Advantages Retirement Plan™
In response to members’ needs for greater retirement security, the Advantages Retirement Plan™ is a first-of-its-kind group retirement savings plan offered by OMA Insurance and established exclusively for all OMA members and their spouses or common-law partners.
The plan is comprised of:
- RRSP (Registered Retirement Savings Plan)
- TFSA (Tax-Free Savings Account)
- RRIF (Registered Retirement Income Fund), for retired physicians
- An option to guarantee a portion of retirement income for life through an annuity product
When you’re starting out in your career, you can build a habit of saving early, which is a key factor in retirement preparedness. As your practice becomes more established and grows, you can use the plan to stay on track to reach your target retirement income. It also means you’ll likely need to:
- Set a target retirement income
- Ensure adequate and regular savings
- Factor in government benefits
- Know how to turn your nest egg into steady monthly retirement income streams
- Protect yourself against risks post-retirement (e.g. longevity risk — the risk of outliving your savings — and market risk)
The online platform for the Advantages Retirement Plan™ provides you with education and tools to help you prepare for your future retirement today.
The benefits of the Advantages Retirement Plan™
Lower management fees
The plan helps your savings go further — fees are in line with those of large pension plans and are two to three times less than what most Canadians pay to invest their retirement savings.
Flexibility of the plan
Choose monthly contribution amounts to be deducted from your bank account once a month, transfer in existing assets, make lump-sum contributions and use an auto-escalation feature that will automatically increase your monthly contributions. You can start with as little as $50 a month.
Designed for every stage of a physician’s career
OMA Insurance built this plan to meet you at every step of your medical journey. And of course, we’ve made the plan available to spouses/common-law partners, too. Learn more about the phases of the physician’s lifecycle that are relevant for shaping your retirement plans over your lifetime.
World-class investment and annuity partners
OMA Insurance established the ARP plan with BlackRock, the largest target-date fund manager, and Brookfield Annuity Company, a dynamic insurer for the guaranteed lifetime annuity product. The plan follows a stringent legal, governance and investment structure. This ensures that the plan acts in the best interest of our members. Learn more about plan oversight and management.
Guaranteed Lifetime Income Annuities
You are guaranteed to receive monthly income payments for as long as you live.
Complements the income you receive from the Canada Pension Plan and potentially Old Age Security benefits, as well as any other retirement savings.
Great way to reduce the risk that comes from market volatility and longer life expectancy.
Tailor-made for retirement, savings are allocated based on a target retirement date you choose.
Fees are low compared to the average Canadian mutual fund.
A mix of investments that changes as retirement approaches to ensure you remain appropriately invested.
Keeping investment fees low can make a big difference to your pre-retirement savings and retirement income stream. Plan members pay a fee of:
0.6 per cent of assets (plus HST) — 0.15 per cent of the asset fee will be paid to OMA Insurance for cost recovery and services
$10/month (plus HST)
The monthly $10 fee will be waived for medical students
Auto-escalation feature will automatically increase your monthly contributions on an annual basis to keep up with annual inflation rates and your income growth.
Easy enrolment process.
Simple progress tracker.
Flexible online platform.
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Frequently asked questions
Participants in the Advantages Retirement Plan™ pay fees of 0.6 per cent of assets (plus HST) — 0.15 per cent of the asset fee will be paid to OMA Insurance for cost recovery and services — plus $10 per month (plus HST).
The fees are considerably lower than the average investment management fees Canadian retail investors pay. According to the Investment Funds Institute of Canada, the average Canadian investment fund has fees of about 2.1 per cent of assets.
The fees are in line with, and in some cases lower than, those for robo-advisors and other online investment solutions, though these solutions tend to lack some of the features of the Advantages Retirement Plan™ (e.g., guaranteed lifetime income, legal duty to put physicians’ interests first).
Some Canadians who do their own investing through discount brokerages would be able to find lower fees for exchange-traded funds (ETFs), but this often requires them to do their own fund selection, portfolio management, asset rebalancing, and management of the post-retirement phase.
The Advantages Retirement Plan™ is a group retirement income plan composed of a group Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP), a group Tax-free Savings Account (TFSA), and a group Registered Retirement Income Fund (RRIF).
The Advantages Retirement Plan™ is not a pension plan, but rather a group retirement income plan. Most physicians are self-employed, and a traditional pension plan requires an employer-employee relationship. In addition, traditional pensions require mandatory, locked-in contributions, whereas physicians are looking for greater flexibility with regards to their funds.
The Advantages Retirement Plan™ was based on feedback received from OMA member focus groups and surveys. The plan is based on a few guiding principles such as:
- Putting members’ interests first (fiduciary duty)
- Value for money (low investment management fees)
- Providing a guaranteed stream of income through an annuity program
Plan members can select a BlackRock target date fund, which provides a mix of equities, fixed income and property. The fund is matched to each plan member’s expected retirement date and automatically adjusted as you get closer to that date. Target date funds provide a saving solution that can reduce the complexity and stress of investing over time.
For members age 50 or older who are interested in guaranteed lifetime income, an annuity is an option for contributed funds. A life annuity is a fixed amount of income paid for a person’s lifetime and is typically used to provide regular income in retirement.
The plan’s investment committee selected BlackRock to provide target date funds and Brookfield Annuity to offer life annuities, both approved by OMA Insurance. You can learn more about BlackRock and Brookfield Annuity, as well as how the Advantages Retirement Plan™ is governed.
Please check your RRSP contribution room on your Notice of Assessment from the Canada Revenue Agency to know the maximum amount you can contribute to the RRSP. You are solely responsible for any taxes or fines imposed if contributions exceed the RRSP or TFSA limits.
The current TFSA contribution limit is $6,000 per year. However, if you have unused contribution room from previous years, these limits accumulate and are lifetime limits. Currently, the lifetime contribution limit is $81,500.
To ensure you do not exceed your yearly limit of $6,000, your ongoing monthly TFSA contributions will be capped at $500 per month. The one-time lump-sum contribution option is available to address unused contribution room from prior years.
Additionally, the plan does allow for transfers of registered funds from other financial institutions. Learn more about transfers-in and what to know before making a transfer into the program.
The plan requires a minimum monthly contribution of $50 if you decide to contribute on a monthly basis, or a minimum transfer-in of $100.
The information contained on this website is provided for educational purposes only, and should not be construed as advice to be acted upon. The information is not intended to offer investment, taxation, accounting, financial or similar professional advice, nor is it intended to replace the advice of independent tax, financial, accounting or legal professionals. This website is intended to only provide general retirement education information based on the common circumstances of the Ontario physician community and does not take into account any individual’s particular financial needs, circumstances and objectives. The information presented here may not be suitable for non-residents of Canada, or situations involving such individuals. Employees of OMA Insurance are not licensed or authorized to provide investment products, services or advice to you, except as it relates to insurance.