About OCRA (Ontario Colleges Retirees’ Association)
In 2001 a small group of academic, administrative, and support staff from eight Ontario Colleges met to discuss forming a group whose goal was to provide a voice for retirees from the Ontario Colleges of Applied Arts and Technology (CAAT). As a result, the Ontario Colleges Retirees’ Association (OCRA) was established on April 19, 2001 and on December 4, 2001 its constitution and bylaws were adopted. On June 16, 2005, OCRA was incorporated as a not-for-profit Ontario corporation.
OCRA’s mission has always been to present a common position on issues of interest to Ontario College CAAT Pension Plan members, including pension, health benefits, group insurance, as well as government policies and proposals.
When the CAAT Pension Plan transitioned from serving the 24 Ontario Colleges to administering the pension benefits of other employers, OCRA opened its membership to include these organizations as well.
OCRA’s Relationship with CAAT and CAAT-Related Organizations
OCRA has established relationships with the various organizations involved in the administration of the CAAT Pension Plan and the management of group insurance plans and health/dental benefits available to Ontario College CAAT Pension Plan members.
The CAAT Pension Plan
OCRA has an established relationship with the present CAAT Pension Plan management team. The CAAT Pension Plan team promptly answers questions OCRA has on specific issues and provides a guest speaker at OCRA General Meetings.
College Employer Council (CEC)
The CEC is the policy holder for the CAAT group insurance plans and administers the health and dental benefit plans available through Sun Life to Ontario College retirees. The CEC provides OCRA with meeting space, updates, and the opportunity to comment on matters of interest directly, and at OCRA General Meetings.
CAAT Retirees Group Insurance Advisory Committee (CRGIAC)
The CAAT Retirees Group Insurance Advisory Committee (CRGIAC):
- acts as an advisory body and assists the College Employer Council (CEC) to ensure the appropriate benefit design and cost effectiveness of the group insurance benefit plans are available for all eligible retirees.
- reviews contentious claims and makes recommendations when such claim problems have not been resolved through the existing administrative procedure. When a member asks for OCRA’s help regarding a benefit question, OCRA works with the member and the CRGIAC to answer the question.
OCRA members are eligible to serve on the CRGIAC.
The Executive of OCRA is comprised of eleven voting members, ten of whom are elected at large by the voting members of OCRA at a general meeting. The eleventh member consists of the immediate Past President who is invited to attend all Executive meetings and to participate with voice and voting privileges.
- Vice President
- Communications Officer
- Membership Co-ordinator
- Liaison Co-ordinator
- Directors at Large (3)
- Past President
Information about the current Executive may be found on the OCRA Information page.
OCRA Executive members, at various times, serve on committees of associations connected to the CAAT Pension Plan. Executive members also serve on retiree-related boards, committees and/or government regulatory agencies.
The Executive’s Liaison Co-ordinator regularly contacts the benefits administrators in the Ontario College Human Resources departments as well as the retiree associations/clubs of the member colleges for updates on activities involving retirees.
OCRA’s web site, managed by a volunteer OCRA member, includes a News section that is regularly updated with announcements, news, and reminders.
Within the Executive, meetings and teleconferences take place regularly to identify and review the issues that are important to OCRA members. Between meetings, the Executive’s business is conducted by email.
OCRA’s first General Meeting was held at Mohawk College on October 19, 2002. Since then, General Meetings have been hosted by many of the Ontario Colleges, providing members with an opportunity to:
- review OCRA activity
- meet with members of the CAAT Pension Plan management team
- listen to guest speakers on topics of interest to retirees
- share fellowship with OCRA members
- participate in elections
- tour the campus of the host college
Membership began with the founding members from the colleges of Centennial, Fanshawe, Georgian, Mohawk, Niagara, St. Clair, Seneca, and Fleming. OCRA’s current membership includes retirees from the 24 Ontario Colleges and is open to organizations included in the CAAT Pension Plan.
Currently, OCRA’s membership numbers over 1,400.
Membership is open to retirees, and surviving spouses of retirees, from the 24 Ontario Colleges and/or retirees from other organizations whose pension benefits are managed by the CAAT Pension Plan.
There are three membership options:
- Annual membership $10.00 CAD, renewable at the beginning of each calendar year.
- Surviving spouse membership $10.00 CAD, renewable at the beginning of each calendar year for the spouse of a deceased member wishing to continue his/her membership. Upon request, the lifetime membership of a deceased member is transferable to the surviving spouse.
- Lifetime membership (refer to table). Annual members may convert to the lifetime membership at renewal time. The OCRA Lifetime Membership is for the lifetime of the individual and is not refundable.
Lifetime Membership Fee Table
FEE (in Canadian CAD dollars)
70 years or older
69 years old
68 years old
67 years old
66 years old
65 years old
64 years old
63 years old
62 years old
61 years old
60 years old
Change of Address
Members are encouraged to notify the OCRA Membership Co-ordinator regarding any change to their postal or email address. Please use the Contact form.