Additional information:from the Ottawa Professional Firefighters Association website
Thinking of Retiring?
Begin with my OMERS
Firefighters have the option of having a normal retirement age of 60 (NRA60).
The OMERS website is full of information that will tell you how OMERS works, can estimate your pension, and will layout Retirement or Early retirement options.
Please click on our About OMERS page for more information related to fire fighters.
Payout of Sick Credits
Upon retirement a member will have 50% of their sick credits paid out, to a maximum of 1/2 a year’s annual salary.
Read the section in the Collective Agreement that covers Payout of Sick Credits. It includes how payout is affected by Silo, if you were hired before October 23rd 2002.
Depending on your date of employment, some of this money may be transferred into a RRSP. To do so you must fill out the DIRECT TRANSFER OF AN ELIGIBLE RETIRING ALLOWANCE form. If you transfer the lump sum to an RRSP there will not be any income tax taken off. Your pay-out for sick days may be put into your RRSP. The money cannot be put into your spousal RRSP. You are advised to see an independent financial planner regarding your severance.
If you have any holiday time, time owing, overtime or any other credits coming to you, you may put this in either your or your spousal RRSP. Only if you have room in your entitlement. The form required is the TRANSFER TO REGISTERED RETIREMENT PLAN form. You are advised to see an independent financial planner regarding your payout of holidays.
To find out if you have any RRSP entitlement see your last Notice of Assessment form that you received from Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).
If you are transferring money into a retiring plan or a RRSP call Keri-Ann Campbell at the City of Ottawa Pension/Benefits: 580-2424 ext. 22647. Fax 580-2604. Address: 100 Constellation Dr. She will require copies of the DIRECT TRANSFER OF AN ELIGIBLE RETIRING ALLOWANCE and/or TRANSFER TO REGISTERED RETIREMENT PLAN
We recommend that you retire on the last day of the month. That will be the day of your last available shift. This is because OMERS payments start on the first day of the month. There can be up to a month delay before your first (1st) OMERS pension check will be issued.
Once you decide on your retirement date, you will need to notify your Deputy Chief and Theresa Martin at Pension/Benefits. . A sample Retirement Letter shows what you need to send. It is very basic.
Two months prior to your retirement, book an appointment with the Deputy Chief in charge of your division. You may call their assistants for your appointment.
Suppression Acting Deputy Chief Dave Matschke 580-2424 Ext: 29477
Fire Prevention, Communications Deputy Chief Nathan Adams 580-2424 Ext: 23141
Training, Safety & Maintenance Deputy Louise Hine-Schmidt 580-2424 Ext: 21755
At this meeting bring in the following:
· A copy of your retirement letter (see above).
· Bring in your turn-out clothes, coat, and pants if applicable. These may be dropped off with maintenance. Maintenance will issue you with a receipt. You may keep the boots and helmet.
· City ID card, cell phone, car keys, pager etc.
At least one month before you plan to retire, be in touch with Theresa Martin at Pension/Benefits and make an appointment to see her. (613) 580-2424 Ext : 28966 - firstname.lastname@example.org
Bring the following:
· Your birth certificate and/or identification card with your picture.
· One (1) void cheque. (For automatic deposit)
Theresa will submit your application for your OMERS pension. She will brief you on everything you need to know, and are required to do, as well as explain what extended health benefits you will have. She will guide you to any forms that you need to fill out.
Upon retirement you have a choice of staying in the benefit program. You will be asked to fill an Application for Retiree Extended Health Care form at the Pension and Benefits office. Please ask for a copy of the benefit booklet.
Your life insurance will terminate on your retirement.
· Life Insurance Conversion
Members who are retiring many convert up to $ 200,000 of group life insurance to an individual insurance. This conversion must be done within the 30 days of your retirement.
Members interested must call the HR Service Centre 580-2424 ext. 47411.
Attend a retirement seminar The City of Ottawa Learning Centre offers a half day OMERS information session delivered by an OMERS expert. The Learning Centre also offers a one day Retirement Planning information session providing you with information on planning all areas of your life. You may register on-line through Ozone (under Employee Info tab then select My Training and Development – Register for Training) or call 613-580-2424 extension 47411.
Access the current City of Ottawa Preparing for Retirement in Ozone
Retirement Gift from the OPFFA:
Although there has been a pandemic interruption, the Association provides a retirement gift to each member at the Reunion Dinner. You can choose from a watch, a ring or a plaque, with your badge mounted. Photo
Sick Benefit Fund
You can find the Sick Benefit Fund Policy book here. If you are a member of the Fund and wish to remain a member of the Sick Benefit Fund after retiring, you must notify the manager before your retirement. You will need to fill out the enrollment form (which you can obtain from the SBF Chair or SBF manager); sign, scan and email to email@example.com with a void cheque. The monthly fee for retirees, is now $20.00.
