroll deductions on the pay period where the member's LTIP starts.

We'll contact the member to provide them with payment options for their buyback. If the member wants to continue their buyback payments, we'll invoice you the month after the member makes any payment if the employer is required to match the buyback cost.

When LTIP ends - You must notify us electronically or manually when a member's LTIP ends.

If you report pension information electronically (by pension pay file):

  1. Enter the LTIP End Date in your payroll system. The date will be sent to us on your pension pay file.
  2. Please remember to start remitting regular contributions when the member returns to work.

If you report pension information manually (by an Excel spreadsheet):

  1. Put the member back on your spreadsheet.
  2. Indicate the LTIP End Date in your spreadsheet's ‘Comments’ section.
  3. When the member returns to work, restart regular contributions.

If the member doesn't return to work when their LTIP ends – If the member remains on an authorized unpaid leave of absence after their eligibility for LTIP ends, report this service as a leave.

When a member returns to work while on LTIP – Employers and members both pay contributions for as long as the member continues to qualify for LTIP. So, even if the member works part-time as part of a return-to-work arrangement, they continue earning credit at the same rate. The member and employer only start paying the pre-LTIP contribution amounts if the member returns to work at full capacity when LTIP ends.

When to pay LTIP contributions - We invoice for LTIP on a monthly basis. If you have a member on LTIP under the new rules, you'll receive your monthly invoice on the 17th of the month after the member makes their payment. Your invoice will reflect contributions required for the previous month. Please make the payment (by cheque or electronic funds transfer) within two weeks of receiving an invoice.

Contribution adjustments while the member is on LTIP - Contributions during the LTIP period are determined using the member's salary in effect on their date of disability. If the member remains on LTIP into the following year, we will increase the member's salary by OPB's annual cost-of-living adjustment. This is required under our Plan text.

Each February, your LTIP invoice will reflect the adjusted salary rates for any members continuing on LTIP from the previous year. However, we only use the adjusted salary to calculate the member's contributions as long as they qualify for LTIP. When the member returns to work and LTIP ends, please calculate contributions according to the member's actual rate of pay.

Important: If you remit all contributions (regular, buybacks, LTIP) in one lump sum payment, please email a payment breakdown of the contribution types along with the electronic remittance/payment advice to Finance@opb.ca.

When an employee qualifies for LTIP under the new rules:

  1. Send OPB a secure message (message type: New LTIP Rules) through the Employer Portal with the following information:
    • the member’s name
    • OPB client number, if available
    • the Date of Disability
    • the LTIP Start Date
    • the effective date of the member’s current salary rate
    • the employment ratio, if the member is part-time, and
    • confirm if the member is on WSIB.
  2. Once we receive this information, if the member’s payment is received before the 17th of the month, the employer portion will be included in the current month’s invoice. If the payment was received on or after the 17th, the payment will be included in the invoice for the following month. We will also send out a communication about the LTIP process to the member. Please note that we must receive the member’s contributions before we invoice you for the employer LTIP contributions.
  3. The member must provide you with their portion of the required contributions on a monthly basis.
  4. You must remit the member’s contributions to us by the 15th of the month following the date of the last invoice. Please submit a remittance form through the Employer Portal (message type: Question about an Invoice/Payment Made). To request the form, please contact OPB’s Employer Relations team.
  5. Once we receive the member’s contributions, an LTIP report for the employer portion of the contributions will be generated on the 1st of the month subsequent to the month in which the member’s contributions were paid.
  6. Based on the report, our Finance Team will invoice you by the 15th of the month.
  7. Remit the employer’s portion of the contribution within two weeks of receiving our invoice.

When a member is approved for LTIP retroactively - Members may elect to continue contributing during their leave of absence if they aren't certain that they will qualify for LTIP or if they are appealing the insurance company's initial decision to deny their claim.

In both cases, if the member is subsequently approved for LTIP, we'll review their records to determine whether the member paid any contributions after the reported LTIP Start Date. If we determine the member did make the payments, they'll receive a refund and you, the employer, will get a credit that you can apply to the following month's remittance to us.

Once we receive the member's LTIP information and their portion of the contributions, we'll invoice you regarding the outstanding LTIP contributions. If the member’s payment is received before the 17th of the month, it will be included in the current month’s invoice. If the payment was received on or after the 17th, the payment will be included in the invoice for the following month.

