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 Asset Transfers (the Advisory Committee) as an ad hoc, special purpose committee. This Advisory Committee will review regulatory processes and legislative requirements that currently apply to transfers from existing single employer pension plans (SEPP) to existing or new jointly sponsored pension plans (JSPP), pursuant to section 80.4 of the Pension Benefits Act (PBA) and conversions of a SEPP to a JSPP pursuant to s.81.0.1 of the PBA.  The Advisory Committee will also consider transfers between SEPPs, including defined benefit (DB) and defined contribution (DC) plans or plans that contain both DB and DC benefits, made pursuant to either section 80 or 81 of the PBA.

In particular, the Advisory Committee will:

  • consider the current provisions of the PBA and regulations, including mandated member communications, requirements for consent / non-objection, and timing requirements;
  • review the current regulatory process, beginning to end, with a view to reducing regulatory burden; and
  • look at ways to improve outcomes for plan beneficiaries and ensure they can make well-informed decisions.

Amongst other things, the Advisory Committee will consider ways to:

  • reduce member communication complexity while ensuring members’ rights are protected;
  • Reduce regulatory burden and improve regulatory effectiveness;
  • shorten and streamline FSRA’s review processes following a principles-based approach;
  • clarify roles, responsibilities and expectations; and
  • identify possible changes to the PBA and regulations to support and facilitate efficient and outcomes-based transactions.

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 12 - 16 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 significant experience dealing with section 80, 80.4, 81 asset transfers and/or section 81.0.1 conversions and should be representative of one or more of the following pension industry categories:

  • Union representatives;
  • Representatives of plan members, former members and retired members;
  • Representatives of SEPP administrators and/or sponsors;
  • Representatives of JSPP administrators and/or sponsors;
  • DC plan third-party service providers;
  • Pension actuaries; and
  • Pension lawyers.

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 5 meetings; these are tentatively scheduled to begin in the second half of September. 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.

Also, where there is a need, a meeting for a subcommittee will be set up to hold discussions that focus on a particular type of transfer under 80, 80.4, 81 or 81.0.1.

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.