Sick Benefit Fund Special Report – Review:
Benefits are available from the Sick Benefit Fund for Retirees who continue to pay into the fund. It provides additional insurance coverage in cases of illness or injury.
The Fund’s Retiree Member Benefits are:
· Pays deductible that the insurance company charges
· Pays a maximum of $450 dental in a calendar year
· Pays for Erectile Dysfunction medication to a maximum of $400 per calendar year.
· Pays for one pair of glasses or contacts prescribed by a qualified optometrist to a 24-month maximum of $225
· Pays a maximum of $400 for a Chiropractor in a calendar year
· Pays up to $100 for Podiatry services in a calendar year
· Pays a maximum of $400 for physiotherapy in a calendar year
· Pays a maximum of $400 for a licensed masseur in a calendar year
· Pays a maximum of $300 per ear for hearing aids or repairs every 5 years
· Pays for semi-private coverage in a palliative care hospital within the financial limitations of the Fun
Note: Bills must be submitted by June 30th of the next calendar year or they will not be reimbursed.
Sick Benefit Fund Office : 613-733-6020
Reminder of SBF Office Hours
During the Pandemic, the office is closed with no regular hours.
The SBF Manager will be available by appointment, please leave a message with your phone number and we will return your call. When it is safe to open the office on a regular basis, the SBF Manager will re-establish some office hours.
You can also read the recently amended Sick Benefit Policy Book by clicking on this link:
For all WSIB related issues
(occupational diseases or hearing impairments)
or any questions, ROFFA Members can contact:
Local WSIB representatives
Neil McMillan - Chairman
Andre Delorme - Member
OPFFA WSIB COMMITTEE DIRECTION TO ROFFA MEMBERS
It has been brought to the attention of the WSIB Committee that some ROFFA members have requested direction in navigating the process of submitting WSIB Occupational Disease and Presumptive claims. This document will serve to provide that direction and should facilitate the submission of these claims. This document will contain the following:
• A definition of a compensable occupational disease
• An introduction to the Presumptive Legislation
• Information on Noise Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL)
• How to file a claim with the WSIB
• List of contact information
Occupational Disease Defined
An occupational disease is a health problem resulting from exposure to a particular substance relating to a particular process, trade or occupation. It can also be a disease that is peculiar or characteristic of an industrial process, trade or occupation. The disease is caused by exposure to a workplace health hazard such as:
• Dust, gas or fumes
• Toxic substances
• Infectious germs or viruses
• Extreme hot or cold temperatures
• Extremely high or low air pressure
These health hazards can cause three kinds of reactions in the body:
• Immediate or acute – can be caused by a onetime event and are not usually permanent
• Gradual – worsen and persist when exposed over days, weeks or months- last for a longer time
• Delayed – take a long time to develop like cancer or loss of hearing. Can be caused by long-term exposure to a substance or work activity. These reactions can be noticed long after the job is over.
The Presumptive Legislation which was introduced to the Ontario Legislature in 2007 recognizes the unique hazards present in firefighting and presumes that certain cancers are work related. Initially the legislation recognized eight types of cancers but in 2014 the Provincial Government added six more totaling fourteen.
This legislation applies to all full time, part time and volunteer fire fighters and fire investigators with a minimum number of years of eligible service. The eligible years are the sum of all employment periods prior to diagnosis, whether consecutive or non-consecutive. The presumption applies to health conditions diagnosed on or after January 1, 1960. Usually certain criteria must be met for the legislation to apply; those criteria are listed in both the ROFFA and WSIB websites. In the event that a medical diagnosis does not meet those criteria, a claim may still be submitted and will be determined by the WSIB based on its individual merit.
NOISE INDUCED HEARING LOSS
NIHL is a permanent bilateral hearing loss from being exposed to high levels of noise over a long period. It is one of the most common occupational diseases and in most cases preventable. If you have been diagnosed with work related NIHL, the WSIB may provide hearing related health services, hearing aids and other benefits.
The WSIB has established specific criteria to allow for a NIHL claim including factoring in presbycusis or normal hearing loss due to aging. However, the WSIB will accept claims that do not meet the criteria based on the individual merits of the claim.
Retired workers may be eligible and the WSIB will consider the entire work history and exposure to noise. You should file a claim as soon as you become aware that you have been diagnosed with work related NIHL. You can file a claim through your doctor, audiologist, employer, union advocate or yourself. It is advisable to have your family doctor refer you to an audiologist for testing rather than making your own appointment. By doing so, your testing should be covered by OHIP thereby preventing the incurrence of costs.