When a member is paying for a buyback through payroll deductions - Payroll deductions for buybacks cannot continue when the member is on LTIP. Please stop payroll deductions on the pay period where the member's LTIP starts.

We'll contact the member to provide them with payment options for their buyback. If the member wants to continue their buyback payments, we'll invoice you the month after the member makes any payment if the employer is required to match the buyback cost.

When LTIP ends – You must notify us electronically or manually when a member's LTIP ends.

If you report pension information electronically (by pension pay file):

  1. Enter the LTIP End Date in your payroll system. The date will be sent to us on your pension pay file.
  2. Please remember to start remitting regular contributions when the member returns to work.

If you report pension information manually (by Excel spreadsheet):

  1. Put the member back on your spreadsheet.
  2. Indicate the LTIP End Date in your spreadsheet's ‘Comments’ section.
  3. When the member returns to work, restart regular contributions.

If the member doesn't return to work when their LTIP ends – If the member remains on an authorized unpaid leave of absence after their eligibility for LTIP ends, submit a leave of absence transaction through the Employer Portal.

When a member returns to work while on LTIP – Employers and members both pay contributions for as long as the member continues to qualify for LTIP. So, even if the member works part-time as part of a return-to-work arrangement, they continue earning credit at the same rate. The member and employer only start paying the pre-LTIP contribution amounts if the member returns to work at full capacity when LTIP ends.

When to pay LTIP contributions – We invoice for LTIP on a monthly basis. If the member’s payment is received before the 17th of the month, it will be included in the current month’s invoice. If the payment was received on or after the 17th, the payment will be included in the invoice for the following month. Your invoice will reflect contributions required for the previous month. Please make the payment (by cheque or electronic funds transfer) within two weeks of receiving an invoice.

Contribution adjustments while the member is on LTIP - Contributions during the LTIP period are determined using the member's salary in effect on their date of disability. If the member remains on LTIP into the following year, we will increase the member's salary by OPB's annual cost-of-living adjustment. This is required under our Plan text.

Each February, your LTIP invoice will reflect the adjusted salary rates for any members continuing on LTIP from the previous year. However, we only use the adjusted salary to calculate the member's contributions as long as they qualify for LTIP. When the member returns to work and LTIP ends, please calculate contributions according to the member's actual rate of pay.

Important: If you remit all contributions (regular, buybacks, LTIP) in one lump sum payment, please email a payment breakdown of the contribution types along with the electronic remittance/payment advice to Finance@opb.ca.

For more information about the new rules, please read the employer bulletin (PDF).

Different rules apply for Professional Engineers, Government of Ontario (PEGO) and the Ontario Provincial Police who qualify for LTIP. The members also fall under the OPS’s Great-West Life Policy. For more information, please read LTIP rules for OPP and PEGO.

These members who qualify for LTIP fall under the old rules (see details above) until they have 30 years of pension credit and have reached their earliest unreduced retirement date (EURD) in the PSPP.

Approximately nine months prior to this date, we will direct the member to select from the following three options:

Member elects: Then the member:
Option 1: To remain on LTIP up to age 65
  • Pays 100% of the regular member contributions (employer continues to matching contributions)
  • Accrues 100% of their regular pension credit up to age 65
Option 2: Not to retire or remain on LTIP, but remain a member of the PSPP
  • Stops accruing credit in the PSPP as of their EURD date
  • Remains a PSPP member up to age 65
Note: The member is not required to start their pension.
Option 3: To retire with an immediate unreduced pension
  • Stops accruing credit in the PSPP as of their EURD date
  • Initiates the normal retirement process

We will notify you by secure message through the Employer Portal about which option the member selected.

If the member elects option 1 – We will send you a secure message confirming the member’s decision, so you can make the necessary updates to their records to ensure that employer matching portion of the contributions are remitted. We will only invoice you after Great-West Life has paid the members portion of the contributions.

If the member elects option 2 – We will send you a secure message through the Employer Portal to stop remitting contributions to us. We will send a second secure message when the member’s retirement needs to be initiated.

If the member elects option 3 – We will notify Ontario Shared Services retirements through a secure message that a termination transaction must be submitted through our Employer Portal to initiate the member’s retirement.

To learn more about the differences between the LTIP old and new rules, read the Employer Bulletin about the New Rules (PDF).

For more detailed information about long term disability and LTIP, read health considerations, LTIP existing rules, LTIP new rules, and LTIP organizations.