Maximizing my pension

Purchasing a leave period

When you return from a leave period, you may be able to purchase the period to add to your OMERS credited service. Your employer will provide you with your options and calculate the cost for you.

The decision to purchase a leave period is up to you. Weigh the cost of the purchase against how much it will increase your OMERS Plan pension. If you prefer, talk to a professional financial adviser. For an estimate of what your pension will be – with or without purchasing the leave period – please contact  OMERS Member Experience.

Cost and payment

The cost of purchasing a leave period is based on the contributions you and your employer would have been paying during the period.

For some types of leave periods, your cost is single contributions (matched by your employer).

For example:

  • pregnancy/parental leave

  • emergency, family medical, and organ donor leave periods

  • reservist leave period of postponement

If you choose not to purchase these types of leaves, the period will still count as OMERS eligible service, and would be used to calculate the early retirement adjustment. 

For other types of leave periods, your cost is double contributions (your share plus your employer's share).

For example:

  • authorized leave of absence

  • ​strike or lockout as defined under the Labour Relations Act, 1995

  • self-funded leave

If you choose not to purchase these types of leaves, the period will not count as OMERS eligible service.

Leave period purchase deadline

Your deadline for purchasing a leave period is December 31 of the year following the year in which your leave ended. Please note that, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the deadline to complete a leave purchase has been extended by one year for members who return from a leave of absence in 2020, 2021 or 2022 (i.e., extending to December 31, 2022, December 31, 2023 or December 31, 2024 depending on the return date).

After the applicable deadline, you can purchase the leave period as a  service buy-back but the cost calculation is quite different usually more expensive.