Retirement security for healthcare heroes: Pension plan for Ontario healthcare workers now 400,000 members strong

TORONTO, Feb. 04, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan (HOOPP) is proud to announce it has surpassed 400,000 members, helping to deliver retirement security across a diverse membership of healthcare workers. This includes groups who often don’t have access to affordable retirement savings plans, such as part-time workers.

“HOOPP is proud to serve the healthcare community, especially during these challenging times,” said Steven McCormick, Senior Vice President, Plan Operations. “Our members are on the front lines of the pandemic and we thank them for all they do. We at HOOPP are honoured to play a small part in supporting our healthcare heroes, by continuing to deliver on our pension promise to them.”

HOOPP’s membership growth has accelerated in recent years. In 2003, we crossed the 200,000 mark and saw a steady increase in membership over the next 12 years, surpassing 300,000 members by 2015. And, in just the last five years, our membership grew by an additional 100,000 members due to the growing healthcare sector and more employers in Ontario offering the Plan to their employees. We also made it possible for part-time workers to join the Plan immediately, without a waiting period, and welcomed 12,000 new members following the merger of five plans with HOOPP in 2019.

HOOPP’s membership includes more than 250,000 active members, 115,000 retired members, and 35,000 deferred members. The average new annual pension is $29,700. HOOPP is fully funded, and has the honour of delivering on the pension promise to a membership that is large and diverse:

  • 82% of members are women
  • 34% of active members are part-timers
  • Largest cohort of active members is 30-34

Ivana Zanardo, Vice President, Client Services, said: “We know that women, part-time workers and younger adults often don’t have access to good pensions, so we’re pleased to offer a plan that supports Ontario’s healthcare sector and does so among those who too often find themselves without a secure retirement. For all that our members have to worry about these days, they can at least be confident knowing they have a more secure future with a HOOPP pension.”

HOOPP operates efficiently, which benefits its members. The Plan’s operating cost is one of the lowest in the pension industry, representing 0.29% of net assets. This allows HOOPP to ensure the ongoing sustainability of the Plan while also maximizing how much it can offer members, including benefits such as free accrual to disabled members for up to four years.

HOOPP is also pleased to be by members’ sides for a long time. Ninety-five of HOOPP’s retired members are older than 100. These members contributed to their pension, and benefit from HOOPP’s ability to pay pensions for life. This supports them and their families and avoids situations where they might otherwise become dependent on loved ones or government for support.

“So many of our members lead long and selfless lives caring for others, and it’s an honour to be there to support them,” said McCormick. “Times may change, but HOOPP’s mission remains the same. We are here to pay lifetime pensions to our members and deliver on our promise, now and for decades to come.”  

About the Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan

HOOPP serves Ontario’s hospital and community-based healthcare sector, with more than 610 participating employers. Its membership includes nurses, medical technicians, food services staff, housekeeping staff, and many others who provide valued healthcare services. In total, HOOPP has more than 400,000 active, retired and deferred members.

HOOPP operates as a private independent trust, governed by a Board of Trustees with a sole fiduciary duty to deliver on the pension promise. The Board is jointly governed by the Ontario Hospital Association (OHA) and four unions: the Ontario Nurses' Association (ONA), the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU), and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). The unique governance model provides representation from both management and workers in support of the long-term interests of the Plan.

Contact: James Geuzebroek
Senior Manager, Media and Public Affairs