How to file a claim for NIHL:
• Download and complete a Workers Report of Occupational NIHL and mail/fax it to the WSIB or call the WSIB at 1800-387-0750 or
• Your doctor or Audiologist can set up a claim by faxing the medical report/audiogram to the WSIB or
• Your employer or union representative can assist you with filing your claim
HOW TO FILE OCCUPATIONAL DISEASE CLAIMS
You can file a claim through your doctor, union advocate or yourself and there is no time limit for filing an occupational disease claim. There are three ways to set up a claim:
1. Fill out and submit a Workers’ Report of Injury/Disease Form 6 online or by calling WSIB at 1800-387-0750. The form 6 is the document that registers your claim with the WSIB.
2. Your doctor can send a Health Professional Form 8 to the WSIB. Ensure that you inform your doctor of any substances or conditions that you were exposed to at work.
3. Have your union advocate assist you with filling out the Workers’ Report of Injury/ Disease and filing your claim. Regardless of how you file your claim, you should contact the OPFFA WSIB Committee or the Association Office and obtain and fill out a Cancer and Occupational Disease Registry Form. This form will be sent to the Ontario Professional Fire Fighters Association Occupational Disease representative who may assist you with your claim.
After submitting your claim, you will be assigned a claim number and an adjudicator to your case. The adjudicator will require information about your exposures and medical treatment. It may facilitate your claim if you can provide information about your symptoms and when they began, a list of the substances you were exposed to and the type of work you did. They may also ask you for the names and addresses of the medical professionals you attended as well as the dates of your appointments.
STEPS TO FILING YOUR CLAIM
1. Obtain a medical diagnosis that supports your claim
2. Contact the OPFFA WSIB Committee/Association Office for specific direction. Obtain and fill out the Cancer and Occupation Disease Registry form. Your union advocate will forward this form to the Provincial Association.
3. Contact the Ontario Professional Firefighters Association Occupational Disease representative for guidance and resources in processing your claim. This contact can be initiated through your WSIB Committee and we can continue to act as liaison between yourself and the Provincial Association.
4. From the WSIB website, obtain and fill out the WSIB Workers’ Report of Injury/Disease Form 6. This may be done with the assistance of your union advocate or the Provincial Association.
5. Contact and inform your former Employer about your claim. This can also be done through either through your union advocate or the Provincial Association once they obtain your Registry form and discuss your claim with you.
OPFFA WSIB Committee:
Neil McMillan - firstname.lastname@example.org
Local 162 WSIB Committee member Pat Evans - email@example.com
Provincial WSIB Committee: Brian Secord - firstname.lastname@example.org
Occupational Disease Committee: Gavin Jacklyn - email@example.com
OPFFA Association Office – 613 -526-1454 - fax – 613-526-1206
City of Ottawa Employee Health and Wellness/WSIB representative:
Janet Timmons-Holice – 613-580-2424 ext.43547
Cancers in Firefighters and Fire Investigators
If you are or have been a firefighter and have one of the primary site cancers listed in the following chart, the cancer may be presumed to be an occupational disease and you may be eligible for WSIB Ontario Benefits. The presumption applies to all full time, part time or volunteer firefighters who have been regularly exposed to the hazards of a fire scene, for the minimum period shown for the specified cancer.
Policy& Guidelines for Noise-Induced Hearing Loss
Fire Fighter Cancer Statistics
• Brain cancer: 3.5 times more likely in firefighters with 10 to 19 years of service
• Leukemia/lymphoma: 3 times more likely
• Non-Hodgkins lymphona : 2 times more likely after 30 years
• Multiple myeloma: 2.5 times more likely, after 30 years, 10 times more likely
• Bladder cancer: 3 times more likely
• Kidney cancer : 4 times more likely
• Prostate cancer : 2 times more likely
• Testicular cancer : 2.5 times more likely
• Colorectal cancer (large intestine) : 2 times more likely
• Liver cancer :2 times more likely
• Skin cancer : 2 times more likely
Important Retiree Benefit Notice
What this means to you...
What to expect...
What you need to do....
For additional information please contact SBF manager Craig Morrison or Koraly Gigere
Client Accounting Administrator
Coughlin & Associates Ltd. | Employee Benefits Specialists
466 Tremblay Road| Ottawa, Ontario K1G 3R1
Tel: 613-231-2266 ext 4267 | 1-888-613-1234 | fax: 613-231-2345
Sick Benefit Fund
Sick Benefit Fund manager Craig Morrison is now available to members at the SBF office on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays form 8:30 to 12:30 pm.
You can also contact Craig via email firstname.lastname@example.org
or by phone @ 613-733-6020