FSRA Pensions Stakeholder Advisory Committee meeting with the Board of Directors

Summary of the Meeting of June 9, 2022
Via Zoom

Stakeholder Advisory Committee members present:

Al Kiel - LifeWorks
Alex McKinnon - USW
Anna Zalewski - OTPP
Cameron Hunter - Eckler Ltd.
Celine Chiovitti - OMERS
Danelle Parkinson - OPB
David Gordon - CAAT Pension Plan/Pension Investment Association of Canada
James Pierlot - Blue PierTM
Joanna Lohrenz - University Pension Plan
Julie Belair - OPTrust
Sloane Litchen - Sun Life
Kathryn Bush - Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP
Ken Eady - Retiree
Rachel Arbour - HOOPP
Sean Strickland - Canada's Building Trades Unions
Simon Archer - Goldblatt Partners LLP
Stephanie Kalinowski - Hicks Morley/Association of Canadian Pension Management
Teresa Palandra - Mercer

Board members present:

Joanne De Laurentiis – Chair of the Board
Blair Cowper-Smith - Director
Joseph Iannicelli - Director
Stewart Lyons – Director
Brent Zorgdrager – Director
Dexter John – Director
Barbara Bellissimo – Director
Kathy Bouey – Director

Management members present:

Mark White – Chief Executive Officer
Glen Padassery – Executive Vice President, Policy & Chief Consumer Officer
Jordan Solway – Executive Vice President, Legal and Enforcement 
Judy Pfeifer – Chief Public Affairs Officer
Caroline Blouin – Executive Vice President, Pensions
David Bartucci – Head Stakeholder Relations and Special Projects
Reesha Hosein – Director Legal Services and Deputy General Counsel

Corporate secretary’s office:

Heather Greenberg – Corporate Secretary
Ligia Simoes – Assistant Corporate Secretary
Demola Oloyede – Board Administrator

General comments:

The Chair of the Board called the meeting to order and provided introductory remarks about the importance of stakeholder engagement.  She noted that the Board recognizes that effective stakeholder engagement builds a stronger regulatory working relationship and trust and that it is important that both FSRA and its stakeholders share valuable information through open and strategic discussions.  She noted that as part of their governance role, the Board would like to better understand the Committee’s environment, needs, and interests with a focus on forward looking activities and asked the Committee to comment on the factors or changes in their sector that they are actively monitoring, top sector risks and critical success factors for the sector.

The Committee discussed factors or changes in the sector that they are actively monitoring by plan type (jointly sponsored pension plans (JSPPs), single-employer pension plans (SEPPs), multi-employer pension plans (MEPPs) and defined contribution (DC) plans).  For JSPPs, factors and changes discussed included but were not limited to, investment and economic factors such as inflation, interest rates, geopolitical factors, climate transition, growing expectations around ESG and cybersecurity.  For SEPPs and MEPPs, factors and changes discussed included but were not limited to, inflation, increasing longevity, gender identification and its impact on actuarial tables, and expansion of pension coverage to non-covered workers in both traditional labour modalities and emerging ones.  For DC plans, factors and changes discussed included but were not limited to, broader availability of products and services supporting efficient and more flexible decumulation of retirement assets, greater transparency and information disclosure with respect to fees, plan member retirement readiness/benefit adequacy, and growing pool of missing members.

The Committee discussed top risks across all plan types, including climate change, factors contributing to unprecedented times such as market volatility, inflation, rising interest rates and the war in Ukraine, cyber risk, and missing members. The Committee discussed top risks for each plan type.

The Committee discussed the sector’s critical success factors, including flexible and principled based regulation for JSPPs, minimizing the impact on the PBGF from insolvent company pension plans for SEPPs, a flexible permanent funding framework for MEPPs, and benefit adequacy through design, investments, fees, education, and governance for DCs.

The Chair thanked the Committee for their insight and helping the Board focus on the strategic issues for the sector.  The Executive Vice-President, Pensions, FSRA noted that the information provided by the Committee helps management determine the strategic priorities for the annual business plan and that FSRA looks forward to engaging with the Committee for further input on those priorities towards the end of the year.