The Corporation of the City of York employee pension plan is merging with the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System.
The City of York plan is one of five defined benefit plans sponsored by the City of Toronto. It covers 83 retired members and 79 survivor pensioners.
Its latest valuation showed that, as of Dec. 31, 2017, it had assets of $39.3 million, actuarial liabilities of $37.4 million and a going-concern excess of $1.9 million. This represents a $1.5-million decrease from its excess of $3.4 million as of Dec. 31, 2016.
A 2018 report by the City of Toronto noted the metro, police and civic pension plans are also considering a merger with the OMERS, which would result in windups of the plans. The mergers have been agreed to, but are currently conditional on confirmation that no more than a third of their respective pensioners object to the merger in each case. They also require the consent of the superintendent of financial services.
“Such mergers will eliminate possible requirements for special payments and provide cost savings with respect to the administration of the plans, while continuing to protect all of the rights of those entitled to benefits under the plans,” noted the report.
The City of York plan’s merger with the OMERS is the latest example of a pension plan taking advantage of regulations enacted in Ontario in 2015 to permit the merger of certain single-employer plans with jointly sponsored arrangements. Other examples include the Royal Ontario Museum plan joining the Colleges of Applied Arts and Technology pension plan in 2016, followed by the Youth Services Bureau of Ottawa the following year and Torstar Corp.’s plan in 2018.