Many of us are fortunate to be working for organizations that allow us to contribute to a defined benefit pension plan. As we get closer to retirement, it is easy to appreciate the good fortune of having such a valuable benefit that will sustain us throughout our leisurely years!
HR & Payroll professionals who work in pension management have a great responsibility. They must ensure that the pension plan boards receive accurate information regarding employee service and pensionable earnings as well as collect the appropriate amount of pension contributions as per the rules of each plan.
The Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board (OTPPB) is one of those organizations. They work closely with each school board, providing the tools and support needed by those who are charged with reporting this vital data on a pay-to-pay basis.
Ok, so what are the three “Rs”?
1. Reported: Pension contributions that are deducted from employees and put forth to OTPPB.
2. Required: the amounts calculated by OTPPB which are based on pensionable earnings and service
3. Remitted: contributions provided to the OTPPB at the end of each month
In a perfect setting, what is reported would match what is required and the remittted contributions would likewise match what was reported and what was required. Keeping in mind that every board works differently when it comes to the reconciliation of pension contributions, I would suggest the following to help bring these numbers into line:
- A “best practice” solution: Take the time to reconcile your year-to-date (calendar year)
contributions after every pay period!
- Utilize OTPPB's “Employee Earnings Report” which can be found in the "Unreconcilled Calendar
Year" area on "TIM" (Teachers Information Management) system.
- It is a fantastic tool that is updated daily and really helps you stay on top of any variances between
“Reported “and “Required” contributions for all your employees. I have used this report extensively to
review and adjust for contribution variances and also to monitor employee service, thus mitigating the
potential for “excess service” throughout the school year for our contributing members.
At HRPLink, we have worked closely with the OTPPB to make sure that our Payroll Based Reporting file structure meets their requirements. They have been a great partner for us, performing thorough testing and reviewing procedures to confirm that information is always accurate. Together we have worked hard to ensure that things are running smoothly for our clients. HRPLink is thankful for having had the opportunity to build a strong, collaborative and collegial working relationship with the great staff at OTPPB.
If you would like to discuss my best practice approach to OTPPB reconciliation in-depth or learn more about the advantages HRPLink provides with this or any other HR/Payroll related process, I would be pleased to hear from you.
You may contact me at your convenience at Claude@hrplink.com or on my cell at 1-613-861-5155 . Don't forget, you can always follow us on Twitter @hrplink.
Claude Clement, Subject Matter Expert