Transferring pension with no information
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Thread: Transferring pension with no information

  1. #1
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    Transferring pension with no information

    Hello to all......just stumbled across this forum in my search for help for my situation. I am currently employed in Ontario and have a 15 year OMERS pension with a current salary of $86k. I have been offered a job in BC that would be under the BC Public Service Pension Plan at $92k. These two services do have a reciprocal agreement so that the BCPSPP will take my OMERS CV.

    The issue is that a phone call to the BCPPSP resulted in them confirming that they would take my pension but that they anticipated there being a shortfall but they said they would have no idea what it would be until such time as I took up the new post and applied to move the CV over.

    This is a key piece of information for me in my decision making as to whether or not to take the position and it seems asinine that they will not even give me a ball park figure before I head to the west coast.

    Does anyone have any insight as to how this works or the sort of shortfall that I may be looking at ? I could stomach $10k even but if it was $40k or something like that then I would likely decline the position.

    Any help would be very gratefully received as I need to make a final decision this week. Thank you.


  2. #2
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    Do you have the option of leaving your Ontario pension in place until you're ready to retire and starting a new BCPSPP pension at your new job? Then you would draw income from both pensions when you retire. I mention that because that is what my former manager did years ago when he left the provincial government and accepted a federal government job.

  3. #3
    Senior Member the-royal-mail's Avatar
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    I agree with the suggestion of leaving both in place. You could call and ask someone if you can transfer your ON pension later on, so that you have time to look into it a little more.

    But my bigger concern would be moving to BC for a mere $6K extra per year. Housing is WAY more expensive than that - it would seem to me the bigger concern should be that you can afford to live there with the housing and overall higher taxes and costs of everything. BC = Bring Cash.

  4. #4
    Senior Member MoneyGal's Avatar
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    I'd do what Karen said. If I had an OMERs pension, I would not want to give it up.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by the-royal-mail View Post
    But my bigger concern would be moving to BC for a mere $6K extra per year. Housing is WAY more expensive than that - it would seem to me the bigger concern should be that you can afford to live there with the housing and overall higher taxes and costs of everything. BC = Bring Cash.
    This is not totally true. Yes, the cost to own in Vancouver and Victoria are high, but there are many markets in BC that are not very high at all. Have you ever looked at the cost of housing in Prince George, Kamloops, or Nanaimo, not as ridiculous as you seem to imply.

    Also, the rental markets even in the expensive cities is not that bad. Renting in Vancouver, or greater Vancouver is no more than here in Calgary.

    Moving to BC is not prohibitive. Buying in Vancouver or Victoria might be.

  6. #6
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    Why would they want to give you a ballpark and open themselves up to liability if wrong. It is a complicated calculation and most of the information wont be finalized until your last pay with OMERs. You need to look at your pension details, their pension details, and take a guess. A ballpark from their end is completely useless at this point, they don't know how much value you have in OMERS, you earnings history etc. As others have said you wont lose your OMERs, worse cause scenario you can leave it as is. So the decision to take the job should be based on the new pay and benefits, compared to your current pay and benefits, plus personal considerations.

    Basically after your final pay within OMERs has been processed they will send you some documents outlining your options. You probably will be able to transfer it to the new pension, keep it in OMERS, transfer to a LIRA, or take a cash payout, or transfer to a regular RRSP. The last two options are the worst as you will typically lose the employer side of the contributions. They will tell you exactly how much your cash value is, how much you can expect when you retire if you leave it in OMERs, and the vested amount that can be transferred to another qualifying pension plan or LIRA. You take this info to the new plan, as well as some earning history info, and they can calculate how much that will buy you in their plan. You can then decide to either leave it in OMERS or transfer it.
    Last edited by Brenner; 2012-05-09 at 10:14 AM.

  7. #7
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    Thanks for the replies. I'd move for just 6k more because the job would make me much happier and I'm also a life-long renter (it's a British thing !) so I can still have the same take home pay after expenses.

    I had never thought of leaving it in OMERS as I always thought that 2 half pensions were worse than one full one.

    Both pensions are 2% per year of service x average of best 5 years which, retiring in 12-15 years, would mean an OMERS pension based on my salary today not what it will be in a decade in a half.

    All this just makes my head want to go ka-POW :-/


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