Terms of Reference

1. Introduction

These Terms of Reference are intended to inform the creation of the identified technical advisory committee. Technical advisory committees are an important part of FSRA’s stakeholder engagement process, assisting FSRA in developing better processes, guidance and approaches to its regulation of the pension sector.

FSRA’s stakeholder engagement process enables two way dialogue and understanding. We want our stakeholders to be informed of FSRA activities and to provide timely advice and feedback. We may also seek to identify and discuss emerging issues and external developments in the marketplace.

Responsibilities of technical advisory committee members include:

  • reviewing background material in preparation for meetings and attending meetings;
  • providing advice, proposals and feedback to FSRA and freely expressing points of views;
  • using best efforts to, where possible, develop consensus; and
  • providing feedback to FSRA on the functioning of the committee.

2. Mandate of the Technical Advisory Committee

We are establishing FSRA’s Technical Advisory Committee for the Supervision of PBGF-Eligible Pension Plans (the Advisory Committee) as an ad hoc, special purpose committee. This Advisory Committee will look at predictive and preventative tools that can be used by FSRA to:

  • reduce the risk of claims on the PBGF; and
  • improve outcomes for plan beneficiaries.

The Advisory Committee is being formed to facilitate industry consultation on FSRA’s approach to identifying “at risk” plans and the development of a supervisory approach to such plans. This will include an assessment of predictive or preventative tools that can be used to enable FSRA as a proactive prudential regulator. Elements to be considered will include:

  • FSRA’s expectations of employers facing difficulties with a “large” deficit in their DB plans;
  • Process for identifying plans at risk;
  • Supervisory approach;
  • Roles and responsibilities (e.g., professional and fiduciaries);
  • Information requests;
  • Potential actions; and
  • Enforcement tools.

Advisory Committee members are expected to comment on their experience to-date, identify issues and develop proposals; where appropriate they may be asked to provide sample data or to prepare analyses.

3. Nomination and Appointment of Advisory Committee Members 

Appointments will be made through an open nomination process posted online. Selections will be made by FSRA, based in part upon the experience of the individuals who are put forward, the component of the pension industry that they represent and other factors that FSRA may determine are relevant. This Advisory Committee will have a target membership of 10 – 14 members (not including FSRA and MOF participants). FSRA can choose to add or remove any member of the Advisory Committee at any time.

4. Qualifications of Members of the Advisory Committee

Nominees to the Advisory Committee should be senior members of their respective organization or profession who can represent their position on relevant issues. Organizations cannot have more than one representative as a member of any one Advisory Committee.

Candidates to participate on this Advisory Committee must have experience dealing with PBGF-eligible pension plans “at risk”, being pension plans whose sponsoring employer(s) become insolvent or is at risk of becoming insolvent. In particular, FSRA is seeking representation from individuals who have direct experience with plans that have ultimately failed as a result of insolvency or bankruptcy, including:

  • Union representatives;
  • Representatives of plan members, former members and retired members;
  • Bankruptcy/insolvency advisors with knowledge of pension matters;
  • A CFO or other executive who has dealt with a company in distress that had an under-funded pension plan;
  • Pension actuaries experienced with insolvent or potentially failing clients with an underfunded pension plan;
  • Pension lawyers experienced with insolvent or potentially failing clients with an underfunded pension plan; and
  • Individuals with expertise dealing with pension plans at risk of failure or with the PBGF, who might not otherwise fall in the above categories.

FSRA will be represented on the Advisory Committee by its Executive Vice President, Pensions or her delegate and by other identified FSRA staff members. The Executive Vice President, Pensions or her delegate will be the Chair of the Advisory Committee. One or more representatives of the Ministry of Finance will also be invited to join this Advisory Committee.

5. Public Process, Input from Others and Disclosure Issues

The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, R.S.O. 1990, c.F.31, as amended, will generally apply to information provided to the Advisory Committee and to material prepared by or for the Advisory Committee.

Members of the Advisory Committee are permitted to obtain assistance from co-workers or industry collaborators. However, until the Advisory Committee’s mandate is complete, Advisory Committee members and those that assist them are requested to maintain confidentiality (with the exception of information made public by FSRA). Following completion of the Advisory Committee’s mandate, an Advisory Committee member may communicate his or her views concerning the work of the Advisory Committee.

6. Meetings, Agendas and Deliverables

We expect the Advisory Committee will participate in at least 3 meetings; these are tentatively scheduled to begin mid-August. If it is determined that a meeting is not required or must be re-scheduled, members will be notified in advance. The Chair may call additional meetings as required.

Advisory Committee members may be asked to prepare material for consideration by the Advisory Committee.

FSRA shall endeavour to provide meeting agendas and related materials at least one week in advance of each regular meeting. FSRA shall prepare a summary of each meeting and will distribute it, including any accompanying written submissions, to Advisory Committee members, typically within three weeks following a meeting. FSRA also intends to publish a high-level summary of the Advisory Committee’s work on FSRA’s website within approximately 3 weeks of each meeting.   

7. Available in French upon request.