In a bid to make serving on Council more attractive, Council is considering allowing Councillors to join the OMERS Pension scheme. This would only benefit those eligible and anyone not already receiving an OMERS pension. To be eligible, you must be less than 71 and you cannot both contribute to a pension plan and receive from that plan simultaneously. Randy Barber is over 71 and both he and Brian Darling already receive an OMERS pension. The big benefit is that the Town will match the employee’s (councillor’s) contribution to the plan effectively increasing their income (albeit deferred) by approx. $2400 per year. It’s optional to join so Brian and Randy would likely not join since their pension would then stop.
But because the Town would be paying the “employer contribution” of approx. $2400 to the OMERS fund for those who opted in, staff suggested that those who were not eligible should also receive this amount. Since it could not go to the pension fund, it would be added to their salary. Councillor Miriam Mutton thought that this discriminated based on age: Over 71 and you’d get $2400 more income (albeit taxable) but those opting in would get $2400 less since they would contribute that much. Other councillors saw this as not a problem – it was just a matter of when you get the money.
Ian Davey estimated that the cost to the Town if all Councillors opted in would be $20K.
Anyway – lots of debate and council finally directed that staff prepare a bylaw to implement this. The by-Law would come to Council for approval at a later date and it looks like Council will approve it. There’s more detail in the report by HR Manager Andrea Short in Resources below.
- OMERS Eligibility for Members of Council
- Council Video – Debate on OMERS pension starts at around 1:08:10