Starting on February 1, 2022, OPTrust Select members who participate in a ‘temporary part-time work arrangement’ are permitted to make pension contributions based on their regular hours, and OPTrust Select employers are required to match their contributions.

OPTrust Select members are also able to buy back periods when they worked on a temporary part-time work arrangement prior to February 1, 2022. If an OPTrust Select member elects to buy back this service they will be responsible for the full cost of the buyback. The employer does not contribute.

These changes are being made following the recent Fraser v. Canada (Attorney General) case where the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that members of a federal government pension plan should be able to buy back full-time pension service for periods of employment when they temporarily reduced their working hours while participating in a job-sharing arrangement.

These changes support OPTrust Select members who participate in temporary part-time work arrangements, such as job sharing, so they can maximize their pension.

What is a temporary part-time work arrangement?

A temporary part-time work arrangement is a period of reduced work hours that meets all of the following criteria:

  • The OPTrust Select member temporarily switches from full-time hours to part-time hours or from regular hours to reduced hours.
  • The part-time work arrangement is temporary, not permanent, and has a start date and anticipated end date.
  • The OPTrust Select employer and member have agreed to the terms of the temporary part-time work arrangement in advance, including its duration.
  • The conditions in the federal Income Tax Act are met. These include:
    • The 36-month minimum employment rule - OPTrust Select members may only accrue full-time pension service for a period of reduced work hours if they have been employed with their employer for at least 36 months before the start of the arrangement. Please note that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government waived this requirement for arrangements that began in 2020 or 2021.
    • The five-year cumulative limit - the amount of pension service OPTrust Select members can accrue during an unpaid leave and/or a period of reduced work hours with their employer is limited to a maximum of five years with an additional three years for pregnancy/parental leaves.

Temporary layoffs, workplace suspensions and permanent changes in work hours do not qualify as temporary part-time work arrangements.

Contributions during a temporary part-time work arrangement

Starting on February 1, 2022, OPTrust Select employers are responsible for submitting a completed Temporary part-time work arrangement contribution/buyback application (OPTrust S1030) form to OPTrust before the start of each OPTrust Select member’s temporary part-time work arrangement.

Important! OPTrust Select members and employers are required to make pension contributions based on the member’s regular hours unless the member elects in writing to make contributions on their reduced hours only using the OPTrust S1030 form. If OPTrust does not receive this form, member and employer contributions will be mandatory and the employer will be billed for the missed contributions.

Buying back pension service after a temporary part-time work arrangement

Alternatively, OPTrust Select members may elect to contribute only on the reduced hours they work during the arrangement and apply to buy back the pension service for the hours they did not work after the arrangement ends.

OPTrust Select members who were on a temporary part-time work arrangement before February 1, 2022 can also apply to buy back pension service for the hours when they did not work. This may include periods before your organization began participating in OPTrust Select.

If an OPTrust Select member wants to request a buyback quote from OPTrust after their temporary part-time work arrangement ends, the member and employer must complete the OPTrust S1030 form and the employer must submit it to OPTrust.

OPTrust Select members are responsible for paying the full cost of the buyback, and OPTrust Select employers do not contribute. The cost will be the higher of two times contributions or the actuarial value.

We need your assistance!

As OPTrust Select employers are in a better position to identify which OPTrust Select members are eligible to buy back past service for a temporary part-time work arrangement, we are asking for your help in getting the message out to any members who previously participated in this type of arrangement to ensure they are aware of this opportunity to maximize their pension.

Next steps

We announced these Plan amendments on on February 1, 2022 and will also be communicating these changes to all active OPTrust Select members directly. Copies of the website announcement and communication we are sending to members are available in these links. OPTrust will also be making changes to the OPTrust Select Employer Manual to assist OPTrust Select employers and information will be available for OPTrust Select members on