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Voluntary Exit Option (OPS)

Contents

Introduction

Eligibility

Regular (permanent) employees

Fixed-term (contract) employees

The Voluntary Exit Option (VEO)

VEO exit package options

Receive pay-in-lieu

Retire immediately

Bridge to your pension

Applying for VEO

If you have questions or need assistance


Introduction

It is difficult to learn that layoffs are happening to your colleagues.

If you are at a stage in your career where you are considering leaving the OPS or are close to or at retirement, you may wish to consider the Voluntary Exit Option, where you may receive a severance package and take the place of a colleague who might otherwise be laid off.


Eligibility

Regular (permanent) employees

Whether you are full-time or part-time, you are eligible to apply for VEO if:

  • you have received a Surplus Notice Alert (SNA) that indicates that:
    • your position is not being surplussed, and
    • another position that has the same job functions is.

Fixed-term (contract) employees

Fixed-term (contract) employees are not eligible to apply for VEO.


The Voluntary Exit Option (VEO)

If you work in an area affected by surplussing (layoffs), but your specific position is unaffected, the Voluntary Exit Option (VEO) is an opportunity for you to volunteer to leave the OPS in place of another employee in your work unit—typically the colleague with the least seniority—who might otherwise be laid off.

Volunteers to exit the OPS through the VEO will be approved on the basis of seniority up to the numbers required.

If you apply for and are approved for VEO, you will receive an exit package.

If you wish to exit the OPS but are not selected using the VEO, you may register for the Voluntary Exit Registry (VER).

VEO is not the same as the Voluntary Exit Registry (VER) or the Transition Exit Initiative (TEI).


VEO exit package options

If there is a match through VEO, you must choose one of the following options:

Details on each option are below.

You may wish to consult a financial advisor to help you determine which option is right for you.

If your application for VEO is approved, you will not be eligible for any other surplus or redeployment options, except you will be eligible to apply for restricted job competitions after your last day of work until 24 months from the date on which your layoff notice would have been served (i.e., the end of the six-month period).

Receive pay-in-lieu

If you choose this option, and if you are approved to leave the OPS, you will receive pay-in-lieu of either:

a) a single lump sum payment, paid as soon as possible, totalling:

  • your salary for six months, and
  • severance (one week of salary for every completed year of continuous service, to a maximum of 26 weeks), and
  • enhanced severance (an additional week of salary for every completed year of continuous service); or

b) salary continuance for six months, followed by lump-sum payments of severance:

  • your salary paid bi-weekly as though you were at work, and
  • benefits during this time (except Short-Term Sickness Plan and Long-Term Income Protection), and
  • a lump sum payment, paid out at the end of the six months, of:
    • severance (one week of salary for every year of continuous service, to a maximum of 26 weeks), and
    • enhanced severance (an additional week of salary for every year of continuous service, with no maximum); or

c) salary continuance for six months, followed by further salary continuance, closing with a lump-sum payment:

  • your salary paid bi-weekly for six months as though you were at work, and
  • further salary continuance of one week for every year of continuous service (to a maximum of twenty-six weeks), and
  • benefits during this time (except Short-Term Sickness Plan and Long-Term Income Protection), and
  • a lump sum payment of one week for every year of continuance service (without a maximum), paid after the other salary continuances.

Pay-in-lieu exit options involving salary continuances are only available to members under the age of 71. If you are unsure of the application of this provision, please speak with an AMAPCEO Workplace Representative.

Retire immediately

If you choose this option, and your VEO application is approved, you can retire immediately with an unreduced pension if you are eligible for your unreduced pension factor:

  • you are 65 years old; or
  • your age plus your pension service total 90 years (this is called “Factor 90”); or
  • you are 60 years old or older and have 20 years or more of pension service (this is called “Factor 60/20”).

You will receive:

  • your pension under the Public Service Pension Plan (for details, please contact the Ontario Pension Board); and
  • a single lump sum payment of:
    • your salary for six-months, and
    • severance (one week of salary for every year of continuous service, to a maximum of 26 weeks), and
    • enhanced severance (an additional week of salary for every year of continuous service, with no maximum).

Bridge to your pension

If you are not currently eligible to retire, you may be able to bridge to your unreduced pension factor date. You would not work during this time.

Bridging allows you to continue to accumulate pension credits to reach your retirement date by combining:

  • your six-month notice period, and
  • the period represented by your severance (converted to a weekly paid leave), plus
  • up to two years of an unpaid leave (as required to reach your retirement date).

Date your surplus notice is effective + (part of your surplus notice period + unpaid leave + paid leave [converted from your severance] + your remaining surplus notice period) + date you qualify for unreduced pension

Your bridging period will begin with the date your VEO application is approved. Before the end of the six-month notice period, you must take any unpaid leave (as required), followed by the weekly paid leave converted from your severance. You must then complete the rest of your six-month notice period.

Once you have completed the rest of your notice period, you will receive:

  • your pension under the Public Service Pension Plan (for details, please contact the Ontario Pension Board); and
  • a single lump sum payment of your enhanced severance (an additional week of salary for every year of continuous service, minus pension contributions deducted during the period of your unpaid leave of absence).

For example...

On June 1, 2020, Tyrone receives a surplus notice alert informing him that a colleague’s position with the same job functions as his is being eliminated. He has 18 years of pension credit. He will turn 58 on August 15, 2020.

Tyrone will be eligible for retirement with an unreduced pension on August 15, 2022, because on that date he will be turning 60 years old and will have more than 20 years of pension credits (“Factor 60/20”).

If Tyrone applies for VEO, and if his Employer approves his application, he would need to bridge to his pension for 26.5 months (between June 1, 2020 and August 15, 2022). Here’s how he could do it:

5 months of their six-month surplus notice period
16 months of unpaid leave
4.5 months (i.e., 19–20 weeks) of paid leave (converted from their severance)
1 month of their remaining six-month surplus notice period


Applying for VEO

To apply for VEO, you must:

1. Receive a SNA indicating that another position in your work unit that has the same job functions is being surplussed. The SNA will offer you the option of applying for VEO.

2. Respond in writing to your Employer within five working days of when the SNA was issued indicating:

3. Your Employer will review the VEO applications they receive and make decisions on the basis of seniority. For example, if there is one position being surplussed in your unit, and you apply for VEO, but another eligible colleague who has more seniority also applies, their application will be approved and yours will not.

4. Your Employer will respond in writing within five working days of when they receive your application.

  • If you are approved to leave the OPS, your last day of work will be five working days from their approval. This can be later, if you and your manager agree.
  • If you are not approved to leave the OPS, you can still register for the Voluntary Exit Registry (VER), if you wish.

If you have questions or need assistance

Please contact an AMAPCEO Workplace Representative in your District. They do not have to be in your Ministry.

Workplace Representatives are trained union members who have volunteered to confidentially assist members like you in the workplace. They should be your first point of contact in seeking information and representation with an issue at work.

Your Workplace Representative may ask you to use the union’s secure web-based system, RADAR, to provide details about your situation. RADAR will help you and your Workplace Representative keep track of things without the privacy concerns that could come from using the Employer’s email system.

Fact Sheet

Bargaining Unit: Ontario Public Service (OPS)

Collective Agreement Articles: 7, 23, 27, & 38

First Published: September 2, 2020

Last Updated: December 7, 2020

Contact a Workplace Representative

See more Ontario Public Service Fact Sheets